Pregnancy especially if it’s your first, can come with a lot of fears that cause stress and anxiety. The good news is that most of these tales are myths, and below is the truth behind five (5) of the most misunderstood pregnancy myths and facts you need to know today.
Myth # 1 – Eating for two
This is the commonest myth. Who says pregnant women must eat for two? The need for extra calories in pregnancy is true, but it is usually exaggerated. Most women will only need 200 to 300 extra calories starting from the second trimester going to the third. Note that eating too much and gaining too much weight while pregnant can have an inverse effect during delivery. You do not have to eat for two moms-to-be. All you need is a healthy balanced diet, and you are good to go. Most women are abusing this tale and have gone as far as burdening their caretakers or partners. If you have one at home, educate them.
Myth # 2 – Morning sickness happens in the morning
Well, it is logical to assume that by its name, morning sickness only happens in the mornings, but this is just another pregnancy myth. Nausea during pregnancy can occur at any time of the day due to changes in the hormones. It is only common for most women in the mornings but improves after the first trimester. It is also important to note that eating too much or drinking water right after eating can trigger nausea or vomiting.
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Try to eat small quantities of food 4 to 5 times daily rather than a full 3-course meal daily. Waiting 10 -30 minutes after a meal to drink water can be helpful as well. Note, however, that it is also OK not to experience morning sickness at all. Pregnancies are different for everybody. Make sure you listen to your body and do what makes you comfortable.
Myth # 3 – Creams can help avoid stretch marks
Whether or not you get stretch marks has a lot to do with genetics. If your mother or sister had stretch marks while pregnant, chances are, you will end up with them as well, and the vice versa is true. Also, depending on how rapid your weight gain is during pregnancy, it can make you more or less prone to stretch marks. The fact is that creams do not help avoid stretch marks, if it is in your genes, no amount of cream can prevent it.
However, they can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Moisturizing regularly will help with skin dryness and most likely reduce the itchy feeling that leads to more stretch marks. It is also healthy to watch your weight gain during this period as it not only helps with nausea but also helps with stretch mark appearance, among other things.
Myth # 4 – Pregnant women cannot exercise
Absolutely not! If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to exercise regularly as it benefits you and your foetus in many ways. Regular physical activity during pregnancy eases constipation which is one of the most uncomfortable symptoms from the second trimester. It reduces back pain and promotes a healthy weight gain.
Physicians actually recommend exercise because it reduces the risk of caesarean delivery or gestational diabetes. Make sure to consult your doctor and get clearance before engaging in any form of pregnancy exercise and note, that not all forms of exercises are safe during pregnancy. If you are not sure which ones to do, walking is the safest and easiest to do.
Myth #5 – Glowing and happy throughout the period
While this is true for some people, it does not happen for every pregnant woman. Due to changing hormones, increased blood flow and oil in the body, among others, most women get that pregnancy glow during pregnancy. The reality, however, is that we all have different bodies and our systems react differently to what’s going on in us.
So it is clear the opposite of this myth is also true. If you are a mom-to-be and instead of that glow, you feel worse or not your best self, know there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Again, while some women recount their pregnant days as their happiest moments in life, others feel miserable throughout this period until the baby finally arrives. Wherever you find yourself and your pregnancy, you are not alone.
Pregnancy myths and facts takeaway
There are so many myths about pregnancy and changes in women, but any tentative evidence does not back most of these. Research by health providers, however, has brought some clarity and scientific explanations on these myths as discussed above. Let go of all the fears and anxiety about being pregnant and listen to your body. Do what makes you comfortable but ensure it’s been given a thumbs up by your doctor. May we all have a smooth pregnancy and safe delivery. Cheers to all moms-to-be!