My husband and I had a fabulous time at the North Coast doing pretty much nothing, which is exactly what we wanted. We took some walks, ate lots of yummy food (which I’ll post about tomorrow!), sat on the porch and read while gazing at the ocean and watched a few new shows that we absolutely love, Call The Midwife, a new British series, and Orange Is The New Black! We watched them both off of Netflix. If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend checking them out!
As I was catching up on my reading over the weekend, I read an article in Parenting magazine on common pregnancy myths. Some were absolutely ridiculous and others were actually quite interesting, so I thought it would be fun to post a few of them today.
Myth: Eating for two during pregnancy.
Many women think that once they are pregnant they finally have an excuse to eat whatever and as much as they want. Wrong! Pregnant women only need, on average, 300 additional calories per day, and not until they reach their second trimester. It’s true that you need to increase the amount of nutrients, vitamins and water you are consuming, but you don’t need to double your food intake. By doubling the amount you eat, you are not only asking for a rapid increase in weight, but it could also be unhealthy to you and your baby. You only need to eat 1-2 additional snacks each day, or simply increase the amount of food you consume at one or two of your meals to equal the 300 additional calories per day.
Myth: You shouldn’t exercise or lift anything heavy during pregnancy.
There is a common misconception that women can’t exercise during pregnancy because it will harm their developing baby. WRONG! In most cases, exercise is actually beneficial to pregnant women, but there are those few, high-risk pregnancies where women do, indeed, need to take it easy from physical activity. Usually, if you are healthy and your pregnancy is going well, you should be exercising. Exercising during pregnancy helps to increase your energy, helps you sleep better, maintains your muscle tone, helps to minimize any discomfort (like lower back pain), reduces stress, helps to ensure a speedy recovery (getting back to your pre-pregnancy shape), and most importantly prepares you for childbirth. As far as lifting anything heavy goes, it isn’t recommended a pregnant woman go out and dead lift 200 lbs, but strength training and lifting moderate weight is safe and also beneficial, as is regular exercise.
Myth: Fetal heart rate can indicate the baby’s sex.
When I was pregnant with Keenan, I always had people asking me what the fetal heart rate was so they could predict the gender (since we did’n't want to know). A normal fetal heart rate is between 120 and 160 beats per minute. Some people think it is a girl, if the heart rate is higher than 140 beats per minute and slower if it’s a boy. I can’t remember what Keenan’s heart rate was, but with this baby, the heart rate has been consistently between 140-150 beats per minute, so who knows? There haven’t been any proven studies that show heart rate is an indicator of baby’s gender and most likely, the heart rate will vary from each each prenatal visit, depending on the age of the fetus, size and activity level.
Myth: They way you carry your baby indicates the baby’s sex.
I love it when people try and predict the sex of your baby, depending on how you carry it. Most people think that if you carry low and out in front, you are having a boy and if you carry high and gain weight all over, you are having a girl. A couple of my girlfriends carried low and out and front and had girls, so I’ve never seen this myth to be even remotely true. The way you carry your baby depends on your muscle tone, uterine tone, weight gain, genetics and the position the baby is in.
Myth: Avoid spicy foods, because they could induce labor prematurely.
I found this one to be hilarious! Spicy foods, really? Labor starts by a combination of various biological signals. There has been no evidence to suggest what a women eats determines when she will go into labor. Spicy food can actually be good for your baby, as it might help to develop their taste for it in the future (since they eat what you eat in the womb).
Have you found any of the above myths to be true with your pregnancy, or someone you know who was/is pregnant?