Is it really time to say goodbye to your favourite sushi restaurant and get ready for some unprecedented cravings? Well, not exactly. We fill you in on which pregnancy myths are just that and nothing more.
You’ll get really weird cravings
Cravings vary from woman to woman and even from one pregnancy to another. Pickles and ice cream are not the standard cravings for everyone. Each woman is different, and you may also crave different things at different stages in your baby’s development.
Heart rate can predict gender
Though rather widespread, a myth is all this is. The old wives’ tale says a heart rate of 140 beats per minute or greater means the baby is a girl, and less means it’s a boy. This theory has been scientifically tested and refuted several times. Heart rate fluctuates throughout pregnancy, and it varies based on the baby’s position and whether he or she is active or napping.
You can’t wear makeup while pregnant
This is completely false. Makeup does not enter the bloodstream and will cause no threat to your baby’s health. However, any makeup containing toxic ingredients should never be used, whether you’re pregnant or not. But don’t be afraid; we haven’t seen many lipsticks and foundations like this on the market.
You should exercise as much as possible
While we agree that exercise is great during pregnancy, the “as much as possible” part is definitely false. You shouldn’t exercise harder than you did prior to getting pregnant, and your heart rate should not increase too much while working out. Contact sports are off limits, but training is always dependent on your fitness level prior to pregnancy and the type of pregnancy you’re having. In the cases of some high-risk pregnancies, your doctor may advise you to not work out much. Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.
You can eat whatever you want — you’re pregnant!
This couldn’t be any more false. What you eat is crucial to your baby’s development. Things like potato chips and chocolate bars are not foods you should consume regularly during pregnancy. They provide no nutritional benefits, and every time you stuff candy in your mouth, you’re keeping healthy food from your growing baby. Sugar can also lead to gestational diabetes, which isn’t good for either of you. Plus, unhealthy foods will cause you to gain more weight than necessary and will be much harder to lose post-delivery.
You’re eating for two
Yes, you are, but one of you is only a few inches long and weighs a mere few ounces. A growing baby does not require an adult meal to grow healthily. That little bun in your oven does need extra calories, but healthy ones — he or she doesn’t need you to eat two helpings of mashed potatoes.
Morning sickness means you’re having a girl
This theory has been debunked by scientific testing. The exact causes of morning sickness are still unknown, so it’s not possible to say with any certainty that it’s influenced by the baby’s gender. Many women tend to have more morning sickness when they’re carrying girls, but pregnancy varies from woman to woman, and a woman can have very different experiences with morning sickness from one pregnancy to the next despite the babies being the same sex.
You can’t dye your hair while pregnant
In the past, hair dye did contain harsher chemicals of which their side effects were not well known. Today, however, hair dyes are perfectly safe for pregnant women to use. If you want to be really sure, ask your colourist what the dye contains and what the possible side effects could be. They will assure you that the products have been thoroughly tested and do not pose a threat to you or your growing bundle of joy.
It’s all right to have an occasional drink during pregnancy
In some European countries, pregnant women are advised to limit their intake of alcohol to one or two glasses of wine per day. The truth is we don’t yet know everything about the effects of alcohol on a developing fetus. It’s unclear whether one drink is enough to cause birth defects, but the possibility hasn’t been ruled out. So to be safe, abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages during your entire pregnancy.
You can’t eat sushi
You actually can eat sushi while pregnant, as long as you avoid certain types of fish. Tuna, for example, is loaded with mercury, and it’s advised to not consume much of it during pregnancy. However, cooked pieces of sushi are completely fine and will not harm your baby. The only concern with raw fish is the chance of bacterial infection, which can be harmful to an unborn baby. To be safe, always order cooked pieces from a restaurant you know well, and find out whether the chef uses different knives for cooked and raw foods. If so, risk of contracting a bacterial infection will be minimal. Most restaurants with a good reputation can be trusted, but don’t be afraid to ask before you eat there.