When pregnant, it seems as though everyone is willing to come forward with their own theories, but how do you sort the myths from facts? We’ve separated fact from fiction for you.
Much has been made about the potential benefits of playing music to the baby while it is still in the womb. There are many specialist tapes available, or you can choose to play music that you generally find soothing.
The baby is able to receive vibrations during the latter part of the pregnancy, and is able to feel them after the fourth month. Any music that is soothing for the mother is also soothing for the baby. Most music acts as external stimuli and helps with foetal development. However, it is important to pick music that you like as any music that disturbs the mother will also disturb the baby.
The music relaxes the mother. This leads to her eating and sleeping better, in turn helping the baby. The relaxation effects of the music can help with hypertension, back pain, and other problems that occur during pregnancy. It also helps with bonding with the child, as the mother is taking the time to simply sit and share the music with the child, without thinking about anything else. The baby’s response to the music is more about familiarity than anything else. It doesn’t matter what is being played, per se, as the repetition leads to the music becoming soothing. However, the music should be played at safe levels to avoid any harm to mother or baby.
It has been said that the way that the woman carries the baby will determine whether it is a boy or a girl. This is not true at all. The position of the baby will depend on the body type and if she has been pregnant before. For example, taller women may appear to carry the baby higher than a shorter woman, even if they are carrying in relatively the same place.
It is also not true that the woman has to eat for two. In fact, there is no set formula for how much weight a woman should gain through her pregnancy. As long as the woman is eating healthily, and there is no concern from her doctor, there is no need to worry.
It has been said that pregnant women should not take baths but in actual fact, they should not take hot baths. Water that is too hot is unfavourable to the pregnancy but a warm bath (with someone to help you in and out) can decrease swelling in the arms and legs, increase amniotic fluid, prevent premature contractions, and is fantastic for relaxation.
Should pregnant women eat fish? Much has been made of the potential risk of food poisoning and also the mercury levels in fish. However, small white fish have been in the ocean for a short period of time and are generally safe to ingest. Stay away from deep water fish. The oil in fish contains healthy omega 3 fats which enhance the baby’s brain development, improves the baby’s IQ, improves baby’s sleep after birth, prevents premature contractions and premature labour, prevents high blood pressure during pregnancy, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Pregnant women should not change cat litter through their pregnancy. This is actually true as there is a virus in cat faeces called toxoplasmosis which can be very harmful during pregnancy. In fact, limit contact with the cat as the cat can track the virus through the house on their paws, and keep the house extra clean.
It is very true that women should not drink any alcohol at all through the pregnancy as alcohol is toxic to a growing baby. Even one drink a day can cause noticeable problems.
Not all pregnant women will suffer from morning sickness. This is because morning sickness is often caused by a rise in the hormone estrogen. If the body produced a high level prior to pregnancy, the additional estrogen may cause morning sickness – or not. It depends on the individual woman and her hormone levels.
Pregnant women should not carry heavy items. This is because there is already extra weight on the body, which throws off balance and makes her more likely to fall. A fall during pregnancy may be devastating and any falls should always be treated immediately.
It is true that it is easier to fall pregnant the second time. On average, it takes couples with children six months to conceive, while couples without children take an average twelve months to conceive. If you already have two boys or girls, you are more likely to have a third. Even though sex selection is random, some men will have better quality of X or Y chromosomes, thus increasing the likelihood of having children that are all the same sex.