Whether or not you’re planning to be a mum, you most probably have an idea of how the experience is like. However, not all of those may be correct.
There are a lot of misconceptions about pregnancy that are, unfortunately, still rampant today. Some may sound superstitious, but some myths can be potentially harmful to mums and their babies. That’s why we’ve researched for you! Read more below to find out the top five pregnancy myths you should know:
1. Pregnant Women Can’t Exercise
When someone is pregnant, you would think that it’s only reasonable that they shouldn’t exercise. After all, pregnant women are vulnerable and naturally clumsy and could injure themselves.
However, as practical as that sounds, science has shown that pregnant women can still definitely exercise. Regular exercise is encouraged even during pregnancy. As long as you are being active, then you can already consider that as exercise. Something as simple as brisk walking, going up and down the stairs, and the like can already be counted.
Whether or not you’ve already been exercising before getting pregnant, it will still prove to be highly beneficial not to just to you, but your baby as well. Regular exercise will lessen your chances of miscarriage and contracting pregnancy complications.
Note that this would apply mostly to normal pregnancies. Not all cases are the same because there are still some soon-to-be mothers that are prohibited from working out since it could be bad for them. Some of the reasons why a pregnant woman shouldn’t work out could be;
- Preterm labour signs such as contractions and heavy discharge
- Overweight baby
- Big baby
- Chest or abdominal pain
2. Pregnant Women Should Avoid Seafood
Seafood has some components that are potentially harmful to pregnant women. Large fish in particular, such as shark, king mackerel, and swordfish, contain high levels of mercury. Consuming too much mercury may not pose serious problems to others, but to pregnant women, it could lead to damaged brain development for their baby.
Aside from the types of fish mentioned above, it’s safe to say that seafood is not harmful to pregnant women. Seafood contains many components that could benefit a pregnant woman as well as the baby she carries. Shellfish and fish are great sources of protein, zinc, and iron, all of which are crucial for the development of a baby. Plus, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish also aids in their brain development.
If a soon-to-be mum us allergic to certain seafood, this is when caution should be practised when having seafood for dinner.
3. Pregnant Women Should Eat For Two
With another person growing inside a pregnant woman’s body, you would think that she would need to eat twice as much to get the right amount of nutrition. Although this misconception sounds reasonable, it’s still a myth.
During a pregnant woman’s first trimester, she wouldn’t need to increase her caloric intake. As long as she follows a well-balanced diet, and consistently hydrates, and takes in her prescribed prenatal vitamins, she’s good to go. By the time she reaches her second and third trimester, she can now increase her caloric intake by about 340 to 450 calories per day. We recommend that you keep track of your diet by using a food diary or a calorie-tracking app.
Cravings are psychological effects of being pregnant. Because pregnant women cannot be stressed out, they are given more food thinking it could also benefit the baby. In case you are pregnant and have the constant craving to eat, practice small frequent feedings to avoid overeating because that, too, can lead to certain complications during pregnancy.
4. Pregnant Women Can’t Have Sex
As we’ve mentioned earlier, pregnant women are seen as extremely vulnerable that many think they can’t do things like exercise and have sex. To the surprise of most people, it’s completely safe for pregnant women to engage in sexual intercourse. It will not hurt the baby inside of her as it will be impossible for her partner’s member to penetrate beyond the vagina.
Of course, this still all boils down to consent. The two partners should communicate about their wants and desires first before doing anything else. Healthy communication is key!
5. Pregnant Women Should Stay Away From Cats
Cats themselves aren’t harmful to pregnant women, but the cat litter is. Cat faeces have many adverse effects on a pregnant woman. Toxoplasmosis is one of the diseases that she can contract when coming into contact with cat poop. It’s so harmful that if she picks this up during early pregnancy, it can cause a miscarriage.
Given that, pregnant women can still hang around their feline friends whenever they want to, but it’s better if you stay away from changing the cat litter for now!
In A Nutshell…
We can’t deny that the majority of the things in this list does sound quite reasonable. But it’s important to remember that we still have to verify everything we hear or read about, especially when it comes to something as fragile as pregnancy. Because of that, we’ve broken down the top five misconceptions about pregnancy for you!
What other myths about pregnancy have you heard before? Let us know in the comments!