Something that inevitably happens when you’re pregnant is that you get offered advice from everyone! This includes those old wives’ tales – those widely held traditional beliefs that are now regarded as being unscientific or incorrect.
Whilst they may be incorrect, they can be fun… think “eating for two”. As many of them are related to the sex of your baby, you have to consider that they might be right half the time, which probably explains their enduring popularity.
Take a read of our rundown of old wives’ tales to learn the truth.
Gender Prediction via Strange Means
There are dozens of ways that you can supposedly predict your baby’s gender, including:
- Bad morning sickness – having a girl
- Bump – high for a boy, low for a girl
- Sleeping – on your right side, girl, left means boy
Now sometimes the tale and the truth do collide. Maybe your baby girl did cause you some extreme nausea or you slept on your left side the whole time, accommodating your baby boy. Yet, the only way to get a definitive answer on the gender is to wait until they are born (if you so choose) or find out at one of your ultrasound scans from around Week 20.
Can I Travel when Pregnant?
You cannot travel while pregnant. Not at all. You must stay put and be bored.
We are joking of course but there are some out there that will tell you that you shouldn’t travel, especially fly, during your pregnancy.
If in doubt, have a read of the NHS advice for travelling during pregnancy.
A few tips:
- You may feel more comfortable travelling during the middle part of your pregnancy. Once the morning sickness subsides and your bump isn’t too big
- Make sure you keep moving for your comfort – especially while flying – and have a good stretch
- Limit journeys to a few hours at a time and take breaks where needed
- Eat and drink – keep your energy up and stay hydrated. Tiredness and some dizziness are common during pregnancy so give yourself half a chance
There are some risks during your final weeks of pregnancy and some airlines will either ask for a doctor’s note saying you are safe to fly or simply stop you from flying for your safety.
Don’t let people fool you. You are not eating for two and you absolutely cannot get away with a little sip of alcohol. There are folk out there who will tell you otherwise but listen to the health care professionals, not the lady down the road.
The idea of eating for two or allowing yourself to gain a lot of weight while pregnant is silly.
You will and should gain a little weight while pregnant but there is a healthy limit. You only need to eat about 200 more calories per day for your little one. Fruits, veggies, protein, and any supplements that are recommended by your doctor or midwife can all contribute to a healthy pregnancy.
You may also get people telling you not to exercise. This too is not true. Sure, you may need to slow down a bit so anything overly physical isn’t recommended but gentle movements, yoga and swimming can all help you to keep fit.
Strange carvings are normal. No – cravings are normal but only for edible things. Some women don’t get any cravings at all.
Craving something inedible like dirt or chalk could be a symptom of something called pica (an eating disorder in which a person eats things not usually considered food) which in turn could indicate a deficiency in a certain mineral or vitamin.
Equally, if your diet is impacted because you now find some of your favourite foods repulsive, seek advice on how to handle this.
The name is a lie – morning sickness isn’t just a morning thing. It is more common during the morning, but nausea is just a common problem associated with pregnancy. It can happen at any time during the day and it is not normally a cause for concern, although it may feel unpleasant!
Hairy babies give you heartburn
Most evidence for this is anecdotal. A 2006 study by the University of Utah concluded that it was not likely a baby’s hair itself would not cause heartburn, however, the hormones associated with pregnancy might.
There is some evidence that these hormones cause the lower oesophageal sphincter – the muscle between your throat and stomach that stops food travelling back up – to relax, causing heartburn.
Hot curries induce labour
Not true, although they have been known to have other effects ‘down there’. Spicy food can irritate the intestine, and it may even irritate the uterus, which in some cases could cause small contractions – but there is no evidence that it brings on labour, says Science Focus.
Other food and drinks that claim to help bring on labour are pineapples, raspberry leaf tea and aubergine. Again, there is no scientifically proven way to induce labour in these ways so you’re best just waiting for it to occur naturally.
We hope you have enjoyed this myth-busting read. Remember, if in doubt always seek the advice of a medical professional.
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