We have some great news for pregnant women! You don’t have to shun exercise, go through coffee withdrawal, banish the cat from the house, or swear off sushi or travel for your entire pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy is a time for celebrating; not a time to live in fear and stress.
That’s why we’re exposing the ten most common pregnancy myths—and busting them wide open…
Myth 1: You can’t eat sushi while pregnant
It’s not fair to paint all sushi with the same red brush when it’s quite fine to eat most sushi rolls and even sashimi. The only fish of concern is mackerel, shark, tilefish, swordfish, and tuna due to the mercury content, and a tiny bit (i.e., one roll, once a week) really won’t do any harm.
Myth 2: Intercourse can hurt the fetus
While you might not feel in the mood for sex—due to swollen ankles, morning sickness, and indigestion, abstaining from sex for the sake of your unborn child isn’t necessary. Unless your doctor specifically bans sex due to a serious; sex won’t affect your baby. Think about it this way, there are multiple layers of skin plus the amniotic sac cushioning your baby from harm.
Myth 3: No Smoked Salmon on your plate
Smoked salmon isn’t wrong, in fact it’s quite healthy due to the fact that it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., DHA), which aid mom’s health. Not to mention the fact that fresh water salmon doesn’t pose any risk of mercury poisoning.
Myth 4: No coffee when preggers
The fact that you should forgo coffee completely when pregnant is foolish. One to 2 cups a day is just fine, just don’t overdo it.
Myth 5: Pregnant women are put in a “no fly” zone
Many people will tell you that you absolutely can’t fly during your first or last trimester. However, that’s false. Some airlines will prohibit pregnant women from flying during the last trimester, but they’re just afraid you’ll go into labor in the air and mess up the aircraft upholstery.
Myth 6: Being pregnant means eating for 2
While growing a baby does require more nutrients and calories; it only requires about 300 additional calories per day. Eating any more will result in a bigger baby and more difficult weight loss attempts after you deliver.
Myth 7: Stay away from the cat when expecting
Don’t punish poor Fluffy, it’s perfectly safe to pet and cuddle your cat during pregnancy. However, changing its litter box is another story as it can cause toxoplasmosis (a parasitic disease). So put your hubby on litter box duty!
Myth 8: Exercising can harm your baby
Avoiding exercise when pregnant can actually be more harmful than beneficial. Gentle physical activity—such as yoga, walking, and swimming—will help keep your body, and the baby it’s growing, in good health. And it will make for an easier, shorter delivery as well.
Myth 9: Expecting women can’t color their hair
Chemicals are never a good thing, especially when they can be absorbed through the scalp. However, the skin only absorbs minute amounts, which aren’t enough to cause a birth defect. It is wise, however, to opt for a hair dye with no or lower ammonia.
Myth 10: X-rays are not allowed when pregnant
And the same goes for totally avoiding radiation exposure via microwaves and computer terminals, right? Wrong! While radiation exposure should be avoided by everyone (not just pregnant women) whenever possible, one chest X-ray will not expose your fetus to detrimental levels. And the same goes for using the microwave oven or a computer terminal—moderation is the key.