Pregnancy Facts vs. Fiction
Maternity Myth Busters
There are all sorts of “old wives tales” out there that people believe are pregnancy facts. But which are total myths and which hold a grain of truth? Welcome to our “Maternity Myth Busters” post. We’re taking a look at ten of the most commonly touted myths on maternity and letting you know what’s true, and what’s outdated wisdom.
There is a serious side to this post, too. Some of the myths we hear about pregnancy actually cause unnecessary anxiety and worry – something all pregnant women can do without. So, instead of letting you worry yourself into a frazzled heap because you’ve petted your cat or because you gave in and had a cup of coffee with a girlfriend, we thought we’d take a look at some of the more dubious “pregnancy facts”. Enjoy!
1. True or False? “If you have sex with the woman on top, you’re more likely to conceive a girl.”
False. There is no research to suggest that sex positions have any bearing on whether you have a girl or a boy.
2. True or False? “Carrying high means you’re having a boy.”
False. The fact is that anyone who tries to predict the sex of your baby has a 50/50 chance of getting it right. But there is no way to tell the sex of a baby from looking at a pregnant woman.
Read more on how to find out the sex of your baby
3. True or False? “You should get rid of your cat when you become pregnant.”
False. Kitty can stay but you should never change his litter tray or do any gardening. Toxoplasmosis can be contracted from contact with cat feces. If this infection is passed on to your unborn child, it can cause serious birth defects.
4. True or False? “Running and jogging while pregnant can cause miscarriage or preterm labor”
False. If you were a runner before becoming pregnant, you should definitely include running in your pregnancy fitness routine. However, if you weren’t already running, now’s not the time to start training for a marathon. Keeping active has all sorts of health benefits for you and your baby, whether it’s running or a brisk walk around the block.
5. True or False? “You need to kick Caffeine when you’re pregnant”
False. If you’re usually wired on six cups a day, you should definitely cut back. But a nice cup of coffee with breakfast will not harm you or your baby.
Read more on Caffeine and Pregnancy
6. True or False? “Hot baths are bad for you when you’re pregnant”
True. Finally! A soak in the bath is a wonderful way to relax, take the weight off, and grab some much-needed me-time. But your bath should be warm, not hot. You don’t want to let your body temp get up over 102 degrees. Thermal hot pools, saunas, and jacuzzis are out of the question, sorry.
7. True or False? “You’re eating for two”
True (but false in the way many people imagine!). You are growing a human being. But you don’t have an extra adult inside you! Around 300 extra calories a day will provide everything your baby needs. That’s only a bagel and cream cheese extra!
8. True or False? “Movement will speed your labor”
False. Moving around may help you feel more comfortable as you ride the contraction waves and many women prefer an active labor. But there is no evidence to suggest that movement will speed up the process. Your baby will come when he or she is good and ready!
9. True or False? “You should avoid sex while pregnant”
False. Keep that intimacy alive as long as it’s comfortable. Your baby is comfortably snuggled inside the amniotic sac ad will not be affected by sexual intercourse.
10. True or False? “You should avoid alcohol while pregnant”
True – but you knew that already! I just wanted to prove there are actually some pregnancy FACTS out there! You should abstain from drinking completely while pregnant – the jury is still out on how much alcohol is needed to cause defects such as fetal alcohol syndrome – and you just don’t want to take your child’s life in your hands. Don’t even have one.
Do You have a Pregnancy Myth You need Busted?
If you’ve got a question you feel too silly to ask your midwife, or someone’s told you a pregnancy story which seems too far-out to be true, we’d love to help! Either post your question in the comments section below or send a private message through our contact us page. We firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a stupid question!
More About Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Beyond:
It’s always nice to swap pregnancy stories with friends, family, and neighbors. In fact, sharing increasingly horrifying childbirth tales seems to be a favorite pastime among a number of women I know. But, as the post above demonstrates, not all pregnancy facts and advice you get is actually rooted in scientific fact. Here are a few books by the experts on everything pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.
Want to know what’s really going on in your body, what you can do to ease symptoms, and how you can have the healthiest pregnancy possible? Download or order one of these five books and then put your feet up and find out what the experts have to say.
Guys can sometimes feel a bit on the outer during their partner’s pregnancy. It’s his baby, but he’s not the one carrying it, what can he do to help? Luckily, there are a few good books written just for men in this situation.
In reality, you’re only pregnant for nine months. But you’re making a commitment to being a parent for the rest of your life. There are many different styles and theories around parenting and the decisions you make are your own. But there is an extensive body of knowledge around good parenting and having an understanding of this will help you make the best decisions for your child. Check out our recommendations here.