Pregnancy is the most exciting period of a woman's life and has unique challenges. There are numerous well wishers - family members, friends, relatives- giving you free advice as what to do and what not to do for having a healthy baby. Many of these advices are just myths.
Following is a list of common myths and actual realities. It is best to follow your doctor's advice and not believe in myths:
- Your belly shape tells the gender of the baby: One of the most common myths during pregnancy is the shape of a woman's belly. If a woman is carrying high, it is a girl and if she is carrying low it is a boy. The fact behind this is the shape of a woman's belly during pregnancy depends upon her muscle size, tone, amount of fat deposited around her abdomen and also on the position of the baby.
- Your food cravings tell the gender of the baby: Craving for sweet food means it will be a girl and craving for salty food means you will be having a boy. According to literature food cravings have nothing to do with determining the sex of a baby.
- Eating more is needed for pregnancy: Another common myth is that pregnant mother must eat for two. Calorie requirements increase during pregnancy. Pregnant women require about 350kcals more to ensure that the baby is healthy. Eating a balanced diet during pregnancy rather than eating for two is required to fulfil the demands in pregnancy.
- Exercise will harm my baby : Exercises in pregnancy should be started after consulting your doctor and should be performed under a trained professional. Being fit improves your stamina and prepares you for the strenuous process of labour & delivery. Swimming, yoga, moderate amount of exercise, brisk walk are recommended during pregnancy, but should only be practiced after consulting with doctor.
- Sleeping on your back harms the baby: Sleeping on your back will not harm your baby, but you will feel better if you sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side actually increases blood flow to your body.
- Eating papaya increases chances of miscarriage: Raw papaya is suspected to be abortifacient. It contains chymopapain which is supposed to induce early labour. Ripe form of Papaya is a good source of vitamin A and is safe during pregnancy.
- Eating Saffron in milk affects the skin tone of the body: Remember skin colour depends upon the genes and food items have nothing to do with skin colour. Saffron has high nutritious content due to presence of Thiamine and Riboflavin. Because of its nutritional value it can be taken in pregnancy in very small doses.