The moment someone announces a pregnancy, everyone suddenly becomes a doctor. The way a pregnant woman walks, grows and talks becomes evidence that she is bearing either a boy or a girl. The pace and movements of the growing fetus prove intelligence, athleticism and body shape. Cravings say less about the pregnant woman and more about the baby’s future tastes.
No detail is too minor or obscure. Everything that takes place in the approximate 9 months of pregnancy is important. Or at least that is what your all-knowing, temporary doctor friends and family will have you believe.
But do any of these rumors wield merit?
While we cannot claim to be experts, we’ve done our best to research which of these rumors are true and which ones need to be busted!
Pregnancy Myth #1: Don’t eat sweets.
Before you read on, we must warn you. The busting of this myth is very specific, so don’t sit down with your tub of ice cream just yet. Recent research suggests that chocolate is not only an approved aspect of a pregnancy diet. Those dark, rich morsels can actually produce positive effects in your baby! Babies with chocolate-loving mommas have been noted as less fearful and more happy. Our guess is that the pregnant mommas react similarly!
Pregnancy Myth #2: Obey your cravings.
Hey, sometimes satisfying your cravings is the key to life, love and happiness during pregnancy. Some cultures carry superstitions that ignoring cravings leads to a birthmark on the baby in the shape of the food items you are denying. But while the cause of pregnancy cravings continues to be unknown, no research proves any benefit to eating the items you are craving. So, treat yourself every now and again, but don’t let yourself go wild.
Pregnancy Myth #3: Avoid planes in your first and last trimester.
Flying should not have any negative reaction for pregnant women. Some airlines will be wary of allowing a woman in her third trimester on a plane out of fears that she will go into labor. But that fear stems more from selfishness — not wanting to have to land the plane prematurely and worrying about the seats getting soiled — than from justification.
Pregnancy Myth #4: Say no to seafood.
First of all, certain types of fish, particularly salmon, will provide you with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Second of all, why rob yourself the pleasure of enjoying these delicious creatures from the sea?! To stay on the cautious side, avoid mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish. And don’t eat too much tuna. But otherwise, grab your sushi, your crab legs and your smoked salmon (when your budget allows)!
Pregnancy Myth #5: The position of the baby reveals its sex.
There’s just no way for you to tell the sex of the baby by looking at the womb. Sorry to break it to you, grandma. You know that line that stretches below the navel? That says nothing about the sex. Where you are carrying the baby? Yeah, that carries no importance. The shape, size and location of your stretch marks? Good try. The good news is that any guess has a 50/50 shot of accuracy!
Pregnancy Myth #6: You need to eat for two.
Yes, you should consider your baby while shaping your diet. But you have no excuse to eat the amount of food required for two full-sized humans. Add about 300 more calories to your daily intake (which is eating for about one and a fifth.)
Pregnancy Myth #7: Your skin will glow.
Every maternity experience is unique. Skin is no exception. While some pregnant women may experience that glow, others will gain broken blood vessels, spider veins, acne and more. May the odds ever be in your favor when it comes to your body’s reaction!
Pregnancy Myth #8: Take a break from the gym.
Your baby can handle a little exercise! You will want to avoid rough contact sports or activities that require you to lie on your back. But otherwise, physical activity is believed to make your labor and recovery easier.
Pregnancy Myth #9: Cocoa butter combats stretch marks.
Cocoa butter is a known moisturizer, but it cannot take on stretch marks. Stretch marks form too deeply, and too much cocoa butter can lead to an itchy red rash. So proceed with caution, pregnant friends.
Pregnancy Myth #10: Cats are dangerous.
Cats in and of themselves will not harm you and your baby. But cat feces can carry a disease that causes birth defects. So avoid the litter box, but enjoy your cat! That’s the best of both worlds anyway, right?!
Enjoy the old pregnancy wives tales if you so desire! Some fetal research actually suggests that certain factors such as morning sickness and appetite can hint toward the sex of the baby. But remember that the above rumors really are just pregnancy myths. As mentioned before, we are not experts, so check with your obstetrician (OB) about your personal pregnancy journey. Now go get yourself some chocolate!