When I was expecting my little one, I was elated but honestly, my pregnancy was not so comfortable. I used to disapprovingly smile at everyone who used to say- Oh pregnancy is such a blissful period for women, enjoy your time and take rest. In reality, I felt miserable most of the times due to morning sickness or food aversions and was controlled by insatiable and weird food cravings  rest of the time.

As the pregnancy progressed, walking and sleeping became so tedious and to top it off,my baby was one super mean kicker. I had so many sleepless nights that by the end of my term I was exhausted. It is a good time though as emotionally and physically we are cared for in the family but that doesn't last for long. The second thing that irritated me the most ( like over the top most) was the free flowing advice every one had which by a large measure turned out to be grandmother's remedies that did not work. 

So here are the top five lies , or so called myths that I heard of extensively about pregnancy debunked!

1: You need to eat for two.

If you are expecting, chances are you have heard this one time too many. Beta ghee khao ghee, badam liya karo, kesar ka doodh piyo ( Have some ghee, eat almonds or drink saffron milk). Trust me if not done in moderation nothing good comes out of this other than self-indulgence.

Eating for two many a times gives women an excuse to eat whatever they want and whenever they feel like doing so. Unfortunately, numerous researches available ( you can even check online) have proven that this is no true at all. You most likely are eating for 1.1 persons and while it is true that your body does require a larger portion of proteins, carbohydrates, and folic acid; you still need to control your portions. 

Our grandmothers and mothers often use this phase to indulge us in items made of desi ghee and sugar claiming this helps the baby. There is no scientific proof that eating for two does the baby any good. You have to be careful on what is on your plate and the calories you take as you will the one carrying the baby weight after delivery. 

So ladies, eating for two- I don't think so!

 2: You can ensure your baby is beautiful if you do this.

When I heard of this one, I cracked up like a crazy person who just could not stop laughing. Apparently some believe that you can alter your baby's look by consuming certain foods or merely by following a certain diet.For example, drinking saffron was recommended by one of my relatives to ensure I have a fair baby. And another one suggested fish would help in having smarter babies.

Just to be clear I do believe that a good diet and good thoughts are key to a fit mind and body but seriously people, there is something called genetics and genetic traits!

The looks or IQ of our baby can never be altered through any method within the womb. Any medical professional can tell you that these things just do not work and that it is important to seek information and advice before you add anything to your pregnancy diet. 

 

3: Stay away from cellphones and wireless devices:

Many including my very own drove me crazy with this one. I was checked when I would be over the  phone or near a laptop. No cellular devices, really, I mean we lived next to a telecommunication tower. Our homes are hooked to wi-fi devices all day long and we use internet for almost every thing.

My dear friend, the mother and baby are scanned at almost every doctor visit which is a crucial step, should they forgo that too? The amount of radiations emitted by all these devices is fairly small to cause any harm done on a large level both to mother and child.

Yes, it is true that high radiation zones have to be avoided, so it is advised that you should gain information about the level of radiation present and permissible  for you all. Similarly there is no harm in flying while you are pregnant. At this rate every pregnant woman should be kept in seclusion as there is hardly an inch in our vicinity that is not covered by some kind of mobile network. So yeah, husbands, stop being paranoid and difficult, our hormones are doing a great job of driving us nuts as it is.

 4: Sleeping on your back is not good for the baby.

I have been sleeping on my right, left and back through out my pregnancy and it did no harm to me or my baby. While there are some researches that state that there is an extra flow of nutrients, oxygen if you sleep on your left side while you are expecting, there is no significant statistical proof that any particular side is extremely beneficial.

You should however, sleep in a comfortable position giving ample support to your back and belly. In fact, sleeping on the side is something that is suggesting purely from comfort point of view since sleeping flat on your back leaves your belly without any support leaving you in pain. 

It is also suggested to use a soft pillow between the knees as you sleep or to use many pillows to rest your back so that you can sleep well. Again, sleeping discomfort should not be overlooked. Your body is pushed to it's limit as the baby grows, so do take your doctor's advice for sleeping positions. 

5: No sex during pregnancy.

Hmm. I was very skeptic to put this point down but hey whom are we kidding, the topic does come up no matter how awkward it is. I have heard grandmothers dishing out advice on this topic and trust me that is a conversation you do not want to have. 

As embarrassing and uncomfortable it is for many to have an open conversation about sex during pregnancy, it is a common myth that one has to abstain. Doctors now advise that there is no need to refrain from sex but you have to take precautions as the mother and baby are prone to infections. Furthermore, the myth that having sex can cause pre-term labor also has no basis. it is advised to check with your doctor (not with your mothers/mother-in-laws/ grand mothers) in any case if it okay to go ahead.

Be advised, you have to be open with your doctor about everything. As mentioned, per-term labor will not occur if you have sex but the risk of having infections like an STD is not something you are shielded from while you are pregnant.

A Word of Advice :

Now I am no medical professional but I am a mother living in a joint family with mothers, in-laws, grandparents ( yeah, the who jing-bang). And I can tell you I have heard many old wife tales. But when it comes to your little one, I would suggest to read, read and read. There are so many wonderful publications in form of books, online reads, journals. Being informed beforehand is the key!

Secondly, go per your doctor's advice. Never follow anyone just to please them. Try to seek medical advice before jumping to any form of home remedy. Pregnancy is not a phase worth any risk whatsoever.

Eating well and healthy, as well as being active will benefit you and your little one. Do not consume anything without the advice of your doctor. Remember that certain food are known to cause miscarriage, so do take caution during this period.

Stay positive and happy. It does take effort but I encourage you to either go to a pregnancy class or be with your friends who understand your situation. Try to take your mind off any discomfort you have.

Conclusion:

There are so many more such myths all around us that it does get confusing. Can you drink coffee, can yo drive, can you exercise, can you take a trip? Well, to be informed is the key.

To understand your pregnancy it is best if you read many books beforehand so that you know what your body is going through. You can go online and check for diet restrictions, calculate pregnancy progress and go through many researches that are available for free before you make up your mind to make any major change in your lifestyle and as I mentioned before; discuss with your doctor and take their word for it rather than giving into myths and doing something that will be of no use at all.

So ladies, you are tough, just wise up!Wishing you a safe and happy confinement and if you are just going through this article for nothing then happy reading!

References :

http://womenshealth.gov/index.php

http://danonenutricia.in/

http://women.ygoy.com/2011/06/10/when-to-take-saffron-during-pregnancy/

https://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2012/03/cellphone-pregnant-mice.html

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5930093_When_it_Comes_to_Pregnant_Women_Sleeping_Is_Left_Right

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2000.tb10397.x/full

 

 

 


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