There are countless myths, misconceptions, and old wives’ tales about pregnancy and many of them are wonderfully misleading and yet actually believed.
Here, we look at some of the common myths you might hear and provides some answers.
Myth No.1- The shape of your belly can predict the gender of your baby
If your belly is higher up, it’s a girl. If it’s low you’re having a boy
None of these methods are accurate indicators of a baby’s sex.
Stomach muscles stretch with subsequent pregnancies. So, if a woman’s belly is higher up, it probably just means she has strong abdominal muscles or it’s her first pregnancy. In many cases, an ultrasound scan can let you know the sex of your baby.
Myth No.2- You have to eat for two
Eating for two during pregnancy is a myth. There’s no evidence to prove this myth and overeating can result in maternal weight gain and child obesity.
While it is true that women may need to increase their caloric intake slightly when pregnant, they should avoid overeating. Overeating can be harmful to both the woman and the fetus.
How much extra you need to eat depends on your weight and height, how active you are and how far into your pregnancy you are.
Myth No.3- You can’t exercise while pregnant
Most women should engage in light-to-moderate exercise during pregnancy.
Exercising is a good practice for you, your baby’s health, and your mental health. A woman who did not exercise regularly before becoming pregnant should talk to a healthcare professional before starting a new routine. Avoid any new, strenuous activities like holding your breath, excessive bouncing or stretching, sudden jerk motions, and advanced abdominal moves.
Myth No.4- Spice during pregnancy can cause blindness in babies
Eating spicy foods during pregnancy is perfectly safe but may lead to heartburn.
There are some foods that it’s best to avoid during pregnancy due to the risks of certain harmful microbes.
A healthcare professional can provide more information on which foods to avoid.
Myth No.5- You can’t drink caffeine while pregnant
Women can still have a cup of coffee each day when pregnant, but they should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg or less.
Recent studies show that moderate amounts are safe, as long as a few precautions are taken.
Myth No.6- Ugly Animals
An old wives’ tale that exists in several cultures suggests that when a pregnant woman looks at an unpleasant or ugly animal, her baby will take on a resemblance to that animal. There is no evidence to support the idea and more importantly, babies simply cannot be ugly.
Many myths surround pregnancy, some of which involve incorrect information or advice that may be harmful.
A woman should consult a doctor before making any significant dietary, healthcare, or lifestyle changes during pregnancy.