When you’re expecting, everyone around you seems to be an expert on health. But it turns out, many of their “advises” are just old wives’ tales. From staying away from fish and coffee to saying no to sex, here are 8 common pregnancy myths and facts:
1. You shouldn’t exercise while pregnant
Fact: This is one of the most common pregnancy myths of all time. While many people believe that expecting mothers should rest and do nothing, it is actually a good idea to stay active during pregnancy. It’s safe and healthy and so long as your pregnancy is normal you can do what you did before you were pregnant, according to Tommy’. Also, let us remind you that Serena Williams was 2 months pregnant when she won the woman’s title at the Australian Open.
2. Sex is a big no-no!
Fact: Not to worry, folks. According to experts, sex doesn’t physically hurt your little one. Besides that, WebMD noted that babies are fully protected by the amniotic sac and strong uterine muscles, with a thick mucus plug sealing the cervix. It’s also advisable to check with your doctor to make sure your pregnancy is indeed low-risk before intercourse.
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3. You can’t drink coffee at all
Fact: Many expecting mothers are warned to stay away from coffee completely because it might cause miscarriage, preterm birth, or low birth weight. But there’s actually no clear evidence that expecting mothers will face any increased risk as long as they stay within the recommended limit of less than 200 milligrams of caffeine (that’s about one 12-ounce cup of coffee) per day.
4. You have to say no to fish, too
Fact: Contrary to popular opinion, eating two servings of fish per day is actually healthy for both mother and child. Fish such as salmon contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that babies need for optimal brain and development. However, pregnant mommies should stay away from raw fish because it is more likely than cooked fish to contain parasites and bacteria.
5. All women feel happy during pregnancy
Fact: Studies suggest that as many as one in 10 expectant mothers feel stressed and depressed. If you are suffering from mood swings and anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek help from your doctor.
6. Expecting mommies shouldn’t travel by plane
Fact: The NHS stated that flying is not harmful to mother and baby. “Travel during pregnancy is a concern for many women, But if your pregnancy has no complications then there’s no reason why you can’t travel safely, as long as you take the right precautions,” says Sarah Reynolds, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Bedford Hospital NHS Trust.
While it is safe for expecting mothers to travel by plane, some airlines will not let you fly towards the end of your pregnancy. So be sure to check with the airline for their policy on this.
7. You’re eating for two
Fact: Having a baby inside you doesn’t mean you have to eat twice as much as you normally do. In fact, the average woman with a normal weight pre-pregnancy needs only about 300 extra calories per day to promote her baby’s growth.
8. You’ll lose your baby weight during delivery
Fact: Sorry, mommies – but you’ll only lose between 10 to 15 lbs (including the baby and some water weight) when you give birth. But fret not, because breastfeeding can also help mothers return to their pre-baby weight.