Eat this, don’t eat that. Do this, don’t do that. Let me help you keep things straight by busting a few common pregnancy myths.
- Don’t dye your hair
Research indicates that chemicals found in hair dyes are not highly toxic. Which makes it safe to use during pregnancy. Very small amounts of the toxins are absorbed by the skin, leaving little to nothing that will reach your baby. Ask your hairdresser about the ingredients in the dyes she uses and if they are highly toxic.
- Eat for two
“Eating for two” doesn’t mean eating twice as much. Rather, it means that the foods you eat are the main source of nutrients for your baby. Sensible, balanced meals combined with regular physical fitness is still the best recipe for good health during your pregnancy. Your calorie needs will depend on your weight gain goals. Most women need 300 calories a day more during at least the last six months of pregnancy than they do pre-pregnancy. Keep in mind that not all calories are equal. Your baby needs healthy foods that are packed with nutrients — not “empty calories” such as those found in soft drinks, candies, and desserts. Although you want to be careful not to eat more than you need for a healthy pregnancy, make sure not to restrict your diet during pregnancy either. If you don’t get the calories you need, your baby might not get the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Low-calorie diets can break down a pregnant woman’s stored fat. This can cause your body to make substances called ketones. Ketones can be found in the mother’s blood and urine and are a sign of starvation. Constant production of ketones can result in a child with mental deficiencies.
- You can’t exercise
Fitness goes hand in hand with eating right to maintain your physical health and well-being during pregnancy. Pregnant or not, physical fitness helps keep the heart, bones, and mind healthy. Healthy pregnant women should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week.Ask your doctor if you have any concern.If you have one of these conditions, your doctor will advise you not to exercise:
- Risk factors for preterm labor
- Vaginal bleeding
- Premature rupture of membranes (when your water breaks early, before labor)
- Don’t take warm baths
Now it is true that a significant rise in your body core temperature, especially during the first 12 weeks, might interfere with your baby’s development. If your bath water is hotter than 102F (38C), don’t soak for longer than 10 minutes.
- Sex will hurt the baby
Sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe for your baby. Penetration is only in the vagina and not beyond, so you’re never harming the baby. Your doctor will probably have informed you if you are at risk of preterm labor. In this case, discuss the safety of sex with him first.
- Don’t drink coffee
This is one I’ve believed myself. With both my pregnancies I stopped drinking coffee or opt for a non-caffeine option (which normally isn’t as good). Although safe, it is only safe in moderation. Doctors recommend no more than 200mg of caffeine per day. That is about 2 cups of coffee. Or 2-4 cups of caffeinated tea.
- Don’t eat seafood
Fish and shellfish can be an important part of a healthy diet. They are a great source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, some researchers believe low fish intake may be linked to depression in women during and after pregnancy. Research also suggests that omega-3 fatty acids consumed by pregnant women may aid in babies’ brain and eye development. Women who are nursing, pregnant, or who may become pregnant can safely eat a variety of cooked seafood, but should steer clear of fish with high levels of mercury.
- Eating certain foods will make your baby allergic to them
Eating foods like peanuts or dairy is perfectly safe to eat unless you yourself are allergic to them.