Pregnancy ushers a new phase in the life of a woman. This phase is full of transformations for the new mother both physically and physiologically. With pregnancy comes many new responsibilities as well as an overload of information. Everyone out there is waiting to advise you for free!
Overloading this information can often become overwhelming. Sometimes it even happens that you tend to follow certain practices only because it was told to you by your elders who you feel know the best, and even though it cannot be completely disregarded, the truth remains that certain aspects have to be thought out rationally, gained information on and understood whether or not they would be helpful for you and you baby in the future.
Many myths related to pregnancy do the round, let us look into them and uncover the facts!
Eating For Two!
This is the most common thing that we hear when a woman is pregnant. Now that you are nursing a baby you have to eat double the amount of food that you normally eat. – MYTH
Fact alert!- although it is technically true that you are nursing a life inside you but eating for two is not going to help, instead, you should be thinking for two. A healthy pregnancy depends on a healthy lifestyle. This includes a balanced diet, good rest, and daily exercise.
Typically, an additional 400 calories per day during the second trimester and an additional 400 calories per day during the third (last) trimester will be needed if you’re starting your pregnancy above your ideal weight. Chances are you may not need to add more calories too— your baby can borrow from your extra stores to meet his or her growth and development needs.
It Doesn’t Matter If I Gain Too Much Weight
Many expecting mothers are told that gaining weight during pregnancy is healthy for the mother and the child and that not gaining weight is a sign that something is wrong with the mother. – MYTH
Fact alert!- Gaining too much weight during pregnancy may in turn harm your health and the health of your baby too! Gaining too much weight increases the risks of a C-section, early delivery, or a bigger baby, which can make for a complicated birth.
It can also affect your children for generations by increasing their risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and overweight/obesity. If you were at a normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. Your gynaecologist will be the best person to advise you on this than anyone else.
Exercise During Pregnancy Can Be Harmful
The majority of expecting mothers are advised complete bed rest and especially if the baby is a first child then the mother is generally taken more care of. She’s not allowed to engage in any strenuous work, thinking it may harm her baby – MYTH
Fact alert!- Exercising is a good practice during pregnancy. It is recommended that you work up to or maintain at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) per week. 150 minutes may sound overwhelming, but you can achieve your goal by breaking up your physical activity into 10 minutes at a time. Physical activity is healthy and safe for most pregnant women. Talk to your gynecologist to determine if you have any physical activity restrictions.
Morning Sickness Only Happens In The Morning
You may have commonly heard this term when you get pregnant related to nausea and vomiting you may feel during pregnancy – MYTH
Fact alert!- Morning sickness is technically a misnomer because nausea and vomiting that characterize it can happen at any time during the day (although it does tend to be more severe in the morning for many women).
If you find yourself struggling to eat due to nausea, here are a few strategies you can try, eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day, instead of three larger ones, prioritize protein in your meals and snacks, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, get plenty of rest and take a walk in the fresh air.
Consumption Of Fish Is Not Good
There is a long list of food restrictions during pregnancy. One of the major items on this list is seafood. Many of us are told that fish may increase the heat in your body and hence you should avoid it when you are pregnant- MYTH
Fact alert!- Pregnant women should try to consume two to three servings per week of fish. Fish provides the body with the benefits of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid.
Observational studies suggest that fish consumption in pregnancy is associated with improved neurodevelopment in children. A randomized trial showed that a diet high in fish (and other healthy foods) lowered the risk of preterm birth. However, uncooked and raw fish indeed needs to be avoided to prevent the risk of infections and food poisoning.
Pregnant Women Crave Pickles And Ice cream
This has been made popular by our Bollywood movies that if a woman starts eating pickles then she may have conceived. Cravings are is considered to be a good sign in pregnancy – MYTH
Fact alert!- Women who crave pickles are craving salt and maybe mineral deficient, specifically sodium deficient. Additional minerals are particularly important in pregnancy when women’s bodies increase blood volume by up to 20 percent, so the existing minerals are diluted.
Many women also crave junk foods such as ice cream during pregnancy because junk food is associated with comfort. Sugars found in sweet foods, as well as in bread, pasta, and rice cause the body to produce serotonin, which makes women feel good but such artificial sugars should be consumed in a limited amount during pregnancy.
Although pregnancy can be a challenging phase in the life of a woman, nowadays there are authentic and reliable sources of information that you can access to make your pregnancy a healthy period for yourself and your baby. So it is always prudent that you question yourself and find scientific backing for pregnancy practices.
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Author: Dr Pooja Nilgar (Content writer and editor)
- Fox, N.S., 2018. Dos and Don’ts in pregnancy: truths and myths. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 131(4), pp.713-721.