Pregnancy is always a period of waiting and excitement. Many pregnancy myths and superstitions have always been associated with this period. And our time is not an exception. Everyone knows that there are a lot of myths about pregnancy, childbirth and the first months of a baby’s life. Which of them are true, and what is a lie? Let’s figure it out.
Myth 1. Pregnancy lasts 9 months
In fact, in real life, the duration of pregnancy can deviate from this number by as much as 5 weeks. The time of childbirth depends on the age, weight, general health condition of a woman and many other issues.
Myth 2. Sex during pregnancy can harm a child
In fact, in most cases, sex does not affect the fetus. You need to be careful only if the placenta is located between the cervix and the vagina or if you have a risk of premature birth. This is an occasion to consult your doctor in advance.
Myth 3. It is impossible to give birth naturally after cesarean section
Although doctors say that natural births after cesarean section have a slightly increased risk than a second cesarean section, for many women natural birth can be quite acceptable. Just discuss your options with your doctor before you go to the maternity hospital.
Myth 4. The shape of the abdomen can help determining the child’s sex
In fact, the sex of the child in no way affects the way your tummy looks, and it is impossible to reliably determine if you have a boy or girl just by the shape of your belly.
Myth 5. If you have a venereal disease, it will be passed on to the child
Everything depends on the type of the disease. Some sexually transmitted diseases can infect blood and penetrate the placenta, while others are dangerous only through the direct contact. In the latter case, the doctor can recommend a cesarean section to eliminate the risks of infecting the baby during childbirth.
Myth 6. You should avoid running during pregnancy
During pregnancy a woman can do a lot of things she used to do before the conception. You can run as before, just consult your doctor in advance. Or you can follow fitness programs designed specifically for the first, second and third trimesters.
Myth 7. You shouldn’t move a lot during pregnancy
Sometimes doctors advise to give up sport during this time. But it happens only if there are possible complications. At the same time, movements decrease emotional tension and help the body to prepare for a great physical exertion – childbirth. When a woman, even with a threat of miscarriage, moves a lot, the uterus (like any muscle) trains. Often the threat of miscarriage arises because the woman is stressed out. Dance moves, swimming, and breathing exercises can help a future mother relax.
Myth 8. The weight gained during pregnancy will disappear after childbirth
This is one of the most popular pregnancy myths. In fact, during childbirth a woman loses only the weight of the baby and amniotic fluid – 5-7 kg, while during pregnancy she could gain up to 12-16 kg. You may need about a year to lose weight. By the way, breastfeeding speeds this process up.
Myth 9. During pregnancy you need to eat for two
This is also one of the most widespread pregnancy myths. But, in fact, the growing inside of you baby does not burn many calories, and to your healthy diet you need to add only a couple of additional snacks (around 300 calories) per day. You should follow a proper, healthy diet during pregnancy.
Myth 10. Every woman can breastfeed if she wants
In fact, some breast surgeries can significantly hamper the process of breastfeeding. Taking certain medications puts an end to breastfeeding in general.
Myth 11. Lack of Activity
If your state of health is good, doctors do not talk about the threat of miscarriage and do not recommend strict bed rest, you can keep on leading familiar to you lifestyle. You don’t have to give up swimming pool, the gym, or cycling. But it is worth discussing the intensity and pattern of training with the instructor and the doctor.
Myth 12. Pregnancy does not change anything
Unfortunately, not always. This is just another one of common pregnancy myths. Even with a successful pregnancy, you will have to change something. The office will suddenly turn out to be very stuffy, despite the presence of an air-conditioner and an open window, the car will suspiciously smell with gasoline, the flavors in your favorite coffee house will cause nausea and vomiting, and by the third trimester you will know all the locations of city toilets on your way to work.
Myth 13. The body will not change
This is really a myth. The body will definitely change. Someone will easily get into shape after delivery, someone will need efforts. Perhaps these changes will be visible only to you. But they will happen for sure.
Myth 14. Boys move more than girls
This folk way of determining the sex of the unborn child was based on the frequency of the baby’s movements during pregnancy. It is believed that if the baby is calm, it means that there will be a girl. If the baby moves a lot, it means that it is a boy. Clearly, this method is not objective. The frequency of fetal movements does not depend on the sex of the child, but on the timing and characteristics of the course of pregnancy. The longer the period of pregnancy, the bigger the baby and the better developed his/her muscles are, the more moves the baby makes.
Sometimes significant motor activity of the fetus may indicate a lack of placental blood flow. The nutrition and breathing of the baby depends on the speed of blood circulation in the vessels of the uterus, the placenta and the umbilical cord. When, due to various reasons, the blood flow slows down, the fetus starts moving actively. As a result, the heart rate increases. This, in turn, accelerates the blood flow.
Another reason for frequent movements of the fetus is the excess or lack of amniotic fluid.
Myth 15. The son “rejuvenate” a pregnant woman, and the daughter “steals mother’s beauty”
According to this pregnancy myth, a good complexion, luxurious hair and good skin of a pregnant woman indicate the male gender of the baby. Waiting for the girl, on the contrary, causes the woman to “go crazy”: ugly brown spots appear on the skin of the face and sometimes throughout the body; on the chest, abdomen, shoulders and hips, stretch marks are visible; dull, fall out and split hair; nails break, teeth worsen, etc.
In fact, the condition of hair, nails and skin of a future mother is determined not by the sex of the baby, but by the vitamins and minerals that enter her body. First of all, iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamins A and E, as well as many other useful microelements.
Myth 16. Stress is very harmful for a pregnant woman
One can hardly argue with this statement. Constant and severe stress is in general not useful for anyone. But, if you think about it, a person gets into a lot of small, insignificant and sometimes even invisible stressful situations. This is normal. The human body can and should periodically receive doses of adrenaline into the blood. When it comes to some severe stressful situations, they are less important than your attitude to them. Constant reflection on the topic “did this bring harm to my baby” is much worse than a brief emotional shake-up. Do you want positive emotions? Tell yourself that you will be all right in any case.
Myth 17. Pregnancy is not a disease
It’s true. However, pregnancy is quite a strong burden on the woman’s body, so during this period your chronic illnesses may worsen or new ones may appear. A mother’s illness can negatively affect the intrauterine development of the child. So watch your health and listen to the recommendations of the doctor watching your pregnancy.
Myth 18. You shouldn’t buy all the baby stuff in advance
You can and should. Of course, none of us is immune from tragic accidents. But the percentage of infant mortality does not correlate with the percentage of people buying baby things in advance. The reality is that after giving birth, you will have no time for dealing with the issues of the nursery, a stroller, clothes for the child, etc. If, nevertheless, for one reason or another, you absolutely do not want to buy children’s things before giving birth, just decide what you need and make a detailed list.
Myth 19. A pregnant woman should not travel
This is also one of the most common pregnancy myths. But keep in mind, that each pregnancy is individual. If a woman is healthy, then, she has no special restrictions on traveling by train, car or air travel. However, before a long trip she should still consult her doctor.
But after the seventh month of pregnancy, active trips should be stopped. For example, travelling by plane is no longer recommended. Many international airlines generally do not allow women in late pregnancy to board their planes.
In addition, if pregnant women have certain risk factors as bleeding, miscarriage, or there is swelling or increased pressure, it is worth approaching the trips very carefully. Perhaps it’s better to stay at home.
Myth 20. It is difficult to give birth after 25, especially if it is the first child
Of course, it is easier to give birth at the age of 20-25. The body is healthier, and it’s easier to grow the child up. In addition, after 33 years of age, women undergo hormonal restructuring. Conception becomes more difficult.
And yet, much depends on the future mother herself, on her way of life, attitude, and family relations.
Myth 21. Ultrasound is harmful – it negatively affects the child
This is one of pregnancy myths that is heard rather often. However, until now, the harm from ultrasound has not been proven by anyone. At the same time, its diagnostic use is obvious.
According to modern standards, during pregnancy three ultrasound studies of the fetus should be performed. And if the health of a mom and her baby is in order, more studies are not needed.
But if there are serious indications for more frequent use of ultrasound, it is better not to refuse it. It will help to find out about possible problems.
A specialist usually prescribes additional ultrasound to monitor the placenta and the development of the fetus only when there is a real need for it.
Myth 22. There is always postpartum depression after the birth
The restructuring of the woman’s mental and physiological apparatus, the change in the rhythm of life and the change in the family way of life are inevitable. And this is stress. Therefore, in the first months after childbirth, family members need to support the mother more. The real postpartum depression occurs, but, fortunately, not often. It arises when a woman has additional reasons for worries. For example, she does not want to drop out of social life, is afraid of dependence on her husband or other family members when she is not ready for motherhood. If the mother enjoys her new status, enjoys feeding and watching the baby, the depression will not occur.
Myth 23. After the birth I will lead my usual way of life
No, this is just another one of pregnancy myths. There are many ways to ease the first years of your life in a new status, to make yourself more mobile, etc. But forget about the way of life you used to have. Accept this as a reality. Life after birth is completely different. Not necessarily worse. It is just different. Yes, you can start working in the first month of your child’s life, you can go for a holiday with the baby. But the organization of these processes will be completely different.