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prenancy

Pregnancy myths

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Pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant parents but it can also be a daunting minefield of conflicting professional and personal opinions. As bump grows, mums and dads and grannies and grandpa’s (not to mention colleagues, neighbours and strangers at bus stops) impart their wisdom, asked for or otherwise, and often it is at odds with the midwife’s official guidance.
Spatone natural liquid iron supplement looks at some of these “In my day…” gems of advice to see if any of them still hold true.

Myth 1: How you are ‘carrying’ the baby can tell you the sex.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The shape and height of your bump is determined by your muscle tone, uterine tone, and the position the baby is in, not by the sex. The only way to know is via an ultrasound scan or amniocentesis and even then it is not always possible to be completely sure.

Myth 2: You shouldn’t drink coffee while pregnant.

You don’t need to give up caffeine entirely, the current advice for is to limit yourself to (ACOG 2010, FSA 2008, Jahanfar and Jaafar 2013) 200mg of caffeine a day – this equates to drinking approximately two mugs of tea, two mugs of instant coffee or one mug of filer coffee a day. If your habit exceeds these amounts try a
de-caf version in the afternoons, it may help you sleep better too!
 
Myth 3: Heartburn means baby has lots of hair.

Heartburn is a common discomfort during pregnancy because your stomach is pushed higher by the growing baby. It is no way an accurate predictor of baby being born with a full head of hair. Lots of women who experience heartburn give birth to bald babies!

Myth 4: You shouldn’t eat smoked salmon when pregnant.

Pregnant women can eat smoked fish and are not advised to avoid it currently. Fish is good for mothers-to-be because it is a good source of many vitamins and minerals, as well as essential omega-3 fatty acids like DHA. There are some types of fish you should limit to two portions a week, this includes oily fish like salmon. There are also fish you should completely avoid like swordfish. The NHS website provides a full list.

Myth 5: You are eating for two.

In the first six months of pregnancy our energy needs do not increase. The average woman of normal weight pre-pregnancy only needs about 200 extra calories per day in her third trimester to promote her baby’s growth. That’s roughly the number of calories in a piece of buttered toast and a banana. Gaining too much weight can result in gestational diabetes and a struggle to lose the weight
post birth so think twice
before eating a double helping of dessert!

Myth 6: Lying or sleeping on your back will hurt the baby.

While you won’t harm your baby if you lie on your back for short periods of time, lying on your back after 16 weeks can be uncomfortable. After 16 weeks it can make you feel faint as the baby presses on major blood vessels. Sleeping on your side might be more comfortable and as your bump gets heavier you might find it better to prop yourself up with pillows so you are almost sitting.

Myth 7: Guinness is a good source of iron.

Mums and nans are forever telling us about the daily dose of stout they consumed during pregnancy because it is a good source of iron and a lot of people still believe this old wives tale. In fact Guinness and similar stouts contains no more iron than standard beer and you would need to drink a whopping 35 pints to get your daily intake of iron. But more importantly, pregnant women should avoid alcohol altogether as not only does it carry an increased risk of miscarriage but may be harmful for the unborn baby.

Positively pregnant!

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Pregnancy can stretch you to the maximum, both physically and mentally. It can become easy to focus on the negatives, and aches and pains of pregnancy. Instead, try and see it as nine months to concentrate on good health, motivation, looking after yourself and having some fun.
Never again will people be so willing to help you as they are when you are pregnant. Most people will offer you their seat on the train or bus, and you should accept any offers of help from friends and relatives – you will probably be able to repay the favour in the future.

It is easy to feel less confident about your looks and body when you are pregnant so do what you can to boost your self-esteem. You will need some new maternity clothes anyway, so make the most of the excuse to buy some new outfits. You can always re-use them for future pregnancies, or you can pass them onto pregnant friends. Beauty treatments will help you feel better; even when you have put on all your baby weight, your nails can still look glamorous!

Many women find pregnancy is a good time to look again at their priorities. Pregnancy and giving birth needn’t limit the possibilities, but it gives you a chance to think about what you want for your family in the future. You have a few months to step off the treadmill of life and think about what you want from your life.

Changing hormones may make your hair stronger and thicker, so you may be able to change to a different hair style if you wish. You may want an easy to manage style when baby comes along, so spend some time talking to your hairdresser and enjoy the chance for a change.

The need to look after the baby growing inside you, is sometimes the motivation we need to look after ourselves. It is the right time to develop healthy eating habits and to stop drinking alcohol. Together with moderate exercise, these will all help you to be fitter and better able to cope with the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth. You may have become used to working longer hours, but now is the time to leave work on time, and perhaps have a walk or swim in the evening instead.

Pregnancy can be a time when you become closer to your mum. You will be more able to understand what she went through, and your mum may be the one person that you feel able to talk about certain things with.

Many women make lifelong friends from prenatal groups so find out what is going on
in your area. These are the women who are going through the same experiences as you, at the same time and in the same area, so as well as being an excellent source of information and shared experiences, they may become friends through the whole of your child’s school life and beyond.

Couples often get round to doing things that they have been putting off for a while during pregnancy. Two will soon become three, so make the most of this limited time you now have and go on dates, weekend trips and take time to talk about your hopes and fears about pregnancy and parenting. This is a time when you can become very close, and this time will help bind you together when you have young children and have far less time together.

If all else fails and everything seems wrong, you can blame pregnancy hormones! Indulge yourself, listen to your body and take some time to be spoilt and spoil yourself. You’re pregnant, and with all the highs and lows, you deserve to be pampered and looked after, so make the most of it.