Pregnancy is a unique time with unique challenges; you don’t really know do’s and don’ts at this time and there are numerous well meaning family members, relatives, friends and even strangers giving you free advice as to what to eat, what not to eat, what to do and what not to do for a healthy baby delivery. In this scenario of confusion, it is best to consult your doctor but here are a few myths busted!
Pregnant Mothers Must eat for Two.
Since the requirements of the pregnant woman’s body increases, she is supposed to eat a little extra, about 350 kcals more to ensure that her foetus remains healthy. Experts suggest a woman should ideally only gain about 27 to 30 pounds. Remember, losing pregnancy weight is one of the most difficult things while managing a newborn.
Pregnancy is not about eating for two but eating a balanced diet so that it fulfils the needs of all the nutrients adequately. So best to lay off those ghee soaked laddoos and creamy ice creams and pastries you have been justifying as a treat everyday.
Drink ghee in the 9th month of pregnancy for normal delivery
Many people believe that ghee lubricates the vagina thus aiding in a smooth delivery. There is little or no concrete evidence to back either of these beliefs. Although it has many good properties, ghee is high in unsaturated fat and should be consumed moderately if not it will accelerate weight gain which could make the delivery difficult.
No hair colouring
While experts warn women to avoid colouring their hair as a simple measure of precaution, several studies claim that the chemicals from hair dye get very minutely absorbed through the skin which pose no threat.
Therefore, it is the best to avoid hair colour during first trimester. During the latter period of pregnancy it may not be that risky. Still, natural and herbal preparations should be preferred and colours containing ammonia should be avoided.
Ditch the caffeine entirely
There have been numerous claims that caffeine causes miscarriage, premature birth or a baby with a low birth weight. However, drinking less than 200 mg of caffeine in a day is said to be acceptable with no proven risk to the foetus.
Unless asked by the doctor, there is no need for you to give up sex. Only if your pregnancy is complicated by bleeding, pre-term labor or other problems, your obstetrician may recommend you to avoid sex. Foetus is well protected by an amniotic sac, strong uterine muscles and a thick mucus plug. The only thing that has to be taken care of is sexually transmitted infection that may get transmitted to the unborn child.
Avoid sleeping on your back or, always sleep on your left side
For normal, healthy women in the midst of a routine, successful pregnancy, the best position for sleeping is the one that’s the most comfortable.
Lying on the left side is helpful in certain cases such as prolonged labor, high blood pressure, improper functioning of kidneys, problem with fetal development because during the later stages of pregnancy, the uterus and baby grow large enough to press on the large vein, the inferior vena cava, reducing blood flow from the lower body back to the heart.
Although unnecessary radiation exposure should generally be avoided while pregnant, but if there is a good reason for an X-ray, you must go for it as the amount of radiation exposure to the foetus is minimal.
According to the American College of Radiology (ACR) if you should have an x-ray just prior to conception, there is no risk to your soon-to-be-baby. If you were to have an x-ray in week three or four, the risks are probably zero at less than 10 Rads. Greater than 10 Rads indicates a possible miscarriage. In weeks five through ten, but between 5-10 Rads they say, “Potential effects are scientifically uncertain and probably too subtle to be clinically detectable.” In weeks eleven through seventeen, at the 5-10 Rad dose “Potential effects are scientifically uncertain and probably too subtle to be clinically detectable.” Once you hit weeks 18-27, you don’t see issues with x-rays until you hit the greater than 10 Rad dose, After week 28, the risks are the same to the baby as the mother. Doses less than 5 Rad are always considered to cause no issues at any point in pregnancy.
Avoid spicy foods as it may cause a miscarraige or trigger labor before you’re ready
Scientific evidence suggests that labor is triggered by biological signals. There is no evidence that what you eat has any effect on the delivery date.
Spicy food, if eaten in moderation, causes no harm to the baby. However, those who have symptoms of heartburn should avoid very spicy food as it may add to it.
Exercising will harm my baby
Pregnancy can eat away your energy; however, regular bouts of exercise helps get through the day. One can safely start an exercise program during pregnancy after consulting the doctor under trained professionals. Being fit increases your stamina and prepares you for the exhausting process of childbirth. Brisk walk, swimming, breathing exercises, and yoga and meditation are again recommended as they are great relaxants.
Flying is unsafe for pregnant women
As long as you are comfortable flying, there is no harm. You just have to be cautious as towards the end your body becomes too heavy and you might find it difficult to sit in one position. Therefore, long flights are discouraged at this time. Also it is advised to move around a bit, stretch legs and drink lot of water during flight. Passing through airport security hardly has any effect on your baby.
No Heels At All
The moment you learn you are pregnant the first thing you ditch and very sadly are the heels. The whole time you watch pregnant celebrities strut in their spiked high heeled Laboutins while your flip flops are peeking out under your beautiful benarsi saree at your cousins wedding.
There is a middle safe path – buy heels that are one to one and a half inches high which you can wear to the next special occasion.
By: Sapna Madan
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