The day you discover that you’re going to have a baby, it’s the most overwhelming feeling in the world. But this beautiful feeling might get surrounded by confusions and questions as you move forward into your pregnancy period. Especially if it’s your first baby, you’re more likely to feel this way. Also, you start getting occupied with advices from books, magazines, relatives and neighbours.
Some of these old wives’ tales might be funny and entertaining but some may trigger unnecessary worry while some may pose real health complications for mother or baby. Here are a few myths that you don’t need to pay heed to anymore:
Myth: Skip the flu shot
Actually, it is just the opposite. Flu vaccination is very important and it helps avoid the risk of any kind of influenza. Some women tend to worry that the vaccine might give them influenza or rather harm their unborn baby. But neither will a flu injection give women a flu, nor does it have any evidence that it may harm the fetus. Instead, a flu vaccination could be a lifesaver for the mother and the baby as pregnancy makes a woman more vulnerable to getting a severe case of flu due to altered immune system, heart and lungs.
Myth: Stress is bad for fetus
New researches have proven that a moderate amount of stress is rather ‘good’ for the fetus. It helps to tone down the fetus’s nervous system and accelerate its development. Two-week-old infants of mothers who experienced moderate stress turned out to have brains that work at a faster speed than the infants of mothers without the same stress and two-year-old toddlers with higher motor and mental development scores.
Myth: Pregnant women shouldn’t eat sweets
A big exception has been discovered for this rule- Chocolate. Studies show that pregnant women who eat chocolate every day during their pregnancy period have babies who show less fear and smile and laugh more often at six months of age.
Myth: Pregnant women should avoid exercise
Actually, many experts say that low-impact exercises and workouts give a beneficial workout to the fetus too. Also, studies show that fetuses of pregnant women who exercise regularly have heart rates that are slower and more variable; both signs of good cardiovascular health.
Myth: Say no to fish foods
One should simply strike off this myth from the list as fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which help with your baby’s brain development and vision and produces smarter kids. A study published in a leading journal showed that children whose mothers ate at least twelve ounces of seafood a week during pregnancy had higher verbal IQ, better social and communication skills, and superior motor skills.
Myth: Flying can increase risk of complications
Pregnant women need not worry about the small amounts of radiations they encounter while going through airport body scanners or flying at high altitudes. We get exposed to radiations all the time from being on the ground, and flying at high altitudes certainly increases that a bit. But the kind of radiation you’re exposed to, during air travels, doesn’t have much penetration into the body, so it’s unlikely to ever cause fetal exposure.
Myth: You’re eating for two
This might sound absurd when you consider the size of the other person inside you. Yes, you’re eating for two, but you don’t have to double your meal because 2 adult size servings are unnecessary. A woman who had a normal weight, before pregnancy, needs only 300 extra calories per day to promote her baby’s growth. And that’s roughly the number of calories in a glass of skim milk and half a sandwich.