Pregnancy can be a world full of unanswered questions and misconceptions. It is simultaneously the most exciting and anxious time in a woman’s life. In addition to traditional medical advice offered by doctors there are many other sources, both traditional and non-traditional, including television shows, books and Web sites that educate women about the realities of pregnancy.
However, many expecting moms still fall victim to Old Wives’ Tales.
While some myths are blatantly fictitious, others can be a little more convincing. Crossing your legs while pregnant won’t crush the baby, but is it true that it is bad to have sex during pregnancy? It is important to be able to differentiate between fact and fiction to reduce anxiety and in order to enjoy a happy, healthy pregnancy. Here are five common pregnancy myths debunked:
Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks.
Fiction- There is no scientific proof that products on the market can prevent stretch marks. However, cocoa butter might decrease the appearance of stretch marks later. It is important to keep your tummy well moisturized during pregnancy to maintain the elasticity in your skin, which prevents the skin from cracking.
Hair dye has harmful effects on fetal health.
Fiction- It is safe to color your hair during pregnancy. The dyes on the market today are considered safer compared to when this myth was probably created. If you are particularly worried, wait until after your first trimester.
Heartburn during pregnancy signifies a hairy baby.
Fiction- There is no scientific evidence that heartburn is a sign that your baby will be hairy, but many women swear it is true.
Women should consume the amount of calories intended for two people while pregnant.
Fiction- Most women should maintain their normal nutrition while pregnant. It is important that women consume an adequate amount of calories and not lose weight. Many women believe that they should increase their caloric intake significantly during pregnancy, but this will only make it more difficult to lose pregnancy weight after the baby’s birth, which can cause postpartum stress. It is a good idea to consume an additional small snack with 100-300 calories and up intake of iron and folic acid.
It is okay to have sex during pregnancy.
Fact- It is perfectly normal and safe to have intercourse during pregnancy. It won’t harm the baby, as long as there aren’t any special concerns with the baby’s health.
Once your nagging questions have been put to rest and you are ready to begin the maternity process, Centennial Medical Center can help you better understand the next steps. The hospital offers regularly scheduled tours of the Maternity Center to view the facilities and talk with health care professionals on staff.
Dr. Tracey Banks is an obstetrician/ gynecologist on the Centennial Medical Center medical staff. She was recently featured on an episode of “A Baby Story” on TLC.