One of life’s biggest miracles is the gift of having life growing inside of you. The entire pregnancy and childbirth journey is full of thrilling and nerve-wracking experiences. The air is full of nothing but lingering questions about the marvel of motherhood.
Curious about some prevalent mommy misconceptions? Let’s take a closer look at fact vs. fiction and debunk the most common pregnancy myths.
Myth: You’re Eating for Two
Surely you’ve heard the saying about eating for two. But is this common sense or mere fallacy? The truth is, the idea that a mom needs to eat double during pregnancy is a myth with no evidence to prove otherwise. After you become pregnant, some weight gain is typical, expected, and healthy. Yet, there’s no need to overeat or double your everyday food intake.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends thinking about it as “eating twice as healthy” instead. Expecting mothers should speak with their doctor or care team about daily calorie concerns or personalized nutrition plans throughout each trimester.
Myth: You Have To Say Goodbye to Coffee or Caffeine
Fact vs. fiction: is coffee a total no-no during pregnancy? In point of fact, this topic is actually one of the most common pregnancy myths. In the past, healthcare providers advised against caffeine consumption, but experts in the field have noted that a moderate dose is safe with the right precautions in place. Again, moderation is key here.
The ACOG recommends not exceeding 200mg of caffeine or drinking more than a 12-ounce cup of coffee each day. Caffeine-fiends and java junkies should limit their savory sipping accordingly.
Myth: You Shouldn’t Exercise or Be Physically Active
Some women may feel that they shouldn’t be physically active during pregnancy. Be assured that mothers-to-be can and should exercise safely while pregnant. Unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider, the ACOG encourages regular bouts of exercise as good practice for you and your future child’s health.
However, be sure to start slow and gentle, avoiding any new or overly strenuous activities. Even simple exercises—such as walking or swimming—or low-impact at-home training can benefit your mind, body, and baby.
Myth: You Can Predict Your Baby’s Gender
There’s a lot of idle talk out there about accurate gender prediction, including the theory of heart rate prognostication. No matter the method of choice, none of these guessing games or old wives’ tales offer solid proof of genuinely predicting the sex of your little one. This particular pregnancy myth isn’t harmful, though—feel free to use it at a baby shower or for fun with friends and family.
In practical terms, the only reliable predictive methods are either mid-pregnancy ultrasounds or prenatal analysis tests. Otherwise, you can wait until your bundle of joy is born to see the miracle you gave life to with your very own eyes. At the end of the day, you decide what’s best for you, your family, and your baby.