Pregnancy can be challenging enough without getting random tidbits of pregnancy related information from everyone you know. You probably get a lot of people you know giving you random information, like that the colour of your skin hints at the gender of your baby (a very common Indian pregnancy myth) and the like. Here are some of those myths decoded, which, you’ll be shocked to find, are actually not as crazy and illogical as you think.
Here are some pregnancy myths that are actually true.
1. Tastes and Preferences
For all you weirdos out there who like bottle gourd (lauki, yuck!) you might be pleased to hear this one. So, scientifically, it’s been found that your baby is more likely to develop a taste for the foods that you eat while pregnant. This is because this food goes into the amniotic fluid which your baby swallows. It also affects the breast milk produced which your baby will consume after birth. So make the right dietary choices for your child’s benefit!
2. Hair and heartburn
One popular myth is that women who face a lot of heartburn during pregnancy generally give birth to children with full (or almost full) heads of hair as opposed to women who don’t have it and give birth to bald babies. In a study conducted, they actually concluded that this did seem to be the case in reality because more that 85% of the women who face heartburn gave birth to babies with good hair growth.
3. Burnin’ Up
Another popular myth is that you shouldn’t have hot baths when pregnant. This is true. In fact, this extends to the use of saunas, jacuzzis, and other contraptions. The science behind this is that they increase your body temperature and any temperature above 102°F is harmful for the fetus.
4. See you stress
This myth says that women who are stressed cannot conceive. This is true to some extent in the sense that when you’re stressed, fertility is low because hormones are not being excreted in the right amounts The stress prevents this hormone production. Another myth related to stress is that stress is bad for the fetus. Again, not a myth. Your baby can sense the stress and it’s bad for his/her mental development.
5. Hello chocolate
Chocolate is said to be good for pregnancy. Many studies have found a direct relationship between the consumption of chocolate and elevated moods. I also been found that having about 5-6 servings of chocolate every week reduces the chances of facing preeclampsia.
6. Bye bye gym
Is something you cannot say. The notion that exercise is harmful for the baby is incorrect. Working out is beneficial for your baby as well as for you. If you are active and exercise regularly, there is a high chance that your baby will have a comparatively slower heart rate, which is a sign of good cardiovascular health. It could also help to prevent gestational diabetes as well as relieve you of back pain and fatigue.
7. Funerals and Sickness
It’s a common belief that pregnant women should stay away from funerals and homes of sick people. While the myth says it’s because “evil spirits” will latch onto you, the truth is that it is beneficial to stay away from those environments. The reason for this is because it could lead to feelings of depression and the spreading of germs and bacteria which could make you sick.
Pregnant women have in fact been found to be more forgetful, it isn’t just a myth. This is termed as “momnesia” or “pregnancy brain.” The is because the excess hormones secreted during pregnancy messes with the neurons and therefore the brain’s abilities are affected.
I know that the weather influencing labour sounds like some crazy folk lore. However, you may find it eerie to note that it isn’t as irrational as it sounds. The truth is that changes in the barometric pressure of the atmosphere can affect labour rates (it could induce labour).
10. Coffee Break
The myth that coffee is a no-no for your pregnant self, is quite true. The recommended amount of caffeine you can consume daily is about 200 mg (less than, to be on the safer side) which isn’t very much. This is because the caffeine can enter your baby’s bloodstream but your baby’s metabolism is not developed enough to process it as quickly as yours. This means you’ll have to limit yourself to just one small filter coffee maybe.
Keep these FACTS in mind when/if you find yourself pregnant. They’ll come in handy. But remember that not everything you hear is true. For example, the myth that you should avoid seafood is just that, a myth. In fact, the Omega 3 fatty acids present in some seafood and fish is very healthy for your child and has been found to lead to increased intelligence. Do a little research before taking any major action or making any drastic changes in your life.