I just happened to ask my obstetrician friend about his worst experience as a doctor treating pregnant women and he told me an incidence that I found funny; but he was fuming at it.
He told that one night, he received a frantic call at 3 a.m. from a pregnant woman asking him what to do as she had woken up to find herself sleeping on her back!!!
It seems someone had told her never to sleep on the back during pregnancy because it can harm the baby. The doctor had a hard time pacifying the woman that nothing would happen to the baby if she slept on her back. If you’re having trouble with sleeping during this period, one of the easiest options is to get a body pillow or pregnancy pillow.
This is just one incidence. Obstetricians usually have a tough time clearing the myths and misconception women have about pregnancy.
Pregnancy is understandably a very special time in a woman’s life. She gets special attention from everyone. Sometimes, even strangers come up to her and enquire, “Which month?”
To add to that, most elderly women tend to have a special penchant for superstition and speculation. “Your face is glowing so much, you will definitely have a…”, …., “Your tummy has not gotten that large, so…”….the list of myths is endless.
With an overload of misinformation out there about pregnancy, it’s very important for the expecting women to be careful about which advice they should heed.
So, here we will deconstruct the 10 most common myths about pregnancy.
Myth no 1: Baby’s gender: the guessing game.
Most people actually believe that if a pregnant woman has a low belly; she is carrying a baby boy and if she has a high belly, she is carrying a baby girl!!!
You will also have people telling you that if you have a small, round belly; you are carrying a boy and if your belly is large, then you are carrying a girl.
Do you think there is any truth in this? Gynecologists say that the shape of your belly is determined by the strength of the abdominal muscles, the original shape of your tummy, the distribution of fats, the number of babies you have conceived and the position of the baby.
So, here’s the first most common myth busted!
Myth no 2: You have to double your food intake when you're pregnant, because you're eating for two.
The “eating for two” myth has been stuck around for so long that people have started believing it. During pregnancy, the nutritional demands of the body definitely increase.
Hence, a pregnant woman should maintain a nutritious, well-balanced diet throughout her pregnancy. She should eat smaller meals at frequent intervals.
But, just because the baby is dependent on the mother for its supply of vitamins, minerals and proteins; it does not mean she has to eat for two. Eating in excess can only lead to unnecessary fat deposits.
Myth no 3: Pregnant women should sleep on her left.
I really don’t know from where and how this myth originated. It has no base, no logic, no nothing.
You should sleep in whatever position you feel comfortable in; just keep the weight off from your tummy.
Myth no 4: Having sex during pregnancy induces miscarriage.
You will find many women who will swear by this theory. However, this myth is nothing but a “myth”.
As long as you are physically fit and your pregnancy is running smoothly, there is no reason why you should not have sex. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy an active love life right until your baby arrives.
Doctors merely ask couples to adopt the position that doesn’t cause any discomfort to the mother.
Myth no 5: Using a computer during pregnancy can affect your baby's development.
There is no evidence to prove that working on a computer can harm the growth and development of a baby. It may cause backache if you are working on a computer for 8 to 10 hours a day.
Experts advise women to avoid keeping a laptop directly on the lap. Keep it on the desk or keep a pillow below it if you are keeping it on your lap.
Myth no 6: The method of delivery is hereditary.
There will be people who will tell you that if your mother had a C-section, then you are likely to deliver your baby the same way.
But, the fact is your mode of delivery has nothing to do with your genes. It depends on the number of babies you have delivered, the presentation of the baby and the structure of your pelvic bone.
Myth no 7: You can’t fly.
Many women think that it’s not safe to fly during pregnancy.
Well, there’s not much truth to this. It’s safe to fly during the first and second trimesters and even in your third, although your airline may request a doctor’s note.
And for practical reasons, you obviously would not want to stray too far away from your home close to your due date – so it would anyways be the time to stop jet-setting by then!
Myth no 8: You can’t exercise!!!
Exercise is, in fact, one of the most beneficial things you can do for your and your baby’s health. Exercising and keeping fit will help you to cope with the pregnancy aches and pains and prepare your body for the stresses of labor.
Women, who keep active during pregnancy, also have their weight drop off quicker after they’ve given birth.
So, pregnancy is the time to get moving!
Myth no 9: You can’t dye your hair.
You can carry on looking and feeling gorgeous when you’re expecting. If you have been dying your hair with one particular brand of hair color, you can continue using the same even after you get pregnant.
You may feel safer using an ammonia-free dye; not because you are pregnant, but because they are generally safer than the dyes containing ammonia.
Myth no 10: If you don't satisfy an expectant mom's craving, you will get a dark mark on your
I am sure this one was spread by a mom-to-be who took to the opportunity to get her cravings satisfied. Although all the expecting mothers may wish they had this power, the fact is that there is no link between your cravings going unsatisfied and getting a blotch on the nose.
But of course; if you want, we will keep this a secret!
When you’re pregnant, everyone would be ready to give you loads of advice – some of which may be based on the facts; but most of them could be just myths.
Hopefully, by now, you have a clear idea about how much of that advice is worth listening to and how much of it is just made up of old wives’ tales passed down through the generations.