Finding out that you’re pregnant can be a beautiful and scary thing all on its own. If you decide to share your pregnancy with friends and family, you’ll begin hearing a myriad of wives’ tales and pregnancy stories. Make sure to take in everything you hear with a grain of salt. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. What happened to someone else may not necessarily happen to you. Don’t scare yourself into thinking that everything you hear will be a stone-cold fact. Allow yourself to discover what pregnancy is like for you. It’s okay to take advice from people that care about you, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Down below you will find the top 5 pregnancy myths you are most likely to hear or have already heard.
1.) Don’t exercise while pregnant.
In most cases, exercise is safe during pregnancy. If you feel comfortable, don’t have any other health conditions, and your doctor says it’s okay, you’re good to go. Especially, if you were active before your pregnancy, you’ll most likely be okay to exercise during pregnancy. However, this does not mean you exercise to lose the 10 pounds you’ve been wanting to say goodbye to. You want to exercise to stay healthy, get your blood flowing, and to stay active. Exercising will not put you at risk for a miscarriage. In fact, working out 20 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week can help you lose your baby weight after pregnancy.
Working out during pregnancy has several benefits. It improves your mood, posture, and increases your energy. Exercising may help or prevent gestational diabetes. It helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling. Regular activity not only keeps you fit, but can help your body prepare for labor.
2.) I’m eating for two!
This is probably the most common misconception of pregnancy. You are not eating for two people. You can actually lose weight during the first trimester of pregnancy due to morning sickness alone. At this stage, no one is eating for two. Most women typically gain 25-35 pounds by the end of their pregnancy. Most of this weight comes from enlarged breasts/uterus, the placenta, and the growing baby. The extra pounds that hang around after birth usually come from the “eating for two” mentality. Nutritionally, you are eating for two. Your baby depends on you to provide the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs to grow. This puts quality over quantity when it comes to food. In other words, pick nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. It’s okay to have the junk food you’ve been craving, but indulge in moderation.
3.) You can’t get on an airplane while you’re pregnant.
This myth can be a big concern if you’re a traveling pregnant mom. Due to morning sickness and the risk of a miscarriage, it’s not ideal to fly before the 12th week of pregnancy. Consult your doctor and make sure it’s okay for you to fly. If you are cleared by your health care provider, don’t put too much stress on the issue. However, depending on the airline there may be stipulations. After 28 weeks of pregnancy, some airlines may require a letter from your doctor stating your due date, doctor’s contact information, and your blood type. If you are booking with an agent, make sure to notify them of your pregnancy. When booking your plane ticket online make sure to check the website for details. If you cannot find further information, call the airline ahead of time and confirm that you are able to fly. Depending on the airline, you may be offered a special service to help keep you comfortable during your travel.
During your travels make sure to stay hydrated. Travel with at least one companion in case you need any help along the way. It’s ideal to request an aisle seat. You won’t have to worry about squeezing past anyone when you get out of your seat. This makes frequent trips to the bathroom effortless. You’ll also want that aisle so you can stand and walk around every 2 hours or so. This helps with swelling and keeps your blood moving. Wear support hose and non-restrictive shoes in case of swelling.
4.) Strange Cravings
Contrary to popular belief, not every expectant mother craves pickles & ice cream. Now, this doesn’t mean your cravings will cease to exist. You will still have cravings, but you may not necessarily have strange or extreme cravings. Hormonal changes in the body can affect your taste and smell, but doesn’t directly cause cravings. No one really knows what causes these cravings. The dropping & spiking of your blood sugar levels may leave you wanting more sugary and comfort foods. But this still does not cause cravings. Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes cravings. Although, if you start craving things other than food, consult your doctor right away. If you are craving dirt, soap, clay, or any other non-food item you may be experiencing a condition called Pica. This could possibly mean that you have an iron deficiency.
5.) You can’t have sex during pregnancy.
If you have not had any complications throughout your pregnancy, sex is safe during pregnancy. If you do choose to have sex during pregnancy make sure to let your partner know if anything feels uncomfortable. Orgasm & sexual stimulation will not make you go into labor early or cause a miscarriage. The amniotic sac and strong muscles of the uterus protect the baby from any harm. The thick mucus plug seals off the cervix to block infections. In case you still have doubt in your mind, the penis physically cannot go beyond the vagina. This means the baby will not be impacted by sexual intercourse.
Hopefully, this article will give you some insight on a few of these pregnancy myths. You might have a few other things to worry about, but don’t let these myths slow you down.