As if the physical and emotional woes of pregnancy aren’t enough to make the expecting mothers anxious, the frenzied moms and mother-in-laws along with the peeping aunties do not make the journey of pregnancy a smoother ride either. Do this, don’t do that – more or less every woman who has already experienced motherhood feel they’re justified right in giving an unsolicited advice to the pregnant ones.
If you have already laughed off the hilarious pregnancy myths or consulted your doctor on the various do’s and don’t’s, nothing could be more perfect. But, if you are still being poked on what is right and wrong during pregnancy, you may want to bust their myths next time you meet them. This post will arm you with all the correct information you require on the popular pregnancy myths.
You can’t travel by air
It is usually considered safe to board a flight, till the second trimester of the pregnancy, provided there are no complications. The probability of a pregnant woman going into labor is generally high during the third trimester and hence, airlines prefer to avoid the risk of carrying her. Most of the airlines have rules for expectant mothers, and it is advisable to take them into consideration before flying. Also, a prior consultation with your doctor to seek permission to travel by air is necessary. Always keep your medical reports in your cabin bag while flying, just in case an emergency arises and the doctor on flight needs to attend to you.
You should abstain from sex
Ahem, how difficult it would be for you and your spouse doing this? Given that the period of abstinence may be for the entire nine months plus first one or two months after the delivery of the baby? Fret not, contrary to the belief that a sexual intercourse may hurt the baby, that is not the case. There are seven layers of skin that protect your baby and cervix produces mucus to keep the vagina clean and infection free. However, if you experience any discomfort or have birth related complications, you may want to refrain from it.
You should forget exercising
If the guilt of gaining weight during pregnancy or losing your pre-pregnancy figure is eating away because the elderly ladies advised you not to exercise, throw it out of the window. How do you think Shilpa Shetty, Mandira Bedi, Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie and the likes entered the league of ‘hot’ mummies? It is now a proven fact that a regular exercise, including walking or swimming, can keep a pregnant woman healthy and energised during the entire term.These days, modified fitness regime and exercise programmes are available for expecting moms to stay fit. But, do remember to seek a professional advice before signing up for any maternity fitness programme.
It is the genes, which decide your delivery
This is not hereditary! Several factors, including the baby’s position and size, your eating habits, daily routine and medical conditions determine whether you will have a normal delivery or a C-section.
You should eat for two
Agreed, the baby gets all nutrition from your body. But, this certainly does not mean you have to double your food intake! Only 300 extra calories are needed per day to stay fit and active and maintain your baby’s health. Just make sure you eat healthy and don’t stay hungry to avoid piling up extra kilos on your body.
You can predict the gender of the baby
If only this was possible, preggy ladies! Let the old wives tell be only a tale of amusement for you, and nothing else. Next time some one tells you that excessive morning sickness means it’s going to be a baby boy or if you become a sleepy head, then it’s a baby girl for you, shoo them away with this fact: About one half of all pregnant women go through some degree of morning sickness because of relaxin, a hormone produced during pregnancy and most of them also sleep extra long hours because their bodies advise them to do so. And if these women still don’t stop mouthing advice, then inform them that only an ultrasound can give the accurate information about your baby’s sex.
You should not eat chocolate
Expecting mothers are known to crave for some particular foods during pregnancy, and chocolates are no exception. A few studies show that pregnant women who eat chocolate every day have babies who are less fearful and happier in the later stages of life. While another study states that women who eat five or more servings of chocolate each week during their third trimester have 40 percent lower risk of developing the dangerous high blood pressure condition known as preeclampsia. So, to eat or not to eat? Well, you may, but keep your intake in moderation. Remember, chocolates have junk calories! Also, it may suppress your hunger, due to which you may not eat nutritious food, which is essential for the baby’s growth.
It is not safe to lie on your back
Sleeping on your back does not hurt the baby and if you are used to sleeping in this position you do not necessarily have to change it as soon as you hear the good news. It is completely alright to sleep this way in the first trimester. However, as you enter the fourth month, your uterus tends to get heavier and lying on your back for a longer period exerts pressure on the vein that transports the blood from your lower body to the heart. It may even slow down the flow of blood and essential nutrients to the placenta thereby hampering proper growth and nourishment of the baby. It is thus recommended to sleep sideways during this phase. However, do not fret if you wake up lying on your back in the middle of the night. It wouldn’t cause any serious harm.
Labor begins immediately after your water breaks
Not all babies are eager to come out of the mother’s womb as soon as the water breaks. It may take a few minutes, a few hours or a few days for the labor pain to begin, even after the water breaks. While you should immediately consult your gynecologist when the water breaks, try not to panic. Meanwhile, wear a sanitary pad and keep a clean towel underneath to protect your clothes.
Do not go out of home during the eclipse
This is one of the most popular superstitions that have been passed down from generations to generations. It is believed that if a pregnant woman may give birth to a deformed child if she ventures out of the home on an eclipse day. Or if she cuts vegetable or uses a knife, the baby is likely to born with a cleft lip. She is even forbidden to abstain from food or water. Eventually, it is an individual choice to follow the beliefs associated with an eclipse but there is no scientific evidence to support these superstitions. It is quite normal for a pregnant woman to go outdoors during an eclipse, provided she protects her eyes and covers herself adequately well.
To wrap up, it is in your best interest to consult your gynecologist / obstetrician for any pregnancy related doubt, rather than relying on old wives tales and myths.