First-time mothers who have just announced their pregnancy are likely to be bombarded with well-meaning advice on pregnancy do's and don'ts. And it's easy to become overwhelmed by the plethora of information. And, unfortunately, some mothers fall victim to pregnancy myths that are not even supported by science. We know you have pregnancy fears and concerns, but we'll get to the point and address any worries you may have.
Myth #1: Whichever Side You Sleep Indicates the Sex of Your Baby
This is one of the most ridiculous pregnancy myths out there. This is an urban legend, and no study has ever been conducted to show that your baby's sleep position is related to his or her gender.
Myth #2: You Should Totally Avoid Sleeping on the Right Side
The ideal sleeping position is on your left side, but should you avoid sleeping on your right side entirely? Certainly not! A 2019 study found that sleeping on both the left and right sides is equally safe. When sleeping on the right, there is a slight risk of IVC compression, but this is mostly a matter of personal preference. If you want to sleep on your right (or left side), and have trouble being comfortable in those positions, a maternity pillow can greatly help you!
Myth #3: Exercise Can Harm Your Baby
This is still false! Exercise is essential for pregnant women, and now is not the time to sit or lie down all day. Exercise, as recommended by your doctor, can help relieve a variety of pregnancy pains and aches. It can even help with sleep issues, especially if you get a lot of sun while exercising. The sun, or natural light, has a strong effect on our body clock and can tell us when it's time to sleep. If you've been having trouble sleeping since learning you're pregnant, try getting some sun.
Myth #4: You Just Need Regular Pillows to Sleep Soundly
Pregnancy or maternity pillows are not the same as the regular pillows you sleep on every night. Maternity pillows are designed to conform to the contours of your growing pregnant body. And regular pillows are incapable of doing so. Traditional pillows will not relieve back pain, leg cramps, or hip pain, resulting in a restless night. Pregnancy pillows, on the other hand, are specifically designed to provide critical support to women in their mid-to-late pregnancy.
Myth #5: You Can’t Eat Seafoods At All During Pregnancy
This is another myth that needs to be quashed as seafood contains important nutrients such as protein, iron, and zinc that’s important in pregnancy. Eat fatty fish such as salmon, tilapia, and seabass to get enough Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the brain and eye development of your little one. You will also stand to gain from the lower saturated fat and cholesterol content of seafood when compared to eating processed meat.
Myth #6: You Should Eat for Two
Of course, pregnant women require more nutrients and calories for their growing baby, but this does not suggest that you should eat for two, as in two adults. That's 4000 calories per day, which can lead to bigger problems like obesity and gestational diabetes. All you need when you're pregnant is an extra 300 calories per day. A dietitian or your doctor can assist you in meal planning so that you do not overeat.
Other pregnancy myths exist, but these are the six most common ones to avoid. What other myths did you believe in, and how did you discover they were completely untrue? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.