There are so many dos and don’ts around pregnancy that it’s hard to tell the differnece between the good advice and the utter nonsense. And trust us – there are a lot of old wives’ tales still doing the round. Here are some of our favourite pregnancy “rules” – and why they are false…
1) Myth: The baby’s sex affects the position of your baby bump
False. The baby’s sex has absolutely nothing to do with the way your bump is positioned. So no, we can’t tell the sex of the baby just by looking at mum.
2) Myth: You’re eating for two
False. While many of us quite like this one, it is, unfortunately, just not true. If you already have a balanced diet you don’t need to increase your food intake that much. Growing tots doesn’t actually burn up as much energy as we think. However, leading experts have recommended snacking – up to an extra 200 calories – to cater for baby, so make it count, ladies.
3) Myth: Severe morning sickness means it is definitely a girl
False. While we might deploy this one to attempt to win the ‘Guess the Sex’ game at baby showers it is completely false. Studies have shown that women who suffer severe morning sickness (we feel for you) had an equal chance of giving birth to either a boy or a girl.
4) Myth: No coffee while pregnant
False. Cue women rejoicing. The general advice for pregnancy is that one cup of coffee is fine. Just make sure to keep caffeine to below 200mg a day – that means tea and soft drinks too…
5) Myth: Pregnancy heartburn means a hairy baby
False. Where this particular myth came from we will never know, but it is completely false. Pregnancy means your organs will be pretty crowded together, especially near labour time, and heartburn is caused by your stomach having no room to expand, forcing the stomach acid up your oesophagus. No baby werewolves I’m afraid!
6) Myth: You must use an expensive cream/oil to prevent stretch marks
False. The jury’s a bit out on stretch mark products. On one hand, taking care of your skin will help keep it nourished and supple and in theory will help it spring back after pregnancy, but on the other, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that stretch marks are largely down to genetics. We suggest that you do pay attention to your body skincare when pregnant, but there is no need to stress out if you can’t afford a pricey product. Look for a cream or lotion containing Vitamin E and you should be fine..
7) Myth: Spicy food induces labour
False. There is no evidence at all to suggest that spicy foods help kickstart labour – in fact, it may just trigger heartburn! So by all means go for something tasty and hot when you want, but don’t expect it to “help things along”!