Congratulations on your impending journey into motherhood. As you navigate these next nine months you will surely encounter family and friends with well-meaning advice about the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. Here we dispel some of the most common pregnancy myths and old-wives tales so you can have a stress-free pregnancy.
1. You Can’t Have Sex During Pregnancy
This is one of the most common and stubborn misconceptions regarding pregnancy with many people believing sex will hurt the baby or cause miscarriage. The baby developing in your uterus is protected not only by the amniotic sac, but also by the muscles of the uterus and abdomen. It may be uncomfortable to have sex in certain positions, but don’t let that stop you from experimenting. Sex during pregnancy can also help relieve stress, increase self-esteem, and give you better orgasms. Unless your health care provider tells you otherwise, keep on getting busy!
2. You Should Eat For Two
Some women think that pregnancy gives them a free pass when it comes to dieting. But just like everyone else in the world, pregnant women need to be mindful of their diet. In reality, a pregnant woman needs only two or three hundred extra calories a day during pregnancy. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can also cause health problems for both mother and fetus.
3. Exercising Is Off-Limits
In most cases, exercising during pregnancy is safe and even beneficial to both mom and baby. Exercising can help moms-to-be lower their blood pressure, reduce backaches and bloating, and even enhance mood. Research shows that babies whose moms exercised while pregnant have better heart health and enhanced cognitive abilities in comparison to babies whose moms were sedentary during pregnancy. Just make sure to not overdo your exercising and cut out any contact sports. As always, talk to your health care provider if you have any concerns.
4. Your Belly Indicates Your Baby’s Gender
Some say that the shape of your baby bump is an indicator of the sex of your baby. If you’re carrying low – you’ll have a girl. If you’re carrying high – it’ll definitely be a boy. The truth is, the way you carry your baby is all dependent on your body and the strength of your abdomen muscles. The only way to accurately know the sex of your baby before birth is by ultrasound or amniocentesis. But let your friends and family make their predictions – there’s a fifty percent chance they’ll be right!
5. Never Raise Your Hands Over Your Head
This is one of the weirdest myths out there – that raising your hands over your head can cause the umbilical cord to strangle the fetus. There is absolutely no credence to this myth. Basic human anatomy should reassure you that there is no connection between the muscles of your arms and upper back and the umbilical cord.
Those are just five of the myths you might encounter during your pregnancy. If you’ve been inundated with advice from friends and family and you’re unsure of its accuracy, never hesitate to talk to your health-care provider. Any other odd myths you’ve heard about? Let us know in the comments!