Common pregnancy myths that people actually believe
Article by Cherlynn Ng
People always say it’s better to be safe than sorry when having a baby, because of how precious and fragile everything is during this incredible stage of life. But that also leads to a lot of unsolicited advice, conflicting tips and misinformation regardless of how well-intentioned they might be. Here are some of the most common pregnancy myths that you should not fall for.
Myth 1: You can tell your baby’s gender by its position in the womb
The only reliable way of determining your child’s gender is through an ultrasound. Forget all the old wives’ tales about checking the position of the foetus in your belly or holding a wedding ring over your abdomen to see which direction it turns. There is simply no fail-safe method to tell from the outside.
Myth 2: Pregnant women should be ‘eating for two’
Not unless you want to become obese and prone to increased health risks. You probably don’t know this, but carrying a baby actually only requires 300 extra calories a day. Over-eating may also lead to a large newborn who is more likely to suffer from diabetes and obesity later in life. Rather than bingeing, have a nutritious and balanced diet.
Myth 3: You should refrain from sweet treats when pregnant
It’s good to cut down on sugar but there’s actually an exception to this rule: dark chocolate. New studies show that expecting mums who allow themselves to indulge in chocolate every day have babies that not only display less fear, but also smile and laugh more often at six months old. Meanwhile, women who eat five or more servings of chocolate each week during their third trimester have a 40 percent lower risk of developing preeclampsia, which is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure.
Myth 4: Seafood should be avoided by pregnant women
While it’s true that you should avoid raw seafood and fish with high mercury content (e.g. swordfish and mackerel), there’s no need to completely eliminate this food group from your diet. According to a study published in a leading journal, consuming lots of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury produces smarter kids. Children whose mums ate at least 340g of seafood a week during pregnancy were found to have higher verbal IQ, better social and communication skills, as well as superior motor skills.
Myth 5: Morning sickness only occurs in the morning
Contrary to its name, morning sickness can happen anytime throughout the day due to a change in your hormones. For most women, nausea and vomiting is indeed more common in the morning. Fortunately, symptoms usually alleviate after the first three months.
Myth 6: You can’t dye your hair during pregnancy
A common misconception is that mums-to-be aren’t allowed to dye their hair. However, the low level of chemicals found in hair dye is generally thought to be safe. Furthermore, the amount of hair dye that gets absorbed through the skin when applied is so insignificant that it will not impact your baby negatively. Neither does research show any evidence of birth defects related to using hair dye. Do note that mothers nevertheless prefer to avoid dyeing their hair during the first trimester, when a baby’s major organs begin to develop.
And finally, going outside when you’re pregnant during an eclipse will NOT give your baby a cleft palate. Who came up with that anyway?
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