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Myths about pregnancy, are they true?

You may have heard a few things on what pregnant women should do or should not do. Some of them are scientifically proven and tested to be true. However, some of them are just bogus and only serve to add stress to your pregnancy journey. Today, we will try to eliminate some of those myths, by telling you some of the thing you may have been told not to do, that you are able to do.

Eat for 2 People When Pregnant

FALSE

You will probably have heard or thought, since I am carrying another person around with me, I should feed my baby too right? I should definitely eat for two people! Well, that is actually incorrect.

In the pregnancy stages, your body begins to become more efficient, and it is able to absorb the nutrients you consumed more easily. The foetus will take nutrients from what mummy consumes, to grow healthily. Eating too much can cause immoderate weight gain during pregnancy, which should be avoided as it can lead to other complications.

You do need to take in some extra calories, but its only between an extra 100-300 calories, depending in which trimester of the pregnancy you are in.

What eating for two means then, is thinking about your baby and eating foods that are nutritious. Try to eat non-processed foods, such as brown rice, whole grain bread, as well as organic vegetables and fruits. You should also try to cut down on unhealthy foods high in sugar and oil, such as fast food and sweet drinks.

Here is a great list that can help you with what to eat during your pregnancy from Healthline, with scientific backing for your assurance!

No Exercising While Pregnant

FALSE

It is fine and beneficial for most pregnant women to exercise. Most exercises are very unlikely to cause miscarriages. Do check with your doctor to make sure you are fit to exercise while you are pregnant, and what are the appropriate exercises.

It is great to keep active during pregnancy. As expected with exercising, exercising while pregnant can help to keep your weight in check, and even help with your post pregnancy weight loss. Apart from that, staying active during pregnancy has multiple great benefits. It can serve to improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and can help to relieve back pain. These are just some of the benefits to mention!

Some great exercises that are not too vigorous include yoga, pilates, or even just walking!

Here is an article that can tell you more about the benefits of exercising while pregnant, it turns out it can even bring benefits to your baby! 

No Contact with Cats During Pregnancy

FALSE

There are many people who advice pregnant women not to come into contact with any of these furry felines. This is associated to the risk of developing toxoplasmosis infection, which is a parasite that can cause complications in the developing and growing foetus. If you have once been affected by toxoplasmosis before you were pregnant, it is highly likely that it will not affect your foetus.

Don’t let the poor kitty be neglected while pregnant. It is okay for pregnant women to be near cats, and allow them to sit on their laps, pet them, or feed them. The only hazard from cats is their faeces. Cat litter poses a high risk of infecting people with infections such as toxoplasmosis.

As always with touching pets, it is good practice to wash your hands thoroughly to get rid of unwanted bacteria. Avoid getting close to cat litter. If only absolutely necessary, use gloves and prevent contact with your skin, and give your hands a good wash after.

No Travelling Overseas While Pregnant

FALSE

It might be complicated for pregnant women to travel. However, it is fine for pregnant women to take a plane to a foreign country. Here are some things for you to note before you book your next flight with your foetus.

It is recommended for pregnant women to travel only in their second trimester, which is between their 13th and 27th week of their pregnancy. This would likely mean that you are through with the morning sickness usually experienced in the first trimester, and your pregnancy bump would be of a size that would not be too obstructive for moving around the plane or the airport.

As it should be with activities you are unsure of, pregnant women should always consult their doctors for help. Moms-to-be could inform their doctors about their travel details and allow the doctor to give approval for the trip. It is essential to have a peace of mind for the flight.

Also important is to check with the airline company you intend to fly with. Usually airlines may not allow pregnant women in their third trimester on-board their planes. Sometimes, they may need your doctor to fill up a form to certify that you recently had an examination and are fit to fly. This is because the airlines would like to steer clear of pregnant women going into labour whilst in the middle of a flight.

Here is a great list of what you can prepare for your babymoon flight as a pregnant mother. 

No Hot Showers when Pregnant

TRUE

It is no doubt that a hot steamy shower is one of the best ways to relax. However, when you are pregnant, there are some precautions that you should take before taking a steamy shower with your foetus.

Taking a hot bath has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage in several studies that have been conducted. With that being said, you don’t have to completely miss out on the relaxing sensation of hot showers. You just need to take note of several factors and as with many of the good things in life, practice moderation.

A hot bath may not be a good idea, so a warm one will be your best alternative. You should take note of your body temperature. A good guideline is that your water should be cool enough for you to submerge yourself into at once. It should not cause you to sweat or your skin to turn red. Just bear with this for the sake of your developing foetus. If your core body temperature rises too much due to a hot shower, there are risks of the foetus developing deficiencies, especially in the first trimester.

It is also good to avoid scented baths during pregnancy. The solutions added to the bath may cause acidic imbalance in the vagina, which could cause complications before and after birth. Try to replace the bath salts and oils with a lit scented candle instead.

No Baths or Washing Hair in Confinement

FALSE

According to an article by Eu Yan Sang, this belief may have originated from ancient China. Given the colder climates, taking a bath there may have led to colds, and the ‘wind’ entering the body was said to cause complications like headaches and rheumatism.

Many mothers commented that they showered as normal after giving birth. It is only normal to keep clean for hygiene purposes, especially if there is a need to breastfeed the child. It can also help to prevent skin and wound infections. Take warm showers and make sure to dry the body as soon as possible to prevent cold. Drying the hair can prevent headaches, and drying the vaginal area is a must.

No Alcohol Consumption when Pregnant

TRUE

Alcohol is known to cause complications when consumed during pregnancy. Alcohol can move from the placenta to the blood stream of the baby and it can cause birth defects in the foetus.

Although some may tell you that drinking some beer or wine is not harmful, and that this is likely true, the safest choice is to avoid alcohol for your own and your foetus’ sake. This can help you to eliminate the chance of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Babies with FAS face several complications such as being born early and not growing up well. They may learn slower than other children and may face problems like hyperactivity.

Try to halt the alcohol consumption when you are pregnant, and allow your foetus to grow healthily inside and outside of your abdomen.

Conclusion

We have tried to remove some of the restrictions of your pregnancy by debunking some myths that pregnant women may often hear. It is always best to get the help of your doctor when it comes to things you are unsure of, as they would be able to give you the best advice based on your health.

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