Ask any mother and she’ll tell you how much unwanted advice she received from people while she was pregnant. While advice from healthcare professionals, especially your gynaecologist or obstetrician, is always welcome and accurate, it might not be the case with the advice given by others.
This is because myths and misconceptions about pregnancy not only circulate very easily but are also widely believed by many. These myths can often harm your physical as well as mental health. And since your health and wellbeing affect your baby as well, the harm can be quite extensive.
The following are some of the most common myths associated with pregnancy and ones you should stop believing in for your own and your baby’s benefit.
Myth 1: Pregnancy means you have to eat for two.
Fact: Yes, you need to increase your caloric as well as nutrient intake when you’re pregnant, but you are not required to eat for two people. Overeating, especially overeating the wrong kinds of foods, can not only lead to obesity but also make post-pregnancy weight loss difficult. Obesity during pregnancy can, in turn, lead to gestational hypertension and diabetes, both of which can affect the wellbeing of your unborn baby.
Myth 2: You can predict the sex of the baby (without an ultrasound).
Fact: Now this myth has many sub-parts. Many people claim to be able to predict what gender your baby in the womb is based on the shape of the pregnancy bump, whether you’re carrying the baby high or low, what you prefer to eat or have cravings for, etc. No matter what anyone tells you, these methods are not accurate. It’s also important to remember that sex determination of a foetus is illegal in India and a punishable offence.
Myth 3: Morning sickness only occurs in the morning.
Fact: The idea of morning sickness most people might have has to do with feeling nauseated during the morning. But morning sickness isn’t determined by daybreak or daylight. Experts estimate that only 2% of pregnant women experience morning sickness only in the morning. The symptoms of morning sickness can actually be felt throughout the day. If your symptoms are too severe, do consult a doctor about it because it could be a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Myth 4: You can’t have sex during pregnancy.
Fact: Sex during pregnancy is not only a possibility but also absolutely safe. Unless you have a placental issue, are carrying multiple foetuses (meaning, twins or triplets), or have any other pregnancy-related complication, having sex during pregnancy is not a problem. If you still have fears about this, consult your doctor and discuss your options with them.
Myth 5: You can’t have a vaginal delivery after having one cesarean delivery.
Fact: Many people believe that if you deliver a baby via caesarean section you won’t be able to even try vaginal delivery during your next pregnancy. This can deter people from going for a C-section during their first delivery even under the threat of complications like stillbirth. It’s also not true. Whether your next birthing experience can be done vaginally or not needs to be discussed with your doctor, and the ultimate decision should be based on how your pregnancy is progressing, your health and that of your baby’s.