Debunking the Myths in Pregnancy

MYTH 1. You should be eating for two

Pregnant women were told to eat for two in the past. However, it is important in finding a balance between getting enough nutrients to fuel the baby’s growth and maintaining a healthy weight. A pregnant woman who has a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range before pregnancy needs, on average, only about 300 extra calories a day—the amount in a glass of skim milk and half a sandwich. If you are pregnant with twins, you’ll need 600 extra calories per day. Also, it’s important to taking a prenatal vitamin every day.

MYTH 2. Say good bye to eating fish

Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. There is strong scientific evidence to suggest that these fats are important in the development of the fetal nervous system.  To gain these benefits, women who are or who may become pregnant or who are breastfeeding should eat at least 8 ounces and up to 12 ounces (about two to three servings) of fish per week. Some types of fish have higher levels of metal called mercury than others. Mercury has been linked to birth defects. Choose fish that are lower in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, cat fish, canned light tuna and sardines. Do not eat shark, sword fish, king mackerel, or tile fish, which have the highest levels of mercury.

MYTH 3. Skip your coffee

If you have been told to skip your morning cup of coffee, as it increases risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage or low birth weight, we have good news for you. Most experts believe that consuming less than 200 mg of caffeine a day during pregnancy is safe-i.e. one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Although, caffeine is also found in tea, soda, and chocolate, makes sure you count these sources in your total caffeine for the day, when you enjoy your daily java.

MYTH 4.Say no to sex

Sex is safe when you are pregnant, unless you have certain conditions like placenta Previa, history of preterm delivery, etc. Sex doesn’t hurt the baby as it is protected by the amniotic sac.

MYTH 5.Forget your much awaited vacation

For most women, traveling during pregnancy is safe. As long as you and your fetus are healthy, you can travel safely until you are 36 weeks pregnant. Although the best time to travel is between 14- 28 weeks. Travel is not recommended if you have certain pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, multiple pregnancy, premature rupture of membranes, and preterm labor. Also avoid traveling to areas where Zika outbreaks are ongoing. Zika is an illness spread by mosquitoes that can cause serious birth defects. Also it’s pretty normal, if you worry about airport body scanners-ray machines, etc. It’s a very small amount of radiation and very unlikely to cause any fetal effects.

MYTH 6.Don’t exercise when you are pregnant

If your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to continue or start most types of exercise. Physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery. Exercise during pregnancy benefits you and your baby -reduces back pain, decrease your risk of diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery

Pregnant women can do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week or you can divide the 150 minutes into 30-minute workouts on 5 days of the week or into smaller 10-minute workouts throughout each day. Aim at targeting heart rate below 140 bpm

If you are new to exercise, start out slowly and gradually increase your activity. Begin with as little as 5 minutes a day. Add 5 minutes each week until you can stay active for 30 minutes a day.

If you were very active before pregnancy, you can keep doing the same workouts with your health care professional’s approval. However, if you start to lose weight, you may need to increase the number of calories that you eat.

MYTH 7 Don’t cross your legs or reach above your head-it will cause the umbilical cord to wrap around baby’s neck

The umbilical cord will not be affected by your body position or activity. The fetus moves in amniotic fluid and cord can be wrapped around any part of the baby. Most times, it will not cause a problem in labor and delivery unless the cord is unusually short or tight around the body or if there is a decreased amount of fluid. Most deliveries occur and the cord around a body part is an incidental finding as it causes no problems with delivery.