Do you trust the endless pregnancy myths and stress yourself unnecessarily? Don’t. That’s because very few of your pregnancy fears are scientifically backed. Check them out below and know the facts behind such myths.
Common Fears and Myths of Pregnancy
Fear of a Miscarriage
Pregnancies mostly give healthy babies. Below 20% of cases are of miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur within the initial few weeks of pregnancy when you may not realize you’re expecting or even getting a miscarriage. After the doctor can observe the heartbeat (generally by 6th or 8th week), the risk of miscarriage lowers to almost 5%. A second miscarriage has a 3% possibility only.
The miscarriage may happen due to chromosomal abnormality which prevents normal growth of the foetus. Hence miscarriage is unavoidable irrespective of what you do or don’t. Quitting alcohol and/or caffeine consumption and smoking can reduce your risk.
Your Stress Can Hurt the Baby
The hormonal fluctuations, extreme fatigue, and planning for your baby can cause much stress. However, most studies say that intermittent stress (which the body becomes used to gradually) has the least impact on your unborn baby. Although some research has found that extreme stress may raise the risk of premature birth, experts say that it’s all about handling your stress. Try to calm yourself if you get super-tense and don’t make it a pregnancy fear.
The Baby Might Get a Birth Defect
Only 4% risk is of your baby getting a birth defect. That may vary from insignificant to serious abnormalities. The smaller abnormalities like a toe defect usually get corrected naturally after birth without causing further health disorders. If a screening test (like quad screen or ultrasound) is abnormal, it doesn’t always indicate an issue. Often subsequent cases assure that all are fine.
The Baby Weight will Remain Forever
According to research, 14-20% of women retain some of their pregnancy weight. But you can certainly shed every additional pound in several ways.
First, try maintaining the weight guidelines (about 25-35 pounds for women with normal weight) while you’re pregnant. Research also says that if you gain more than the advisable weight, you’ll least likely lose it later. Secondly, breastfeeding is also known to boost your metabolism and help you in slimming down. If the doctor allows, do some exercise too. Brazilian researchers saw that dieting and working out after delivery helped women lose more pregnancy weight than those who only dieted.
Sex won’t be the Same
After childbirth, you have to allow your body some time to recover. In the first few months, you and your partner are more likely to sleep than crave for sex. Once the doctor allows you, take it slow. You might find sex uncomfortable or painful initially a few times. But your body can snap back and heal. Almost 70% of women resume work normally by six months post-delivery. Once the primary discomfort passes, many mothers experience improved sex lives after childbirth. They undergo more cravings and satisfactory intimacy than before.
Pregnancy Myths and Truths
The Myth about the Mother’s Beauty
A pregnancy myth says that a girl child reduces her mother’s beauty. By contrast, a boy child enhances the mother’s attractiveness. Altering hormone levels, morning sickness, and a growing baby bump result in acute exhaustion and acne in pregnant mothers, mainly in the first trimester. Hence, expecting women cannot be at the apex of beauty whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
If You’re Pregnant, You’re Eating for Two
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG), if you have a normal weight before pregnancy, you’ll only need a maximum of 300 extra calories per day although another human being is growing inside you. That is, you can be fine with just half a large sandwich and a glass of skim milk besides your normal diet to carry the day.
Avoid the Spices
Another pregnancy myth says that having spicy foods in pregnancy might burn your baby’s eyes causing loss of vision. Spices also hold blames for the induction of labor and miscarriage. These superstitions aren’t for real. However, spicy meals may raise the risk of heartburn in pregnant women. Another old wives’ tale follows that repeated heartburn in pregnancy might cause your baby’s birth with a head full of hair.
Pregnant Mothers Must not Fly
Only if you have coexisting cardiac or lung disorders during pregnancy, you may not be able to fly at 30,000 feet. Consult the doctor in such cases else being healthy, you’re pretty safe to fly. Most pregnant mothers are afraid to fly due to the radiation from the airport’s X-ray machines and body scanners. But the radiation is very minute, hence very unlikely to harm the foetus. The FDA’s research ascertains it.
Hair Dyes are a No-No
Hair dyes can hardly pose any risk to your foetus. Only a minimal quantity of the chemicals in your dye seeps into your skin but they aren’t harmful enough to harm the baby. However, the strong scent given off by certain dyes may cause nausea in pregnant mothers.
Pregnancy Myths about the Father
A pregnancy myth suggests that if on the night of conceiving the baby, your partner was more stressed than you, you would give birth to a girl. In the opposite case, it will be a boy child.
According to another myth, if the father gains weight during your pregnancy, it means that you’ll have a boy. On the contrary, the factual reason for this weight gain is known as Couvade syndrome which has nothing to do with determining the sex of the baby.
When it comes to pregnancy fears or pregnancy myths and facts, the list is endless. But worrying is no solution. Try to stay positive and keep good mental and physical health for yourself and your unborn child.