Myths & Facts
Thanks to the Internet, information is speeding around
the world faster than ever. When the information contains facts you can
use, that's good; but when it's myths and urban legends, that is the last
thing you need. To help clear up the confusion, here are ten common
beliefs about pregnancy. Test yourself to see if you can tell fact from
1. You can hurt your baby by having sex while
Having sex does not harm your baby. There are seven
layers of skin from the abdominal wall to the amniotic sac, so your baby
is fully protected.
2. When you're pregnant, you're eating for two, so
it's fine to have double portions.
No, your baby doesn't need many calories to develop.
Just 300 extra calories a day meets your pregnancy needs. This is the
equivalent of a 6 oz. piece of skinless grilled chicken or 24 almonds.
3. You lose a tooth for every baby you have.
This old wives' tale started back in the days when women
didn't get enough calcium and iron during pregnancy. By taking prenatal
vitamins and eating healthy, there is no reason why a mom should lose any
teeth at all.
4. If you're used to drinking coffee, it's okay to
continue while you're pregnant.
The caffeine in a cup of coffee is a large dose for your
tiny baby. If you're used to drinking coffee, gradually cut down and
replace it with a caffeine-free beverage.
5. You can tell a baby's sex by how high or low
you're carrying the child.
False, how you carry your baby is determined by your
baby's size, your own torso shape and size, and how much body fat you
carry in your abdomen.
6. You can tell a baby's sex by how fast the
This is another legend. Everyone has a story about how
their friendís babyís heartbeat was fast, and sure enough, it was a
girl. But a fast heartbeat could just as easily be a boy. Since the odds
are 50/50 of having a girl or boy, some of those legends are going to seem
to come trueóbut they have no basis in scientific fact.
7. It's unsafe to take baths while pregnant.
Unless your amniotic sac has burst, there is no medical
reason why you cannot enjoy a bath while you're pregnant.
8. Itís safer to have an episiotomy than to tear.
Most tears are small and involve tissue only, not
muscle. Therefore, most natural tears heal up faster than episiotomies
that may be deeper and involve cutting of the muscle. Today doctors prefer
to avoid episiotomies as much as possible.
9. Pregnant women should not swim.
False. Swimming is a wonderful aerobic exercise. The
water helps your buoyancy and keeps strain off other parts of your body.
10. You should not wear nail polish while pregnant.
Nail polish does not penetrate the nail bed; therefore,
there's no medical reason not to wear nail polish during your pregnancy.
If it helps make you feel beautiful, then enjoy.
All ten of these are false. If you hear other
"tips" that sound suspicious, chances are they're myths. For
example, there's a silly old wives' tale that says eating spicy food
causes labor. If that were the case, the women in some cultures would be
in real trouble!
Pregnancy is a natural process and doing normal things
like making love does not cause harm. So, the next time you hear an urban
legend, set the record straight, and don't pass it on.