People say a lot of things. And, sometimes, they are hard to believe. When I was pregnant, I had to cope with old wives tales and pregnancy myths.
I didn’t know which ones were actually true. Soit can get crazy.
From time to time it felt like I couldn’t even breathe without harming my unborn baby, according to what everyone said.
I had to call in my OB-Gyn almost daily because my friends told me that their moms had said to do this or don’t do that. So, to save you some trouble, or as fun trivia, if you’re not expecting, here are the 10 most common pregnancy myths I heard.
And, of course, you’ll also know whether they’re true or false.
1. Morning Sickness Happens (Ahem…) Only in the Morning
This is completely false!
I thought something was wrong with me in the beginning. I had “morning” sickness all day long. Seriously, who named it like that?
Although the symptoms are more likely to occur early in the day, there are many cases in which the time of day doesn’t really matter. I can vouch for that. In fact, it was worse for me in the evenings!
This ailment can be uncomfortable but, though this hasn’t been proven yet, many doctors associate it with a healthy development of the placenta. So, unless you really can’t eat at all or are getting dehydrated, all is good!
2. Morning Sickness Happens Only in the 1st Trimester
There are a lot of pregnancy myths surrounding morning sickness for sure!
This one is also false.
It was borderline cruel. I thought my morning sickness would be over by week 12. Everywhere I read it said so, and in the cases that it stretched the most, it lasted until week 16.
As it turns out, I had morning sickness until week 20. For the majority of women morning sickness is well over by then, true, but for a lucky few it can last the complete pregnancy.
Just make sure you’re well hydrated and fed, and that the morning sickness doesn’t become something worse, like hyperemesis gravidarum, which can be harmful to you and your baby.
3. Eating Vegetables when Pregnant will Help your Baby Like them Later in Life
This one is actually, surprisingly, true!
Well, for some vegetables, at least!
Did you know that your baby can taste the food you eat?
Yeah… I didn’t know that either.
In fact, the Guardian has a nice article about it here, you can read further if you’re curious.
But the bottom line is this one: Although eating vegetables or not when pregnant won’t condemn your baby’s taste or distaste for them, it does help.
Strong, sweet vegetables like carrots and garlic (did I say sweet?) are passed on to the amniotic fluid, and babies can taste them in the last trimester of pregnancy. After they have developed a sense of taste, of course. This makes it easier for them to accept them later on when they are eating solids.
4. You can’t Drink Coffee while Pregnant
Good news for all mommies running on caffeine like I do! This is another one of the false pregnancy myths!
Too much coffee can harm your baby, but if you limit your daily intake to 200mg or less, you’re good to go. This is about one 12 oz cup of coffee for mommy.
Not too shabby!
You can read a bit more in my post, 12 Foods to Avoid when Pregnant. (And, spoiler alert, you’ll learn about 11 other foods you shouldn’t tamper with.)
Now that you know this (if you didn’t before), you can go grab that cup of coffee before reading on. I’ll wait right here.
5. A Pregnancy Lasts 9 Months
Ah, among all the pregnancy myths, this is the most difficult one for me to write, as a mom to a preemie.
But no, this one is false as well.
First of all, there are preterm pregnancies, which are the ones that end at any time before 37 weeks of gestation. That’s 8 and a half months.
My son, for instance, was born at 31 weeks (and then spent 43 days in an incubator). That’s roughly 7 months!
Full-term pregnancies last 9 months on average, but they can go up to 10!
The thing is that people count pregnancies in months, but doctors count them in weeks. That’s more accurate (and more confusing.) So for all practical terms, you can always say 9 months, even though you and I know better now.
6. You Can’t Take Medicine if you’re Not Feeling Well
This is false, with a word of warning: Never self-medicate during your pregnancy. Let me say that again.
If you’re pregnant, never take medicine that’s not prescribed by your doctor, or in a different dosage than what your doctor prescribed. This can be very dangerous and could even lead to miscarriage.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t take medicine if you’re not feeling well. I took so many pills when I was pregnant that I had to keep a written schedule.
It went up to almost 50 pills a day. Of course, I was going through a high-risk pregnancy. I needed those pills so that both I and my unborn son could survive.
But even in normal circumstances, if you have a headache or a little cold, there are many medicines that can help you.
Just make sure your doctor approves them.
7. You Will Glow
I’m internally laughing. This is completely false.
Hormones do go haywire during pregnancy, I’ll give you that. But I didn’t glow.
In fact, it was completely the opposite. I looked so terrible that doctors and nurses congratulated me on how well I apparently was… at 2 weeks postpartum. (And I didn’t look good at 2 weeks post-partum either…)
Yes, that’s how bad I looked. That’s how hard I didn’t glow.
Some people glow. Some don’t.
My face was full of acne, my hair was dry and complete chunks were falling off. My skin was dry and I had a lot of stretch marks, my feet, hands, and face were red and swollen. I looked barely human!
My husband is shaking his head as I write this and telling me I was beautiful to him. Bless him.
I’ve seen the pictures: I. Didn’t. Glow.
8. Pregnant Women are Forgetful
Can you believe this one of the few pregnancy myths that are actually true?
And, nobody knows really why it happens.
There are studies that do prove that pregnant women tend to forget things more often than before. And it’s true.
Although it doesn’t happen to every woman out there. I was more forgetful when Ollie was born, to be honest. I had to keep track of so many things that basic knowledge or some daily tasks just slipped my head.
Keeping a journal is a nice idea. If you write things, you’ll be less likely to forget them.
9. You Can Tell the Sex of the Baby by Looking at the Baby Bump
No, you can’t. This is a common tale that’s false.
People say that if your belly is spread out around the middle, it’s a girl and that if you have a neatly pointed belly, then it’s a boy.
The bump shape depends on the size of the baby and the position of the fetus inside the womb. None of which have to do with gender.
It’s kind of fun seeing people guessing your baby’s gender by looking at your bump, though, isn’t it?
10. Expectant Moms can Predict the Gender of their Unborn Baby
More on gender prediction. This pregnancy myth is surprisingly false!
Not surprised? I was!
Doctors told me in my 16-week-appointment that I was having a baby girl.
I had to give away some stuff I had purchased because I was absolutely and utterly sure it was a boy. It’s not that I wanted a boy. I was actually leaning to a girl because at least I would have known a small part of what was coming. Being a woman myself. (Ha! As if…)
No, this was more powerful than that. I just knew he was a boy. The doctor, however, swore that I was having a girl.
We named her Natalie and started buying girl clothes.
Rookie mistake, I know.
But it still felt like a boy to me. Four weeks later, another doctor was looking and my baby and said “Natalie? Are you sure about that? That name won’t fit!” I asked him why not and he said (with a huge smile on his face) “Because you’re having a boy.”
Ha! I knew it! He promised me that he was a boy, and he showed me his boyness on the screen.
I knew it. I just knew it.
But, as this study proves (and many others do prove as well), I didn’t know it. I just guessed it. And I had it right.
There are some contradictive studies that say that up to 70% of women who feel a strong intuition get it right. But to be honest I’m ruling this myth as false because I’ve read many of those and they aren’t conclusive.
Mom intuition is a thing, though. It’s real, it’s out there. I just don’t think that it works all the time regarding gender prediction.
And, if something is 1% false, it’s not true. So it’s false.
That’s a Wrap
There you have it. 10 of the pregnancy myths I heard most when I was pregnant myself explained!
Want to hear about more pregnancy myths? Please say so in the comments! I’d also like to know about the myths you heard, so we can confirm them or debunk the together!
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