Women, throughout their life, hear many things about pregnancy. What it’s like to be pregnant, what factors influence the child's health or appearance, and so on. While some of them may be true, some of them are just superstitions and myths.
These common misconceptions about pregnancy may seem unimportant but they can lead women to make wrong decisions and harm their infants. Although these beliefs are mere superstitions and have no scientific basis, knowing them can prevent the possible and dangerous consequences they bring. That’s why in this article, we have gathered 10 popular myths about pregnancy and what to do instead.
What are misconceptions about pregnancy?
There are many cultural superstitions about pregnancy that you may rarely hear but are worth knowing:
- Having severe morning sickness means the baby is a girl.
- If a woman becomes more beautiful during her pregnancy, the baby is a boy. Because baby girls steal their mother's beauty.
- Pregnant women should avoid spices. Because they either result in miscarriages or infant blindness.
- If a woman steps over a rope, it will wrap around her baby's neck.
- during a full moon, chances of going into labor will increase.
- Pregnant women should not look at ugly animals or their baby will become ugly as well.
- Women shouldn’t buy, receive, or open a baby’s presents; otherwise, it will bring misfortune or even miscarriages.
- Robbing or touching your tummy too much will spoil the baby.
All we mentioned above are wrong and not supported by any scientific fact. However, the misconceptions about pregnancy that we list below are common in most cultures and have, unfortunately, been misleading women for centuries.
1-You should eat for two
Although your body needs more nutrients than before, overeating or increasing your calorie intake is not a good idea. Your baby does not need more food. So, try to eat healthier foods instead of eating for two. This means having more fruit and vegetable.
2-You shouldn’t go to a spa or beauty salon
As long as you keep your body temperature in a normal range, it’s okay to go to a spa. However, try to avoid hot baths that raise your core body temperature.
Avoiding beauty salons is only one of the misconceptions about pregnancy and a myth that some people made up. It’s better to avoid chemicals, but dying your hair or other beauty treatments are not going to harm your child.
3-Morning sickness only occurs in the morning
Don’t let the title (morning) deceive you into believing that it only happens in the morning. Morning sickness can happen anytime during the day and usually begins after 4 weeks of pregnancy.
4-Rest! Exercising is not good for a pregnant woman
In fact, having physical activity is highly recommended during pregnancy. Unless you have any medical condition that requires you to rest, you are free to exercise. However, we recommend talking to your doctor before starting any activity, especially a heavy one.
5-You shouldn’t eat peanut, dairy, or seafood
One of the common food misconceptions during pregnancy is that eating allergic triggers like peanuts and dairy can make your infant develop an allergy in the future. It’s not true! Actually, dairy is rich in calcium and considered safe to eat.
You can also eat seafood as long as it is fully cooked. In fact, your body needs omega-3 which seafood can provide.
6-You can predict the sex of the baby
Some think that they can predict if a baby is a boy or girl by touching the expectant mother or looking at her. Even a few believe that by spinning a wedding ring baby’s gender will be revealed. None of these beliefs are true.
7-You shouldn’t have sexual intercourse during pregnancy
Many believe that having sex during pregnancy will harm the baby. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most misconceptions about pregnancy. Anyone with a little information about anatomy can tell it’s not possible. The baby is floating in a bag full of water, inside the uterus, so sexual intercourse cannot get near the baby.
As a result, it will not bring harm to the baby unless your doctor, according to your condition, advises otherwise.
8-Drinking coffee is prohibited
You don’t need to avoid coffee, but it is better to reduce your daily caffeine intake to 200 mg. this means you can only have one and a half cups of coffee each day.
9-Cats are harmful! You should avoid them
Cats do not bring any harm or infection during pregnancy. Only their feces may cause diseases. So, you don’t need to get away from your pet. Just ask someone to change its litter or if you do it yourself, make sure to wear gloves.
10-You should not sleep flat on your back
Expectant women can only sleep on their side! Obviously, it’s a myth, and women can sleep however their comfortable. Of course, after the baby grows and the mother gains weight, she may not be able to sleep flat and be more comfortable sleeping on her side. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter how a woman sleeps, on her left side, right side, or even flat, as long as she feels good doing so.
Other misconceptions about pregnancy and fertility
Many people believe that if a woman has regular periods, she is fertile and can get pregnant without any struggle. Although a normal period cycle can be a sign of fertility, it does not guarantee it. There are other factors that also play important role in women’s fertility.
So if despite regular menstruation, you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year without any results, it is better to see a doctor and start infertility treatments if necessary. Even after all the infertility treatments reached a dead-end, there’s still a way. For instance, hiring a surrogate in Iran is a common way to have a child. Contrary to popular belief, Islam does not prohibit surrogacy and many foreigners choose Iranian surrogates to give birth to their babies.