Harmful Pregnancy Myths You Should Ignore

harmful pregnancy myths you should ignore

There are five common harmful pregnancy myths you should ignore simply because these tales could land you and your baby in trouble. The reality currently is that technology and medicine have transformed the experience of pregnancy for modern women.  For instance, prenatal medical testing can indicate the sex of your child, the amount of fluid in your uterus, the weight of your baby before birth, and many other things.

Yet, despite this increased reliance on diagnostic information, pregnancy continues to inspire its own set of myths and tales. In some parts of the world, there are lots of tales about pregnancy. Some that are crazy and others that are downright strange.  For example, one tale expresses the notion that if you cross your legs when you sit, your baby’s head will come out squashed.  Another tale projects it is normal and part of pregnancy cravings to eat or inhale some bizarre nasty things.

The question then is why you choose to follow pregnancy advice not rooted in medical science?  OK, perhaps it is fun and harmless hearing your friends or family guess the baby’s sex or how much hair the baby will have. However, it may be harmful to do what pregnancy myths or tales suggest.

5 Harmful Pregnancy Myths To Ignore

11 Essentials For A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy myths or tales may vary from generation to generation and from one country to another.   In other words, myths your grandmother in Nigeria claims are true might be different from what your friend in New Zealand believes. Here are a few of the most common pregnancy myths:

Myth: Standing on your head after sex can increase your chances of becoming pregnant

Reality: Although some experts say that lying down after sex for 20 to 30 minutes can boost your chances of conception because it keeps the sperm inside you. But standing on your head has not been proven to aid in conception.  And in any case, you might hurt your neck while trying to do it! So ignore.

Myth: The shape and height of your belly can indicate your baby’s sex

Reality: The popular belief that women carrying boys carry low and that women carrying girls carry high just is not true. The shape and height of your belly are determined by your muscle tone, uterine tone, and the position the baby is in. This is the reason why someone may think you are having a boy because you are carrying low.  When the reality is that the baby just dropped lower into the pelvis since you are closer to delivery. Hence, if you are anxious about the sex of your baby, the most accurate way to find out is to get an ultrasound scan.

Myth: Fetal heart rate can indicate your baby’s sex

harmful pregnancy myths to ignore

Reality: A normal fetal heart rate is between 110 and 160 beats per minute. Although some people think if it is faster it’s a girl. And if it’s slower it’s a boy. However, there is no conclusive research to show that heart rate is a predictor of a baby’s gender. The reality is that your baby’s heart rate will differ from prenatal visit to prenatal visit, depending on the age of the fetus and activity level at the time of the visit. Therefore, ignore and save yourself the stress from worrying.

Myth: The shape and fullness of your face during pregnancy can indicate your baby’s sex

Reality: Every woman gains weight differently during pregnancy and every woman experiences different skin changes.  If people tell you that because your face is round and rosy you are having a girl, they might be right. Then again it’s just as likely that they are wrong! Candidly, it is more appropriate to pay more attention to your health and your baby.

Myth: If you experience heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will be born with lots of hair

harmful pregnancy myths to ignore

Reality: Heartburn is extremely common throughout pregnancy. Though this doesn’t mean heartburn is an accurate predictor of whether your baby will be born with lots of hair. Alternatively, it is better to focus on getting relief from the discomfort of heartburn.

How to Seek Reality from Myths

In trying to seek reality from myths, it’s most important to think twice when someone suggests that you:

  • Contradict your doctor’s medical treatment, such as stopping prenatal vitamins.
  • Swallow or inhale something that is not recommended by your doctors, such as herbs or drugs.
  • Fear for your baby’s health, as stress on you, can equally harm your baby.

Bottom Line

harmful pregnancy myths you should ignore

Finally, as you go through your pregnancy, keep in mind the harmful pregnancy myths you should ignore for your health and baby. And seek to separate reality from myths. Though it can be fun to collect and record various people’s myths and tales. But, for medical advice on pregnancy, you should always consult your doctor first.

Also, remember that every woman’s pregnancy is different. This means that it is only your doctor who can provide you with specific information related to your personal medical situation. This is information not available to friends, family, and strangers who tell you how your pregnancy will progress. So, in the meantime, enjoy the stories. Nonetheless, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor before you do anything that could affect the health or well-being of you or your baby.


Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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