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 Pregnancy Myths and Realities

Pregnancy Myths and Realities

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One of the very pleasant things about pregnancy is the growing adulation and concern of your family and friends for you and your baby. Almost everyone you know would be ready with their versions of what to do and what not to do.

Monday, February 13th, 2017

However, though many of these might be true, many are just myths.

Morning sickness means my baby is probably not getting enough nutrition.

Truth is that morning sickness is just one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy which arises due to hormonal changes in your body. It's a condition where even the sight, smell, or thought of food might make you uneasy.

Weight gain in the first few months of pregnancy is minimal. In fact, some women even lose a little weight in the early stages of pregnancy. Unless you notice warning signs like dehydration, severe weight loss or severe morning sickness, there is no need to panic.

Your baby will derive all its nutritional needs from your body as long as possible and if you were in a good state of health prior to conceiving, you need not worry for the health of your baby until the end of the first trimester. Stick to the advice of your doctor and take supplements as advised.

Slightest of touch over the tummy can harm the baby.

Your baby is well protected in your uterus and is cushioned from minor bumps, stumbles, and falls by the amniotic fluid in which s/he floats. Moreover the abdominal layers protect the foetus from any minor accidents.

However, if you experience cramps or vaginal bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.

Carrying heavy things will induce labor.

This is partly true. Picking up heavy load can aggravate backache and can cause spinal injury. However, if it doesn’t strain you and if you do it in the right way, it is fine to lift some amount of weight. For instance, carrying grocery bags and young kids is perfectly fine if you do it in the right way.

Now what is the right technique? Bend your knees to lift anything and carry it close to your body. Do not bend on your back as this will prevent weight from affecting the back. Also, instead of straining just one side of your body always divide the weight equally between two arms.

Exercising will harm my baby.

Any exercise regimen should be started after consulting your doctor .Being fit increases your stamina and prepares you for the strenuous process of childbirth. You can exercise as long as it does not tire you out or make you overheated or unduly breathless. In fact women who were not used to doing any exercise are often advised to start doing some during their pregnancy. Brisk walk is the safest bet for those unaccustomed to heavy exercise. Pregnant women can easily continue swimming. Exercises should be done under trained professionals and in consultation with your doctor. Breathing exercises and meditation are again recommended as they are great relaxants. You can also practice yoga under certified trainers. Just keep in mind the fact that if you are exercising you should keep yourself well hydrated.

Flying is not really safe for pregnant women.

This is part true. It is perfectly safe to fly once in a while if your delivery date is more than

six weeks away. Passing through airport security will also not affect your baby. If your flight is a long one, just move around a bit and stretch your legs.

However, frequent fliers need to be a bit more cautious.

Cell phones, microwaves and even computers are harmful.

Computers have been scientifically proven to be totally safe. As for microwaves, you are at risk of getting radiated only if there is a leakage. To be on the safer side maintain a safe distance while they are on. Similarly cell phones do not harm your baby in any way either.

My baby doesnt seem to move much, is the development slow?

Not really. Your baby's movements start and continue at it’s own pace. If you are extremely worried about your baby's movements, try to keep a count once in a while. As long as you feel 10 movements over a  twelve -hour period, you have no cause for worry. This will be frequently required as your delivery date gets closer. Unless you are actually counting, you might miss a few movements leading to unwarranted fears.

I should not get my hair dyed when I am pregnant

True. It is best to avoid chemicals like hair color during the first three months as these get absorbed from the scalp and reach the blood stream.

During the latter half of pregnancy, however, it may not be that risky. Still, natural and herbal preparations should be preferred.

Pregnant women with low belly have a boy, and pregnancy acne means a girl.

False. How a woman carries her baby depends on her body type and whether she has been pregnant before. But in either case it does not reflect the gender at all. Generally taller, thinner women appear to carry higher while shorter and fuller women appear to carry lower. Neither has any correlation to gender. Also, in a second pregnancy, the pregnancy may appear to be lower since abdominal muscles may be looser.

Similarly pregnancy acne also has nothing to do with gender; it is just a result of natural hormonal changes.

Slow foetal heart rate means a boy child and a fast fetal heart rate means a girl child.

There have been no studies that have conclusively proved that heart rate is a predictor for a baby's gender. Your baby's heart rate will probably differ from one prenatal visit to another anyway depending upon the age of the fetus and the activity level at the time of the visit.

Pregnant women shouldn't change cat litter.

This is true. A virus called Toxoplasmosis infection carried in cat feces. This virus can be very harmful for pregnancy. In fact contact with kitty litter is not just limited to changing the cat litter box, the virus can be tracked anywhere a cat walks, including its paws. Due to this, all contact with the cat must be limited and the house must be kept extra clean.

When you know the real reasons and science behind these myths it can all be taken in good humor. Listen to what the elderly aunt next door has to say, but don't necessarily follow that!

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