Pregnancy is daunting for anyone, but more so if it’s your first. When you don’t know what to expect, you’re inclined to believe everything you get told, and sadly there are a lot of myths and old wives’ tales that are commonly accepted as truths. We’ve busted some of the most common pregnancy myths so that you can eliminate the guesswork.
Myth #1: You should avoid exercising while pregnant
Exercising (within reason) is not only beneficial for you as a pregnant mother, but also for your baby. Studies have indicated that foetuses of active mothers have slower heart rates, which cardiovascular experts say is a sign of good heart health. Don’t overdo it though, and chat to your doctor and trainer about which exercises are best for you.
Myth #2: If you carry high it’s a girl, if you carry low it’s a boy
Your baby’s sex is determined by the chromosome of the sperm that fertilised the egg. If it carried an X chromosome, a girl is conceived, and if it carries a Y chromosome, a boy is conceived. The only way to know the sex of your baby is to have an ultrasound and there is no scientific proof that carrying a certain way indicates its sex.
Myth #3: Sleeping on your back will hurt your baby
Although this sleeping position won’t hurt your baby, most experts suggest sleeping on your left side (this allows more blood to travel to the placenta). The worst you’ll get from sleeping on your back is a some lower back pain (however some women won’t suffer any discomfort at all).
Myth #4: You should “eat for two” while pregnant
You may have cravings and get hungrier more often, but you only need an extra 300 calories a day while you’re carrying. If you overeat you may find yourself struggling to lose all the extra baby weight after you give birth, and you increase your baby’s risk of developing obesity and diabetes.
Myth #5: Having sex while pregnant hurts the baby
Unless you’re uncomfortable or your doctor advises against it due to complications, there is no reason why you can’t be intimate with your partner. Your baby is thoroughly protected in the uterus (plus your cervix lengthens and thickens to keep him / her safe) and it is impossible to “reach” or “touch” them during intercourse.
Myth #6: Spicy food brings on labour
Though it may leave you with a bit of heartburn and indigestion, there is no scientific evidence that spicy foods bring on labour.
What were some of the funniest pregnancy myths you’ve been told, Beauties?
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Heading back to work after maternity leave
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Everything you need to know about pregnancy marks
Surviving morning sickness