11 pregnancy myths debunked
When a woman holds a positive pregnancy test in her hand for the first time, it marks the start of a very exciting time for her. Every pregnancy is different, but experienced mothers already know a lot about what pregnancy means for them and their bodies.
You read and hear so much about these 40 weeks that it can be pretty overwhelming. With so much information available, sometimes inaccurate information can sneak through, making you feel unnecessarily insecure. The following list uncovers 11 of these pregnancy myths and explains how things really are.
1. "A C-section is the simpler solution."
Many women opt for a C-section to bring their children into the world, even though they are healthy. Doctors only recommend a C-section if it's necessary to save the life of the mother or the child. Not giving birth in the natural way means risking well-documented side effects during future births. In addition, C-sections carry the risk of pain for a long time after delivery, while the pain of vaginal birth fades after a shorter time.
2. "A little alcohol won't hurt the baby."
This misconception can have terrible consequences for the unborn child. As soon as a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, the fetus is drinking it along with her. It doesn't matter how much she drinks, even small amounts can do permanent damage to the child. Mental problems and physical conditions, such as heart defects, are the result of enjoying a drink during pregnancy. It's very rare that they can be corrected later.
3. "Big hips make giving birth easier."
In times past, big hips were considered very attractive, and women fortunate enough to have them were believed to be particularly capable when it came to bearing children. However, this assumption is a myth that has nevertheless persisted until today. What's important is not the hips, but the birth canal that the fetus has to pass through. But even the size of the canal doesn't really make the birth any simpler. It should already be obvious that birthing a child is no bed of roses.
4. "Women who sleep on their stomachs endanger their babies."
For a long time, it was assumed that sleeping on the belly during pregnancy didn't do the fetus any good. It sounds logical at first, if you assume that the unborn child would be squashed by the pressure on the abdomen. However, we can sound the all clear for women sleeping on their bellies, because the uterus — and by extension the baby — is surrounded by firm musculature that doesn't give way under pressure. As long as it's comfortable, you can dream the night away on your belly without any problems.
5. "Morning sickness is just in the morning."
One of the most well-known signs that you're pregnant is morning sickness. Around 80% of pregnant women have to deal with this problem. But the name is misleading, because usually the nausea lasts all day. Furthermore, a quarter of all expectant mothers suffer with morning sickness beyond the first three months, some even until the baby is born.
6. "The baby doesn't perceive anything of the outside world."
It's only when babies first enter this world that they begin to observe their surroundings — or at least, that's what parents and doctors thought for a long time. In the meantime, researchers have discovered that fetuses in the womb experience more than was previously thought. Their mother's voice calms them down and if light shining on the womb is too bright, they turn away. The original assumption is very far from the truth.
7. "You shouldn't go jogging while pregnant."
A pregnancy is no reason to stop doing exercise. In fact, it's the opposite! Jogging, for example, is healthy and can help ease morning sickness. If you're suffering from complications like high blood pressure or are starting running for the first time, you should consult your doctor first, however.
8. "You lose all your pregnancy weight giving birth."
Of course, you automatically weigh less after the birth, and not just because the baby has left your body, but also because you have lost the placenta and a lot of fluids. However, the fat that you've been consuming in the previous months won't disappear by itself. Depending on how much weight you've gained, it will take time to get rid of those extra pounds.
9. "All women are really happy during pregnancy."
A lot of observers think "Pregnant women look so content and happy, they must be feeling that way too." Of course, expectant mothers are looking forward to meeting their children, but that doesn't mean they are always happy. The hormones produced during pregnancy influence the brain so that a lot of moms-to-be experience anxiety, sadness and other negative feelings. A few women even fall into a depression that must be treated urgently in order to avoid endangering the mother and child.
10. "Too many ultrasound scans hurt the baby."
There are no cases of ultrasound scans hurting either a mother or the fetus. Since ultrasounds do not involve any radiation and the transmission of the sound waves is so fast, there is no danger.
11. "The shape of the bump reveals the sex of the child."
Many parents want to learn the sex of their child as soon as possible. Some believe that the shape and size of the expectant mother's baby bump can offer some information here. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The size and shape of the bump are only influenced by the weight and position of the baby. The sex can only be determined by an ultrasound scan after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Some of these truths are really reassuring aren't they? In the case of any ambiguities during pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor or obstetrician. They have experience and can provide you with all the advice you need.