13 Persistent Myths About Pregnancy We Still Believe In
Pregnancy is a very important and exciting period in a woman's life. There is no wonder that such a unique event is surrounded by a huge number of different prejudices and stereotypes.
We at Bright Side have already published an article about superstitions that turned out to have scientific explanations. And now we are ready to debunk 13 popular myths about pregnancy that have been passed down from generation to generation.
13. Pregnant women should eat for 2.
Nutritionists from the Institute of Medicine in the US claim that if a woman has a healthy weight, she does not need to consume any extra calories during the first trimester. Specialists recommend adding an additional 340 calories a day during the second trimester and about 450 calories during the third. These extra calories should come from dairy, nuts, or lean protein.
That is why future moms should focus on eating healthy instead of just eating more.
12. Pregnancy makes women stupid.
Changes in hormone levels usually make women more emotional and sensitive but during pregnancy, many women discover new talents and pick up new skills. For example, some of them paint amazing pictures like Luo Qianxi, write children's books, or even start their own businesses.
Many actresses successfully continue to work on films while they are pregnant and amaze us with the impressive results.
And at the same time, the phenomenon of "momnesia" (baby brain) really does exist. The woman's brain tries to undergo a social adaptation and attempts to form an attachment to the child and the future mother. Therefore, it's harder for some women to do several things at the same time and they can become more forgetful and absent-minded.
11. The ultrasound examination hurts the baby.
Most doctors recommend that women who have a normal fetal development should undergo the ultrasound scans 3 times during pregnancy, one in each trimester. The check-up should be done more often only if there's a possible threat to the health of the mother or the baby.
Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves and unlike X-ray imaging, there's no ionizing radiation exposure. Thanks to ultrasound scans, doctors can exclude the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, determine possible pathologies of the fetus, and help both the woman and the child in time.
10. A woman should give birth to her first child before she's 30 years old.
If a 30-year-old woman takes good care of herself, eats healthy food, gets enough exercise, and regularly undergoes preventive medical check-ups, the risk of complications during pregnancy is not higher than in comparison with a 20-year-old expecting mother. The pathologies of the fetus and problems during the pregnancy are mostly related to the state of the body and not to the biological age. Modern methods of diagnosis can show deviations in development at the earliest possible stage, so women can plan a pregnancy when they are really ready for it, both physically and psychologically.
Most doctors believe that the ideal age for the birth of the first child is when a woman is 20-30 years old. And according to the results of scientific research conducted by Dr. John Mirwoski from Texas, the perfect age for the birth of a healthy child is 34 years old.
9. All women crave salty foods during pregnancy.
The body of a pregnant woman may try to hint that it needs certain missing nutrients and minerals in a very strange way. For example, through the desire to eat a piece of chalk or a handful of ash. Another reason for the bizarre gastronomic predilections lies in the hormonal changes, and sometimes it is just a desire to treat yourself.
Pregnant women may crave not only salty but sweet or sour food, as well. But chocolate is still the number one product on the list of the most desired food.
8. Going to the gym, on a hike, or to the swimming pool? Nope, only peace and quiet for the next 9 months.
If a woman does not experience any health problems during pregnancy, regular physical exercise is essential for a future mother. Sport not only helps to stay in good shape but is also beneficial for the development of the fetus and can facilitate the process of childbirth. Nature makes sure to take care of everything and this is why the muscles and tendons of a woman become more elastic and stronger during pregnancy.
Keep in mind that you should always consult a doctor and an experienced fitness instructor regarding the intensity of your workouts.
7. Sex during pregnancy can harm the baby.
The danger of sex during pregnancy is probably one of the most widespread myths. People say it's harmful to the baby, unpleasant for the mother, and even immoral. But if a woman does not experience any discomfort, sexual activity will not do any harm. On the contrary, sexual intercourse on a regular basis is beneficial for the health, as it not only helps to strengthen the pelvic muscles but it also provides positive feelings for the future mother. And the emotional state of a woman during this period is extremely important.
6. Pregnant women should not dye their hair or paint their nails.
The secret to looking fabulous during pregnancy is to pay more attention to the composition of cosmetic products. Pregnant women should avoid such components as toluene, formaldehyde, camphor, ammonia, or resorcinol and wait until the baby is born before they start using them in their beaty routine again.
High-quality modern cosmetic products don't contain dangerous elements so they can be used during pregnancy.
5. Consumption of fish and walnuts greatly influences the intelligence of a child.
The health properties of these products can't be denied. Walnuts are rich in potassium and magnesium so they strengthen the blood vessels and the heart and they have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Iodine in fish is good for the thyroid. Therefore, the future mother should add these products to her diet.
Both fish and nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain brain health. However, their influence on the development of the mental abilities of the future baby hasn't been scientifically proven.
4. Stress is extremely dangerous for a pregnant woman.
Constant and severe stress is not beneficial for anyone. But we all sometimes find ourselves in stressful situations and this is completely normal. And your attitude toward stress is what really makes a difference.
Constant anxiety and worrying about the baby suffering if you're stressed out is much worse than a brief emotional outburst. Don't let a little trouble spoil your mood.
3. Cream against stretch marks is a must.
Stretch mark creams are often considered some kind of a magical tool and an effective way to solve all skin issues related to pregnancy. But it's worth mentioning that the composition is not very different from moisturizing lotion. Of course, the use of such a product can make your skin more elastic and smooth but it can't remove all of your stretch marks.
You shouldn't underestimate the genetic factor, as well as the type of your skin. Talk to your mom, aunt, or grandmother and find out about their skin condition after pregnancy. Most likely, the same thing awaits you.
2. Water consumption should be reduced during the third trimester.
In the past, pregnant women were advised to drink less liquid during the third trimester to avoid swelling. The authors of the best-selling book What to Expect When You’re Expecting together with scientists have proven that both swelling and polyhydramnios during childbirth are not related to water consumption. On the contrary, a sufficient amount of water helps deal with these problems.
Scientists have developed an extremely simple test to check if you drink enough. And yes, alcohol is not on this list.
1. Your life will be the same after the baby is born.
There are many ways to make the first years of your life as a mother easier but it is important to keep in mind that your old way of life will definitely change. It will not be better or worse; it will just be different.
Yes, you can go back to work during the first month of your child's life, or you can go on vacation together. But it will be necessary to put the baby's needs first and take those needs into account when making plans.
Do you know any more myths about pregnancy? Share with us in the comments!