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Pregnancy Myths Debunked: The Truth Behind Common Beliefs

The Fascinating World of Pregnancy Myths

Pregnancy is a time filled with excitement, anticipation and a fair amount of uncertainty. It also seems to be a time rife with myths. From old wives’ tales predicting the baby’s gender to societal beliefs on what a pregnant woman should and shouldn’t do, these myths can add an extra layer of confusion to an already complex journey. But fear not. Here at the Women’s Health Group, a highly recognized Obstetrician-gynecologist group in Chicago, Illinois, we’re taking on some of the most common pregnancy myths, debunking them with solid, evidence-based facts.

Myth 1: Carrying High Means It’s a Girl, Carrying Low Means It’s a Boy

One of the most prevalent pregnancy myths is that the way a woman carries her baby can determine the baby’s sex. The belief is that carrying high means it’s a girl, while carrying low indicates a boy. In reality, how a woman carries during pregnancy has more to do with her body shape, physical stature, fitness level, and how her muscles and ligaments accommodate the growing uterus. So while it’s fun to guess, remember, it’s just a myth and nothing more.

Myth 2: Morning Sickness Only Occurs in The Morning

Despite its name, morning sickness can strike at any time of the day or night. As Mayo Clinic points out, morning sickness includes nausea and vomiting that can manifest at any time. In fact, extreme morning sickness, known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, can last throughout the day and night affecting the quality of life. Always consult with healthcare professionals if nausea and vomiting become severe.

Myth 3: Cocoa Butter Prevents Stretch Marks

Lot of women religiously apply cocoa butter in the hopes of preventing stretch marks. Although cocoa butter is a great moisturizer, there’s no scientific evidence proving its effectiveness in preventing or reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Stretch marks generally depend on one’s genetics and the skin’s elasticity. A balanced diet and hydration can help support healthy skin, but using creams or lotions cannot guarantee the prevention of stretch marks.

Myth 4: Avoid Seafood Entirely

It’s true that pregnant women need to be cautious about consuming seafood due to potential high levels of mercury. However, this doesn’t mean complete avoidance. Certain kinds of seafood, such as salmon, catfish, shrimp and canned light tuna, are low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the baby’s brain development. The key is moderation – the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends pregnant women eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from choices lower in mercury.

Myth 5: You’re Eating For Two

While it’s essential to intake necessary nutrients for the baby’s growth, “eating for two” can lead to unnecessary weight gain. According to Women’s Health, women don’t require any extra calories in the first trimester and only need about 340 to 450 extra calories daily in the second and third trimesters, depending on their initial weight. Balancing quantity with quality is the key to maintaining a healthy pregnancy diet.

Myth 6: No Exercise During Pregnancy

Contrary to popular belief, exercise during pregnancy can be both safe and beneficial, unless directed otherwise by a healthcare provider due to medical reasons. Regular exercise can help manage weight gain, improve mood and posture, decrease discomfort, and enhance stamina for labor and delivery.

Truth Behind the Myths

Pregnancy can be an amazing, yet challenging journey. As a woman navigates through the different stages, it’s important she is equipped with accurate, reliable information, and not swayed easily by myths and misconceptions. The key is to always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and to disregard the myths that continue to circulate in society. The information provided here should reassure women that these common myths are just that – myths. Here’s to a healthier, informed pregnancy journey!

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Pregnancy Myths Debunked: The Truth Behind Common Beliefs

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