Mama, now that the bump is up, so are your fears. Everyone around you wants the best for you, so they fill your head with certain information.
These myths are sometimes true, and to clear the air, we made a top 10 list of common myths you’ll hear in pregnancy;
Myth 1 – You can’t exercise
Fact – You and your baby should stay active during pregnancy. It’s safe and healthy. So long as your pregnancy has no complications, you can do the same exercise you did before you were pregnant (with a few unusual exceptions).
Myth 2 – You can’t dye your hair
Fact – Research (though limited) shows it’s safe to colour your hair during pregnancy. You’d need to use seriously high doses of the chemicals – far more than needed to colour your hair – to cause harm.
Myth 3 – You must eat for two
Fact – Most women will only need to have 200 extra calories (on top of the 2,000 daily recommendation), and that’s only in the third trimester.
Myth 4 – You can’t fly
Fact – Revel in the freedom of holidaying without youngsters while you can. Check the FAQs on your airline’s website – after week 28, you will need a letter from your midwife to confirm your pregnancy is low risk and you’re in good health. Make sure that your travel insurance covers you during pregnancy, and take your medical notes away with you.
Myth 5 – You can’t have sex
Fact – Sex will do you no harm if you enjoy a healthy pregnancy. For some women, sex can be better than ever because of the increased blood flow in the pelvic area.
Others might find the opposite (hormones can lower your libido). An orgasm or sex can sometimes trigger harmless Braxton Hicks contractions, but they’re nothing to worry about.
Myth 6 – You will be glowing and happy all the time
Fact – At least 1 in 10 expectant mums feel stressed and anxious during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can often be to blame for highs and lows, not to mention coping with pregnancy niggles, the sometimes crippling exhaustion, worrying about giving birth and the responsibilities of parenthood.
It can be overwhelming, so if you’re not feeling the glow, you’re not alone – far from it. If your mood, or worries, are getting in the way of daily life, don’t hesitate to talk to your midwife.
Myth 7 – You will have strange cravings
Fact – Contrary to popular opinion, not all mums-to-be crave chicken or other random foods. Hormonal changes trigger cravings. Also, sharp dips and peaks in your blood sugar levels can give you cravings for sugary comfort foods (cake/ice cream/chocolate).
Myth 8 – Stress during pregnancy is always bad for the fetus.
Fact – New research shows that a moderate stress level is good for the fetus: It tones the fetus’s nervous system and accelerates its development. Women who experienced moderate stress during pregnancy have two-week-old infants with brains that work faster than infants of mothers without the same stress and two-year-old toddlers with higher motor and mental development scores.
Myth 9 – Pregnant women shouldn’t eat sweets.
Fact – There’s a big exception to this rule: chocolate. New studies show that pregnant women who eat chocolate every day during pregnancy have babies who show less fear and smile and laugh more often at six months of age.
Another study finds that women who eat five or more servings of chocolate each week during their third trimester have a 40 per cent lower risk of developing the dangerous high blood pressure condition known as preeclampsia.
Myth 10 – Pregnant women should stay away from seafood.
Fact – Eating lots of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury during pregnancy produces smarter kids. Children whose mothers ate at least twelve ounces of seafood a week during pregnancy had higher verbal IQ, better social and communication skills, and superior motor skills, according to a study published in a leading journal.