Pregnancy can be a stressful time. You may not have been sure what you wanted to do initially, but now that you have decided to carry your pregnancy to term, you want to be sure you and your baby are as healthy as possible. Many people will have opinions about your pregnancy and how you should take care of yourself. Some of these opinions may have good advice, and others may be old wives’ tales or other myths.
If you have any questions about how to care for yourself during pregnancy, you should talk with your doctor. Keeping your prenatal appointments is very important, and if you move, it is important to find a new doctor as soon as possible. If you lose your insurance, connect with your local pregnancy center or your OB/GYN to learn more about applying for state-covered health insurance.
Some pregnancy myths are rooted in fact, and others are just plain silly. Read on to learn about some common, and not so common, myths of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Myth #1: Eating for Two – I Can Eat Whatever I Want!
In a way, this pregnancy myth is true. You are eating for two – or more if you’re expecting multiples! However, many expectant mothers are told this is a license to eat whatever they want. It is important to remember that controlling your weight gain will make for a healthier pregnancy for you and your baby. Your doctor can tell you how much weight you should gain. Typically, a woman who is a normal weight will want to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. This amount will change depending on your weight prior to becoming pregnant. Throughout your pregnancy, your provider will monitor your weight gain and let you know if you are on track.
While pregnancy is not a time for binging on unhealthy foods in the name of “eating for two,” it is important to remember that you are nourishing yourself and your unborn baby. Choose healthy foods like whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy. Limit sugary snacks and drinks, as these empty calories won’t benefit you or your baby. If you’re struggling to purchase healthy foods, contact your local WIC office. They will provide you with healthy foods and some fantastic recipes.
Another thing to begin as soon as you find out you’re pregnant is prenatal vitamins. These vitamins will help you and your baby get all of the nutrients you need. If you can’t afford vitamins, talk to your local pregnancy center or your OB/GYN about the resources available to you.
Pregnancy Myth #2: Poor Early Choices Mean My Baby Will be Unhealthy
Some women are upset when they find out they’re pregnant and use alcohol or drugs to try to feel better. Others may not know that they’re pregnant and continue smoking, drinking alcohol, or using street drugs because they’re unaware that they’re expecting. While there is no safe amount of smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs during pregnancy, there is no guarantee that this will permanently harm your unborn child. People may tell you that your baby will be born sick or that you should have an abortion because of early choices, but this is a common pregnancy myth, and the best thing you can do is start making good choices as soon as possible. You can’t change the past, but you can work towards a healthier future.
If you have concerns about addiction to drugs, tobacco, or alcohol, talk to your doctor. Be honest about what you have used so far in pregnancy and commit to making better choices in the future. Look into rehab programs or group meetings to help you stay on track. There are many beneficial resources available today. You can do this! You, and your baby, are worth it.
Pregnancy Myth #3: I Can’t Go Swimming! I’ll Drown My Baby!
This is an old but common myth about pregnancy that is quite easy to debunk! First of all, your baby is sealed up nice and tight inside your womb. Second, your baby is already floating in their amniotic sac. Unless your doctor has advised otherwise, you are able to enjoy swimming and baths throughout your pregnancy. Swimming during pregnancy can even be a great way to exercise without putting stress on your joints
Pregnancy Myth #4: Sex During Pregnancy Will Hurt My Baby
Another common myth about pregnancy is that sex during pregnancy is harmful and you should abstain. This myth is rooted in some facts but is not strictly true. If you are with someone who is faithful and committed to you, sex is safe during a healthy pregnancy. There are some pregnancy conditions that may mean you need to take a break from sex, but unless your doctor has diagnosed you with a specific condition, you are able to continue a healthy sexual relationship. However, it is not recommended that you have multiple partners during pregnancy. Engaging in sex with multiple partners or with one partner who is unfaithful to you increases your risk of STDs which can undoubtedly put your baby at risk.
If you are having sex in order to stay safe, have a place to sleep, make money, or pay off a debt, please ask for help. Your local pregnancy center or your OB/GYN can connect you with resources. You can also contact the human trafficking hotline. Help is always available for you.
Another risk to your baby during pregnancy is domestic violence. If your partner hits, threatens, slaps, kicks, or verbally abuses you, please seek help. You deserve better than abuse, and pregnancy can be a great time to start fresh. Please contact your local pregnancy center, your OB/GYN, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help.
Pregnancy Myth #5: Nausea Is Nothing To Worry About
Nausea during pregnancy can be normal. Many women feel nauseous in the morning, especially in the first trimester. Often this nausea can be managed with household remedies like crackers, ginger ale, and lollipops. If you are experiencing some nausea and even mild vomiting, you typically don’t need to worry.
However, if you become dehydrated (have dark colored or no urine), vomit more than three times each day, and begin losing weight, you should contact your doctor. Some women experience a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum that can be potentially harmful to the mother and her unborn baby. If you have any concerns about your nausea, please contact your OB/GYN or your local pregnancy center for more information.
Always Check With Your Doctor
There are many myths about pregnancy, some will concern you, and others may make you laugh! If you ever have any questions or concerns about your pregnancy, talk to your doctor or your local pregnancy center. They’re here to help you and your baby stay healthy and happy. If you’re not sure how to find your local pregnancy center, reach out to us for help! We’re just a click away.