Busting Pregnancy Myths: What’s True and What’s Not?

By Lisa Franchi on October 23, 2012

If you’re planning to get pregnant or currently expecting for your first baby, you must have a lot of questions in your mind – like what changes you are going to experience physically and emotionally, how you can deal with them, and so on. Most likely, you have heard about some of the most popular pregnancy myths and old wives tales. But how true are they?

Let’s examine some of the common pregnancy myths and uncover the truth behind them:

You’re likely to crave for pickles and ice cream.

The hormonal changes during pregnancy are likely to hook any woman into intense craving for foods, but not always ice cream and pickles. You may or may not have food cravings and when you do, it’s possible that you crave on almost anything. You may want ice cream this week but next week, you may look for chocolates, and so on. Some women tend to crave for foods they don’t normally eat when they are not pregnant. But no matter what foods you crave, make sure you get enough of fruits and vegetables, calcium, and other essential nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.

If your belly is low, it’s a boy. If it’s high, it’s a girl!

When old women approach you and they notice that you’re carrying low, they are most likely to tell you that it’s a boy. Otherwise, it’s a girl. Fortunately, there is no scientific basis for this. Carrying low simply means that the baby has gone lower to the pelvis in preparation for your delivery. There are also other factors that affect the position of your baby. These include her muscle structure, posture, the shape of your abdomen, etc.

Sex while pregnant is going to hurt your baby.

Not at all. According to experts, it is safe to have sex while pregnant as long as the woman is not having any difficulty. Some women don’t feel like having sex when they are conceiving while others feel it more pleasurable. If you feel it, go for it. Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, sex during pregnancy is okay.

Heartburn means you’re going to deliver a hairy baby.

71% of women experience heartburn during pregnancy. Some of them deliver hairy newborns while others give birth to babies with little or no hair at all. The New York Times conducted a study to know whether this myth is true and the results show it is. However, the study was so small (only involved 28 participants). What is true is that heartburn during pregnancy is due to the hormonal releases that relax the sphincter muscle (muscles that surround the passages and openings of the body).

You’d lose a tooth for your baby.

During pregnancy, mum shares all the nutrients she has to her baby that often leads to maternal deficiency. The baby needs calcium which is essential in developing strong bones. But as long as you take sufficient amount of calcium, vitamin D and other minerals needed by your body, and you observe proper oral care, you don’t have to sacrifice a tooth for your baby.

If your mum had it easy, so you will.

The size of your baby, its position, and your diet and lifestyle play a greater role in your pregnancy and delivery than hereditary factors. If you take care of your body before and during pregnancy, you will deliver safe and easy.

First babies always come late.

It’s true in a sense that 60% of childbirths arrive after the due date while 35% arrive before the expected date, and only 5% are on time. The expected delivery schedule depends on the length of your menstrual cycle. If your cycle is shorter, you are likely to deliver early. Otherwise, your baby might arrive later.

Being pregnant is the happiest thing ever.

Having a baby is one of the greatest blessings a woman could ever receive. But it turns out, there are plenty of factors, biological, social and emotional that make pregnant women feel sad, anxious and even depressed. Add the hormonal changes. While it is normal to experience “pregnancy blues”, keeping in touch with the people you love (friends, family, and partner), pregnancy can become such a wonderful experience.


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