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Cutting-edge fetal research and the advances in IVF technology are openly challenging some of the conventional myths prevalent in the society about pregnancy, and have resulted in producing certain findings that may surprise you.
We at WishABaby present here 20 myths that you must throw out of your lives as a preparation towards conceiving a healthy baby. Myths are nothing else but clutter in the brain, and only when this clutter is cleared off, that you can experience the joy of carrying a new life inside you.
Myth 1: Pregnant woman should be eating for two
REALITY: No scientific research has proved this so far. You need to eat a balanced diet rather than being a glutton. You can explore on the other pages on WishABaby to understand what is called a ‘Healthy Diet’ and what kind of diet is ideal for an expecting mother.
Myth 2: Backaches are common during Pregnancy
REALITY: No! It is not so. Do some simple changes and you can avoid a lot of painful time. Firstly, pay attention on how you sit or stand. Don’t arch your body. Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes since they force you to arch your back which puts a lot of pressure on the lower body. Also, go for pelvic rocking to give your back a breather. Do some Yoga under expert guidance and you are done!
Myth 3: Pregnant females should avoid physical exercise
REALITY: Actually, when a pregnant woman exercises, especially when she does Yoga, her fetus gets a beneficial workout that goes a long way in building healthy body cells. Fetuses of physically active pregnant women have better heart rates than those of less-active mothers. This is the best sign of the good cardiovascular health of the baby. Also, exercising mothers give birth to just the right-weight or at time lower weight babies but whose brains are bigger, leading to an intelligent adult at a later stage in life.
Myth 4: One should stay away from seafood during pregnancy
REALITY: It depends from woman to woman, since some are Allergic to sea-food and some aren't. But the fact is that eating lots of fish during pregnancy produces smarter and healthier babies. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury. And consuming these during pregnancy produces babies that have a high verbal IQ, better social &communication skills, and superior motor skills. This has been quite much published already in various research journals across the globe.
Myth 5: Slow heart-rate means a boy and vice versa means a girl
REALITY: A developing baby's heart rate differs from day to day. It purely depends on the age of the fetus and the acidity level of the mother as well as that of the fetus on that particular day when it was monitored. Moreover, stress-related changes in the mother also affect the heart rate and blood pressure of her developing fetus.
Myth 6: Conception is equal to a nine-month wait
REALITY: Pregnancy is not just a 9 months of wait but a crucial period. It is nothing less than a scientific wonder. It is the time when the baby is being developed inside the body. Not only that, but it is the base that serves to develop the baby’s immunity to fight diseases ahead in life. No wonder it is the subject of an exploding number of science journals and medical conferences taking place regularly across the globe.
Myth 7: Focus on things that can go wrong during pregnancy
REALITY: There are no set parameters to predict what and when can go wrong. Studies are being conducted on this topic, and it has been so far found that it is actually the conditions in the womb that impact a lot of things. The prenatal period is the one where health-spring erupt both for the mother as well as the child, which also go a long way in determining the well-being of both after the childbirth. A lot of research is already taking place around the globe on the things that can be done to make these nine months the best possible time for a woman.
Myth 8: It is OK to drink once in a while
REALITY: A few sips during a champagne toast or abstaining from alcohol completely, is ultimately a personal decision. But, yes numerous studies have linked drinking during pregnancy with an increased risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Medical experts backed by ample research say that pregnant woman should completely avoid alcohol during pregnancy. So if you are drinking or have been a heavy consumer of alcohol, then stay in constant touch with your gynecologist.
Myth 9: Indulge in enrichment activities like playing music
REALITY: The nine-month-long process is a crucial phase in preparing the baby to enter the outside world. As such, what is more important for the baby is to absorb the right kind of nutrients, emotions, and health hormones. Music and other such things come later to relax you and thus relax the child. Nutrition is primary, and so, the focus should be on your eating habits first.
Myth 10: Overweight babies are owing to family history or genetics
REALITY: Pregnant women should keep a check on their weight during pregnancy. Women who gain more weight than suggested, have four times the risk of having an overweight child. And this condition will persist during offspring's adolescence. So eat healthy, stay active, and stay fit during the nine months of pregnancy if you wish to have a fit and active child.
Myth 11: Stress during pregnancy is always bad for the fetus and the mother
REALITY: New research shows that a moderate level of stress is actually good for the fetus. It not only serves to tone the nervous system of the fetus but also accelerates its development. Women who experienced moderate stress during pregnancy, for instance, those who work in office till the last month, have been reported to have two-week-old infants with brains that work faster than infants of mothers without the same moderate stress.
Myth 12: Pregnancy must last nine months
REALITY: This depends from body to body and a woman's physical health. There are multiple factors that decide childbirth and not just the expected due date given by the doctor.
Myth 13: Intercourse during pregnancy risks the baby
REALITY: Go by the guidance of your doctor. You need not consider everything you hear from others as a rule. Each body is different and is unique.
Myth 14: Pregnant women must stay away from sweets
REALITY: Chocolate is a big exception to this rule. Many renowned international researchers have revealed that pregnant women who eat chocolate every day have babies who show less fear and comparative tend to panic less in life when confronted with tricky situations in life. What more? The chocolate-babies, as some doctors call them, are generally found to smile and laugh more often than others.
Myth 15: Women must strive for an ideal or perfect pregnancy
REALITY: Nothing is perfect in life driven by science. An ideal pregnancy is a myth. Instead, aspire to experience the joy rather than a medal. It is, hence, always better to fully enjoy the personal experience of carrying a new life inside you, instead of staying worried for what is right and what is not.
Myth 16: All women must feel happy during pregnancy
REALITY: Studies show that pregnant women are just as likely to suffer mood disorders and even depression for no particular reason at times, as any other women. Psychiatrists estimate that about 20 percent of pregnant women experience anxiety or depression. So if you are pregnant, first of all, stop comparing yourself to any other pregnant woman around you, whether friends or family. And though mild stress at times is alright, in case you feel over depressed or too anxious, consult your doctor immediately. Therapy, Yoga, Meditation or even an antidepressant medication can help, whichever your doctor suggests. But do not pop pills at will; it will harm your baby.
Myth 17: Certain food leads to abortion
REALITY: Common belief is that consuming papaya, pineapples, and eggs can induce abortion. It is, however, not so. As long as ripe fruits are consumed, there is no risk. Unless you are allergic to certain food items, you can include them in your diet in a healthy form. Eggs are a rich source of proteins and must be included in your diet unless you have a diagnosed allergy. However, in case you have any doubts regarding consumption of any particular food, it is always advised to consult with your doctor.
Myth 18: You need to prepare your nipples for breastfeeding
REALITY: No research supports this belief. Both mother and baby adapt to suckling with time. No classes or toughening of nipples by external suckling devices can teach you to be a feeding mother. But, yes, breast-stimulation surely induces better milk supply. You can read more about the same on our "Induced Lactation" page under ‘Pregnancy’ tab.
Myth 19: Baby-weight vanishes after delivery
REALITY: It happens only in movies or with the women belonging to glamour world who follow a rigorous workout. The fact is you will lose only 10-15 pounds in a month from delivery. And this is, in fact, the right way. A sudden fall in weight will harm you in the long run. So, eat healthy, think calm, and exercise as per your stamina. There is no need to body-shame yourself.
Myth 20: Stay away from pets during pregnancy
REALITY: Well, there is no need to give away your pets when you become pregnant. Yes, there is a disease called toxoplasmosis that does spread through cats and can be harmful if caught during pregnancy. But this happens only if you get into activities like removal of its feces without using gloves and mask. But, then that applies to gardening as well if you don’t wear gloves and use a mask. In short, stay away from germs as far as possible but not your pets. Rather exchange a lot of love during pregnancy which would help you immensely to stay stress-free and happy.