Pregnancy is an exciting time for everyone, but you may find yourself getting bombarded with lots of well-meaning advice. How much of this advice should you be taking seriously? Below is a list of common pregnancy myths.
You can’t fly in your first or last trimester.False. You can fly. There are a few things that you should consider before booking your flights. Sitting in sedentary positions for long periods increases your risk of getting a DVT (Deep vein thrombosis), so don’t cross your legs & get up and walk the aisle a few times every hour (when awake). Cabin air is recycled and your immune system can run low in pregnancy so consider a probiotic and wash your hands before eating. A pressurised cabin dehydrates your body to increase your fluid intake and limit caffeinated drinks. Restrictions on when an airline will allow you to fly are specific to each airline & the health of your pregnancy. Consider the health care available at your destination so in the unlikely event you need emergency care or birth support you know your options.
You shouldn’t take hot baths while pregnant.Enjoy a relaxing warm bath! However, you should avoid saunas, spas (they are full of germs) or anything that raises your body temperature excessively. Your baby is in a heated pool already (so to speak) there for environments that leave you sweating, your skin changing colour (red) and you feeling dizzy are not a great idea.
Pregnant women should eat for twoAs fun and delicious as this may sound, carrying a baby only requires around 300-400 calories a day extra in your second & third trimester. In a pregnancy that looks something like a banana and a handful of nuts on top of your balanced non-pregnant diet. There is no doubt that how good you feel or rather how poorly, will affect the type of food you desire. The intention of discussions about food intake in pregnancy is not to increase the sense of guilt (about what you have already eaten) but rather to support you to make informed choices and be aware that significant weight gain may have implications for your birth, postnatal recovery and your mental health.
You can’t pat your cat during pregnancyOf course, you can pat your cat. However, if your cat uses a litter tray you should delegate someone else to do that job during pregnancy because of the risk of toxoplasmosis from their faeces. And like with any other pet make sure you wash your hands well after patting them.
Heartburn means my baby will have lots of hair.There are many ‘Old wives tails about pregnancy that some would argue had a factual basis. However, there are also many hormonal and structural physiological changes that make heartburn/ reflux a common pregnancy experience. So until your little one arrives we can only speculate.
You shouldn’t drink coffee while pregnantThe good news is you can still enjoy your morning latte but consider limiting it to one café coffee a day (that’s about 200mg of caffeine, which is regarded as safe). Limit any potential harm that excessive caffeine intake (coffee, tea, coke) may have on your developing pregnancy buy finding alternatives if you need that afternoon pick me up (herbal teas, half strength, decaf varieties).
You need to prepare your nipples for breastfeedingThere is no evidence to support that preparation of your nipples before birth changes outcomes, your baby’s attachment to the breast remains the critical factor in nipple comfort. Begin your learning about breastfeeding early, ask questions, read (evidence-based information) & listen to women with healthy and positive news.