Pregnancy myths busted
Prevalence of pregnancy myths
Several old wives tales or what we call myths in common parlance, prevail around pregnancy and mindlessly percolate across several generations. Most of these beliefs are not backed by any scientific explanation; there are some others that lack complete logic. Here are some of the popular myths that every pregnant woman may have faced during the time of pregnancy.
Eat for your child too
This is perhaps one of the most common myths that circulates during pregnancy; eat double of what you normally do because you are not eating for one, but two. It is indeed necessary to have extra amount of calories and nutrition for the proper growth and development of the fetus but that doesn’t mean you overeat. Eating more than the necessary amount will make you overweight, and thereby lead to several health complications. During pregnancy, nutritional requirements of every pregnant woman are between 2,200 to 2,500 calories. Eating at regular intervals and following a healthy diet will ensure a safe pregnancy.
Exercise can harm your child
There are times when pregnant women are not allowed to exercise during pregnancy, popular belief being it will harm the body and the growing fetus. Exercising helps the body stay active and prevents excessive weight gain, stiffness, aches and swelling and also difficulty in labor. Exercises like walking, stretching, some specific yoga asanas and pranayam and a few easy resistance training exercises are suitable during pregnancy rather than high intensity workouts like weight training that can be risky. Exercise is recommended only after the completion of first trimester. Consult your gynecologist regarding what kind of exercise is suitable for you as well as the duration of exercise.
Have ghee for a smooth delivery
It is said that cooking food with ghee during pregnancy helps in smooth delivery of the baby. There is hardly any connection between the digestive tract and the path of delivery, which has natural lubricants. Ghee, instead, will increase your body weight and raise your cholesterol levels, which in turn may lead to other complications.
Stretch marks can be prevented
Every pregnant woman wishes to avoid the nightmare of having stretch marks on her growing tummy during pregnancy (usually during the third trimester). Stretch marks, which are a form of scarring on the skin due to the tear in the lower layers of the skin, occur due to rapid weight gain. While various anti-stretch mark creams are available for use, there is no single way through which these marks can be prevented or removed. Research and studies are still going on to find ways to prevent occurrence of stretch marks on skin.
No medicines are allowed
It is a fact that taking medications such as antibiotics can affect the unborn baby during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester). While some are considered safe, others are not. You must not take any medication without the advice of your gynecologist during pregnancy. Taking over-the-counter medicines are a strict no while some others such as flu medicines or those for constipation may be safe but should be taken under the guidance of the doctor.
Your belly determines baby’s sex
Whether your unborn baby is a boy or a girl child, according to popular myth, can be determined by the belly size of the pregnant woman. It’s a girl if the belly is carried high and a boy when low. The extent to which the belly bulges out depends on how much the abdominal muscles surrounding the left and right sides of the stomach. This determines the gap through which the uterus enlarges out under the skin. The size and shape of the belly can determine the position of the unborn child inside; protruding outwards shows the baby might be in vertical position and if the stomach is broad, it indicates a horizontal position. Factors like height of the mother and the gestation age of the baby also determines the belly size of the pregnant woman.
Sex during pregnancy can harm your unborn
It’s another myth that prevents many couples from having sex during pregnancy. Unless it’s a case of high-risk pregnancy or the pregnant woman has undergone a miscarriage before, couples can engage in sexual activity during pregnancy. The cervix gets lengthened and hardened and prevents foreign substances from getting into the uterus. Sexual intercourse does not harm the baby. Consultation with your gynecologist, however, can prevent any mishap.
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