With pregnancy advice abounding everywhere, it can be difficult to know what to believe and what to ignore. Between information shared by well-meaning friends and family, and internet searches looking for answers to your middle of the night pregnancy related questions, the likelihood of getting contradictory information runs high.
While it’s always important to remember that your doctor or midwife should be your go-to person for pregnancy-related questions and concerns, here are a few common pregnancy myths many mums-to-be believe, but aren’t true.
1. Taking a bath during pregnancy is dangerous. False. Taking a bath during pregnancy is fine. Taking a HOT bath during pregnancy is not. When the water is too hot (over 37°C), it can raise your body temperature which may be harmful to your baby. If you opt for a bath, be sure it’s a warm one, rather than hot one, and have someone there to help you get out of the tub should you need assistance.
2. Sex can harm your baby. False. While there are certain medical conditions that deem pelvic rest necessary during pregnancy, in normal risk pregnancies, it’s perfectly fine to have sex. While the wild, rough, and crazy stuff may be better left until after the baby comes, low-key intercourse is fine. If your pregnancy is an exception to the rule, your healthcare provider should alert you.
3. Carrying low means you’re having a boy. False. How you carry your baby is unrelated to if you’re having a boy or a girl. How you carry your baby depends on your body type and if you’ve carried a baby before. With each pregnancy, the abdominal muscles may loosen and cause you to appear to be carrying lower.
4. Raising your arms above your head could cause Baby’s umbilical cord to become wrapped around his neck. False. Raising your arms above your head will not affect the position of your baby’s umbilical cord. In fact, many mums-to-be are unaware that about 1/3 of babies are born with their umbilical cord wrapped around their necks. This is a result of how your baby, not you, moves around.
5. When pregnant, you have to eat for two. Unfortunately, given the obesity epidemic in Australia, most of us already eat for two. Years ago, women were encouraged to eat for two because the average birth weight of babies was lower. Today they are higher, so weight gain guidelines are approached on a more individualised basis. While most woman will be encouraged to add about 300 calories a day to their diet, heavier woman may not be encouraged to add any.
While it may be tempting to believe everything anyone tells you, don’t. If you have questions related to your pregnancy, or are unsure if something that you’ve been told is true, consult your healthcare provider.
More on pregnancy health and wellbeing:
- Healthy Alternatives When Pregnancy Cravings Strike
- What Is the Cravings Gender Theory and Is It Legit?
- 7 Pregnancy Old Wives Tales That Were True for Me