Pregnancy Myths and Facts
A woman experiences several changes in her body and mind all through her pregnancy. While it is a beautiful journey, it is riddled with plenty of misconceptions and infinite advise. Here are some common myths decoded for a healthier, stress-free and happier pregnancy!
Exercise during pregnancy can harm the baby.
A planned Prenatal Exercise Programme is very important to relieve several discomforts during pregnancy and also aids in having a smooth delivery. If women have not engaged in any physical activity or exercise prior to their pregnancy, reach out to your healthcare professional before starting a new routine.
A pregnant woman has to fulfil all her food cravings.
All expectant mothers develop likes and aversion towards certain foods. Craving for a particular food is known as “Pica”. One should indulge with moderation, as desire for wrong foods may not benefit the mother and the baby.
A woman doesn’t need any preparation or exercise during her second pregnancy.
No two labours are alike! Preparation is essential for every pregnancy and second time expectant mothers should be more watchful about the right kind of exercises to avoid muscles from getting slack. Abdominal strengthening enables better support for carrying the baby.
You must eat for two people.
While it is true that an expectant mother’s calorie intake needs to be slightly higher, but overeating will only cause more harm than good for the baby. It is said that the baby requires 340-450 healthy calories a day depending on the trimester. Anything over than that only adds to the extra weight gain by the mother. Instead, focus on nutrient-rich healthy, home cooked food and allow yourself to indulge with restraint once a while!
Consuming food that is dark in colour will render the baby’s skin darker.
In a country obsessed with “fair babies”, here’s a fun fact – the colour of the baby is predetermined by the inherited genes and not by the food ingested by the expectant mother. This myth leads to several mothers avoiding nutrient-rich foods purely based on its colour.
If the mother gives birth at night, the baby will stay awake all night.
Time of birth has no relation to the sleep and waking up Birth time has no relation patterns of the baby.
There are ways to predict the gender of the baby by the size and shape of the stomach or the hair on the stomach.
Stomach muscles stretch with subsequent pregnancies whereas hormonal fluctuations and rapid increase in oestrogen leads to increased belly or facial hair.
The expectant mother’s face develops the perfect glow during pregnancy.
This is not always true – A pregnant woman may develop hyper pigmentation, greasy hair and fatigue due to hormonal changes.
All mothers-to-be develop stretch marks that can go away with the use of creams.
Stretch marks are generally hereditary and chances are you may or may not develop stretch marks in your pregnancy. Also, there is no concreate evidence that oils or creams will help these marks disappear completely. They may help nourish and soothe itchy skin and stretch marks can often fade in time on their own.
More heartburns mean more hair on my baby’s head!
Heartburns are a common pregnancy symptom especially towards the third trimester. Heartburns often occur due to the secretion of gastric juices more frequently by the pressure of growing uterus over the oesophagus.
There are these are several more myths that surround and shroud pregnancy, some of which may involve advice which may not be beneficial to the expectant mother or the baby. Always consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet, healthcare or lifestyle during your pregnancy. Wishing you a healthy, happy and safe pregnancy!