Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock during your pregnancy, you have probably already figured out that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has an opinion. Everyone else seems to think that they are the end-all-be-all when it comes to the correct information regarding your pregnancy. Well I am here to tell you that it is all a load of bull.
Just because that one thing happened to that woman, doesn’t mean that it will happen to you. If there is one thing that I learned about being pregnant, it’s that every woman, every baby, and every pregnancy is different.
So here are some of the fun things that I have heard about pregnancy.
Your Bump Can Predict the Gender
I’m sure we’ve all heard this one a time or two. The old-wives tale says that if you’re carrying a boy, he will sit higher and you’ll show less, and if you’re carrying a girl, she will sit much lower and the weight will be more in your hips. There is no scientific evidence to support this at all.
The truth is that the way a woman carries her baby has more to do with her body structure than the baby’s itself. If a woman is tall, then she has more room in her abdominal cavity for the uterus, and therefore, the fetus to expand. More petite builds tend to show more in the hip area because that is the only place for the baby to be.
A woman’s abdominal strength can also affect how she will show. A strong abdominal wall will help to support the growing uterus and will help to hold the baby in place. These women tend to show much later in their pregnancies because of this.
I’d also like to say that I had a boy and he sat SUPER low the entire pregnancy and all of my weight was in my hips because of it. I also happen to be taller (5′ 6″) so it would have been easier for him to sit higher, but he didn’t.
Dry Skin Means You’re Having a Girl
Dryness is an unfortunate side of pregnancy (there are a few) that leads people believe that they’re having a girl. Some say that your skin will be dry because your little girl is “stealing your beauty”. I’m happy to say that your little girl is not stealing your beauty. She’s stealing a lot of things from your body, but it isn’t your beauty.
Dry skin is caused by dehydration and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. There is a reason that your doctor tells you to drink an ocean of water every day. It’s because your baby needs a good chunk of that to survive. Where do you think the amniotic fluid comes from?
While you’re pregnant, your body’s one mission is to keep your baby alive. The body is smart. It knows that there are things that may happen that could cause harm to your baby. It also knows that should any of those things try to happen, it will do everything it can to protect your baby at all cost. Your body doesn’t care about you anymore. It only cares about your baby. So if you aren’t drinking enough water, then your body will start pulling that water from other sources, namely your muscles and organs.
The skin is the largest organ in (on) your body. It is going to be very noticeable if it is dehydrated. So if you are noticing dry skin, drink up. You’ll be surprised how much better you look and feel when you’ve had enough water.
Like I said, hormones can also cause dryness, but unfortunately there really isn’t anything we can do about that. Hormones suck!
Don’t Lift Your Hands or You’ll Tangle the Umbilical Cord
I am very happy to say that this is false. The umbilical cord is (thankfully) not connected to your arms in any way. There is no way that lifting your arms above your head would cause the umbilical cord to tangle.
I’m not sure where exactly this one came from, but I would love to know the story behind it. I bet it’s a doozy haha!
Drinking Coffee Will Cause a Miscarriage
This one is a bit tricky. Since it is obviously unethical to do most studies on women while they are pregnant, not a lot has done about this. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists though, there is no link between the amount of caffeine intake and a loss of pregnancy. (You can read the study HERE)
There is some thought that having increased nausea during pregnancy means that the baby is healthier. And since more morning sickness means that you’re less likely to have the stomach for coffee, that could be where the correlation came from. Women that were less sick were more likely to drink coffee, and then some of them lost their babies. Since the loss of a child is heartbreaking for anyone, a culprit had to be found. In this case, it was coffee.
Though it is unlikely that drinking coffee will cause a miscarriage, it is still suggested not to consume more than 200mg of caffeine a day. Caffeine is able to pass through the placenta to the baby and their little bodies just can’t handle that much. So keep it to a minimum, but go ahead and enjoy your latte.
If You Want to Go Into Labor, Do (Blank)
At 37 weeks, I tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING to try to go into labor. I ate spicy food, pineapples, walked around, bounced on my yoga ball, played with my nipples, had sex, all of it. Nothing worked. My kid was not coming out. I had to forcibly remove him from his little ball of goo by way of induction. And man was he pissed about that!
While there are some things that doctors will tell you not to do before 37 weeks because it CAN cause labor, that’s not to say that it actually will. You always want to get clearance from your doctor before trying any of these things just in case, but I’m pretty convinced at this point that the baby will come out when he wants to come out.
Your baby and your body know when the right time is. Though you can try to help it along, it’s best just to let your baby decide when he’s ready to make his appearance. Or you can be like me and give him an eviction notice 🙂
You’re Eating For 2
Okay yes, while there are two people in your body, your baby is a fraction of the size of you. That means that your baby needs a fraction of the calories. While you don’t actually need any extra calories during your first trimester, your second and third you will need 300 and 500 extra calories respectively. That isn’t much. That’s basically a small snack.
Where you get those extra calories is the most important thing. If you’re getting it from sweets or junk food, then you aren’t providing the correct nutrients for your baby. You want to look for foods high in healthy fats and dense in nutrients.
Be sure to discuss with your doctor your specific caloric needs because your body composition could change these numbers. Just don’t think that being pregnant means that you should go running for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Gaining too much extra weight can cause health problems for you and your baby. You will also be the one stuck with the extra weight after you give birth. It’s up to you if you want to buy all new pants.
Skip the Gym
Many women believe that once they become pregnant that they should stop working out. This just simply isn’t true. Exercise can help make your pregnancy easier and more comfortable in so many ways. It will also help your body stay strong in order to have an easier delivery.
Even the ACOG suggests that pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. It has also been suggested that if you are already very physically active, that you can and should remain so during your pregnancy because your body is already accustomed to it.
Now, you should always discuss with your doctor any exercises and physical activity that you are, or are planning to do, but don’t let your pregnancy make you feel like you can’t. You’re pregnant, not sick, don’t let anyone make you feel like you are.
Fish is OUT
This one made me so sad when I heard it. Many women are told that they can’t have any fish while they’re pregnant, and that just isn’t the case. Though fish can contain higher levels of mercury that you do not want to expose your baby to, fish also is a great source of Omega-3s.
Omega-3s, while not only good for your body, are also good for your brain. There are studies that suggest that Omega-3s can lead to higher intelligence in children when exposed in utero. So you need to be smart about your fish.
Some fish have higher levels of mercury than others. A good rule of thumb is to consider the fact that larger fish have lived longer lives, and therefore have been exposed to more mercury in the water. Also, fish that eat other fish will also have higher mercury levels.
That rule unfortunately rules out tuna (so sad), but it doesn’t rule out other great fish options such as salmon, tilapia, cod, and catfish. So go ahead, enjoy your seafood.
Many people believe that you aren’t allowed to travel while pregnant, especially by plane. This thankfully isn’t true. While excessive flying (think flight attendant kind of travel) isn’t suggested due to radiation exposure, traveling while pregnant is completely fine.
Some doctors and airlines will prevent you from traveling late in your third trimester, but that’s mostly because they’re worried that you’ll go into labor on the plane. It has nothing to do with the safety of your baby.
If you are planning on traveling, then you will need to take the necessary precautions of drinking enough water and not sitting for too long. Pregnant women are more prone to blood clots, and the higher altitude can already cause that on its own. So just bring a water bottle and walk the aisle every hour or so and you’ll be fine. Enjoy your vacation!
Morning Sickness only Happens in the Morning
Oh my god! This is so incredibly false it isn’t even funny.
Though for most women, they do feel the most sick in the mornings, that is not the only time that they can feel that way.
Though my “morning” sickness wasn’t extreme (only puked twice), I felt sick all day every day through my first trimester. I was so sick I lost a whole 10 pounds! It was no joke.
I was so happy when it went away around 12 weeks, though it did come back during my third trimester for a bit, though thankfully not as bad.
I found that I had to eat small amounts of food often to keep my rolling stomach at bay. This was unfortunate because the sight and smells of most foods were really disgusting to me. I couldn’t even read the word “chicken” on a menu without feeling sick.
These are just a few of my favorite pregnancy myths. What other myths have you heard? Leave me a comment below.
Until next time!