Motherhood is blissful, and so is pregnancy – the feeling of growing a new life inside you. It is common to experience a wide range of emotions during pregnancy as it marks the beginning of a new phase of life and brings significant physical and emotional changes, for women. Hormonal types and levels vary resulting in unsettling thoughts for pregnant women, thus making them vulnerable to anxiety and overthinking. In this journey of nine long months of gestation, not only do certain changes happen inside the body and mind of a pregnant woman but she also tends to get misled by misconceptions or inapt myths about pregnancy that prompt unnecessary worry and discomfort. 

Here in this blog, our expert unravels the truth behind some common myths related to pregnancy. Read on...

6 Myths About Pregnancy Busted

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Let’s discuss some common myths about pregnancy and try to find out how far or near these myths are from scientific facts.

Myth 1: Eat for two to get extra calories to sustain a growing fetus.


Truth: Although a mother-to-be- should take a healthier diet with lots of nutrients to fulfill the needs of a growing baby inside as well as for her health, it is not recommended to eat in excess as this will not always benefit your baby but may add to your additional body weight and lead to pregnancy complications later. Research suggests that during pregnancy there should be an increase of approximately 300 kcal/day, however, it is advisable to consult a dietician to suggest a personalized diet as per your pre-pregnancy weight, health conditions, lifestyle, and pregnancy-related concerns, if any.


Myth 2: Do not exercise or get involved in any physical activity as it may harm the developing fetus.


Truth: If a woman is healthy and has been diagnosed to have a normal pregnancy by her gynecologist, she can continue with her daily exercise schedule. Research studies suggest that a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy may lead to health complications for both the mother and unborn child and also to C-section birth. Doctors often encourage pregnant women to exercise moderately.

Note: Always ask your gynecologist/ obstetrician before following or continuing an exercise regimen while you are pregnant or trying to conceive.


Myth 3: Raising arms above the head during pregnancy may cause the umbilical cord to tangle around the baby’s neck.


Truth: Cord entanglements are common during pregnancy and their incidences have been reported to increase from 12% at 24 to 26 weeks to 37% at full term. Excessive fetal movement is considered to be the main cause of the nuchal cord but other causes may also exist, however, a mother’s lifted arms are unlikely to cause it.

Myth 4: Getting your hair cut during pregnancy may lead to delivering a bald baby or a baby with poor vision.


Truth: There is no scientific truth in this statement, as hair type, color, growth, and pattern depend on the genetic makeup of parents. Also, there is no correlation between the mother’s haircut and eye development in the unborn fetus. All newborns have poor vision just after their birth, and it takes some weeks for their visual ability to develop completely.

Myth 5: Mothers of newborns cannot conceive as long as they are breastfeeding their babies.


Truth: Not completely untrue, this myth is half-correct. Exclusive breastfeeding delays ovulation and periods for nursing mothers keeping them less fertile, for almost 6 months or more because the uterus remains in the recovery phase. Although chances to conceive remain low during the postpartum period, mothers should not rely on breastfeeding as a 100 % contraception formula.

Note: Always consult a healthcare provider to know about suitable birth control measures during the lactation period.

Myth 6: Avoid certain foods or drinks like fish, meat, cheese, coffee, etc., during pregnancy.


Truth: Seafood such as fish is rich in proteins and also a great source of micronutrients. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and choline contained in many fish types help in the development of the fetal brain and spinal cord respectively. However, fish may contain high amounts of mercury, so it is advisable to choose those varieties that are lower in mercury and to consume them as per dietary guidelines or as directed by your doctor. Raw meat or cheese may contain parasites that may cause severe stomach infections or food poisoning. Avoid eating uncooked meat or unpasteurized dairy products to evade any risks of falling sick. 

Remember you are pregnant and not ill, so you may eat food of your choice but in moderation or as per your doctor’s suggestions in case of any serious health condition or abnormal pregnancy.

Conclusion

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Conception and pregnancy are milestones toward motherhood. Right from getting the good news of the pregnancy to hearing the heartbeat of your baby or feeling the baby’s movements to looking at the growing bump every month, every moment is immaculate and amiable. Enjoy every bit of these moments with all the good vibes in and around you, leaving the myths or superstitions aside.

Ensure to seek the right information from the health experts to have a safe pregnancy. Eat healthy, to stay fit and to deliver a healthy baby. Ask your food-related queries to our Dieticians while other pregnancy-related concerns to our Gynecologists online.


Recently Answered Questions Related to Pregnancy 




Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes. 

About the Author

Dr. Nidhi Hukku

Dr. Nidhi is a doctorate in Biotechnology with more than 7 years of experience in academic, scientific, and healthcare writing. She has been the recipient of CSIR/UGC JRF and has worked in both the academic and health sector to create content for various online platforms. She is an eminent writer with the potential to leave a dynamic impact on readers with her write-ups. Presently, she is working on the post of senior medical editor.


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