10 Myths & Facts About Pregnancy

Expecting parents often enter pregnancy with lots of misinformation. Learn the myths from the facts to arm yourself with correct information.

  1. Eating for two: While it’s true that pregnant mothers should increase their caloric intake, they shouldn’t double it. No extra calories are needed in the first trimester. Then, women should eat 340 more calories per day by the second trimester and 450 more calories by the third.
  2. Exercise: It’s best to avoid rigorous exercise while pregnant, but doing light to moderate aerobics is highly recommended. A bit of physical activity every day can help maintain a healthy weight and develop the muscles and stamina needed for the delivery process.
  3. Morning sickness: Less than 2 percent of pregnant women experience “morning” sickness in the morning. Nausea and vomiting are most common between weeks four and 16.
  4. Heartburn and hair: The myth that having heartburn means the baby will have lots of hair has limited evidence to back it up. Still, a small study in 2006 found that 23 out of 28 expecting mothers who experienced moderate to severe heartburn gave birth to babies with an average or above-average amount of hair.
  5. Emptying the litter box: Cat feces may contain the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause toxoplasmosis. As a precaution, pregnant women should wear gloves while cleaning the litter box or ask someone else to do it. However, there is no need to avoid contact with cats during pregnancy.
  6. Coffee: Drinking coffee excessively can increase the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester. To avoid this, pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg, or 12 ounces of coffee per day.
  7. Alcohol: There no safe amount or time during pregnancy to drink alcohol. Women should also avoid it while breastfeeding because alcohol can enter breastmilk.
  8. Predicting the gender: Despite what family members may say, the shape or placement of a pregnant belly has no bearing on the baby’s gender. A fast or slow heartbeat also doesn’t reveal whether it’s a boy or a girl.
  9. Flu shot: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends yearly flu shots for nearly everyone, including pregnant women. The vaccine helps protect both mother and baby from the flu and reduces the risk of flu-related respiratory infections in pregnant women by half.
  10. Vaginal delivery following a c-section: Many parents wonder if it’s possible to have a natural birth after a previous cesarean delivery. The answer may be yes, but it depends on how the pregnancy is going and whether any complications arise during labor.

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