13 pregnancy myths busted

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1. I’m not allowed to eat sushi

True. It’s best to exclude all sushi that contains raw fish, due to the high mercury levels and the possibility of bacterial contamination. It’s even recommended that vegetarian sushi be treated with suspicion because the chef may have used the same knives that were used for the fish.

ALSO SEE: 5 do’s and don’ts of pregnancy nutrition

2. If I quit smoking when I fall pregnant, the shock to the baby will be worse than continuing to smoke

False. Nicotine binds to the red blood cells in place of oxygen. The mother should drastically cut down the number of cigarettes she smokes, and quitting smoking (even secondary inhalation) is highly recommended.

3. If I’m carrying high up, it indicates that I’m going to have a boy

False. The way the abdomen looks has nothing to do with the child’s sex and everything to do with the firmness and tone of the abdominal muscles.

4. I can carry on doing the same exercises I did pre-pregnancy throughout the three trimesters

False. Exercise will have to be toned down by the 29th week of pregnancy, and fewer aerobic and abdominal exercises will be possible in the second and third trimesters. Yoga and Pilates exercises are recommended. Moms should consult a medical practitioner, however, as every woman has an individual pregnancy history that determines the amount of exercise that’s recommended.

ALSO SEE: 9 pregnancy exercise myths busted

5. If I experience any bleeding, I must rush to the hospital immediately

True. All bleeding should be treated as suspicious and should be investigated by healthcare professionals.

READ MORE: Bleeding during pregnancy

6. Colouring my hair when I’m pregnant will harm the foetus

False. Colouring your hair won’t harm the foetus, but minimal research is available on the inhalation of the chemical gasses during the procedure and how it affects mom and baby.

7. If I get stressed when I’m pregnant, it’s more likely that my child will have colic

True and false. Although the stress that the mother experiences won’t harm the foetus directly, it is true that with high levels of anxiety, anger or stress, the blood vessels to the placenta constrict (become narrow), which will lead to an insufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen to the placenta. This relates to long-term anxiety and stress.

8. Sleeping flat on my back while pregnant is bad for the baby

True. If the mother sleeps on her back, she’ll experience a drop in her blood pressure (supine hypotensive syndrome). This may result in a lowering of the foetal heart rate.

ALSO SEE: Best sleeping positions for pregnancy

9. Listening to classical music while pregnant will raise my child’s IQ?

True and false. It’s true that the child may recall the music that he heard in the intrauterine period and that the same soothing music will calm him down, but minimal research exists that confirm a raised IQ. It’s true that some research findings indicate that the pathways between the brain cells may develop faster, but more reliable research results are needed. In any case, it can certainly do no harm to play regular classical music during your pregnancy.

10. I can have one glass of red wine per day

False. It’s unknown what quantity of alcohol may be deemed safe during pregnancy. Regular intake of alcohol leads to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

ALSO SEE: 8 reasons why you shouldn’t drink during pregnancy

11. Having sex throughout my pregnancy is perfectly healthy

True. Sex may continue during your pregnancy unless a medical condition develops – for example –bleeding – that would prohibit it. Couples sometimes find the pregnancy period more exciting and they feel more adventurous.

ALSO SEE: Best sex positions during pregnancy

False. The use of castor oil is not recommended as it may lead to the mom experiencing diarrhoea and dehydration.

12. Ginger helps for pregnancy nausea

True. Ginger has been used in various preparations and teas, and has helped to ease morning sickness.

ALSO SEE: Tips to help with morning sickness

13. Herbal teas are a no-no for pregnant women

False. There are various kinds of herbal teas on the market that are safe in pregnancy. Moms are advised to read the labels on the packet carefully before trying any of these teas.

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