“Happiness is on the way”
Pregnancy is one such journey, where everyone waits for their little bundle of happiness with lots of dreams and hope. Pregnancy is an exciting part in every woman’s life. Most of the women are overwhelmed about the long 10-month journey, where they undergo a lot of physical, emotional and mental changes during this journey. From conception till birth, pregnancy is a roller coaster ride since the hormones take a toll on human body. It creates a lot of mood swings, cravings and what not.
After knowing about the pregnancy news, a woman gets lot of advice and suggestions from all sides like friends, neighbors, family, elders and even strangers. It starts from dos and don’ts, their pregnancy journey, their childbirth experience and the list keeps going. Most of them are old wives’ tales, which are partially true. Lots of myths are around the topic which is mostly not the truth. Let’s discuss few of such myths.
Myth 1: Pink or Blue
This is one of the most discussed topics in every pregnancy. Different people follow different predictions. Like,
- Allowing the wedding ring in a string or rope and made to hold over your baby bump. If the ring swings in circular, it is a girl. If it is pendulum motion, it is a boy.
- Another myth is based on the Chinese gender chart. For this, the age of the mother at the time of conception and the month in which the baby was conceived are taken into account.
- A sweet craved mother is often expected to have a girl baby, whereas if the pregnant mother craves spicy food, she is said to have a boy.
- Heartbeat is another major myth that revolved around gender prediction. If the heartbeat of a baby in the womb is greater than 140, it is a girl. Lesser is predicted to be a boy.
- If the pregnant mother is carrying high, and if the belly is watermelon shaped and wide, she is expected a girl. A lower carrying, smaller and round belly is often predicted to be a boy.
Some of these myths may turn true for few couples but it might mostly because of the coincidence or luck, gender cannot be determined by these since these are not proven. Nevertheless boy or girl, a baby is a bundle of joy to be celebrated and we as educated mothers should stop gender stereotyping.
Myth 2: No-No foods
Since ages, several foods have been told not to eaten by pregnant mothers. Let’s look into such foods
- Papaya- Raw papaya is said to be avoided by pregnant women as they may induce early uterine contractions. However a fresh, ripen papaya is rich in vitamins and when taken in moderation won’t cause any harm to the fetus in the womb. Lots of women continue to take papaya throughout their pregnancy and remain healthy.
- Pineapple- Eating pineapple will cause the pregnancy to end causing contractions is a myth. Many think that bromelain in pineapple is risky. But having a cup or two, in fact, is good for your fetus and you.
- Mangoes- Ripening mangoes by using Calcium Carbide is often considered to interfere with pregnancy. Though artificially ripened fruits are harmful to everyone. Apart from that, mangoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals. It also has potassium and fiber, which ease in pregnancy constipation. Except for those who have gestational diabetes, it is a treat for all the sweet craved expecting moms to be.
Each pregnancy is different. Instead of following vague advice, it is best to consult your gynecologist to know better.
Myth 3: Dusky or Fair
There are old wives tales preaching to consume Saffron to get a fair baby. And to avoid food items that are black in color like dates and black grapes to avoid dusky toned baby.
The actual scientific reason behind consuming saffron is not related to the skin tone of the baby. But, it actually supports the digestive system of the expecting mother, as they may experience heart burns, nausea and morning sickness. It also has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties to ease cramps. It is also best advised to have saffron in moderation as it may cause cervix ripening leading to early labor if had in large quantity.
Myth-4: Vaginal Vs C-Section birth
It is often proclaimed that, if the first delivery is C-Section, the following deliveries will also be a C-Section. It is a myth. If the pregnant woman is healthy with no complications, normal delivery after C-Section is possible. Also, the gap between 2 pregnancies is advisable to be more than 2 years. Now, World Health Organization (WHO) also gives guidance on the minimum gap between two pregnancies as 2 years
Each pregnancy is unique and it is not sure the body condition will be the same. With proper guidance and supporting system, Vaginal Birth After C-Section (VBAC) is definitely possible. Now, lots of childbirth educators are available who provide guidance, food charts and exercise routines to encourage VBAC. The pregnant woman must have all knowledge regarding VBAC and with her gynecologist nod, vaginal delivery is not impossible after C-Section.
Myth 5: No to travel
Many elders stress on avoid traveling during pregnancy. In those days the only mode of transport was bullock carts and public road transportation system. Bumpy roads made it difficult, uncomfortable and unsafe for pregnant mothers. This is not the case nowadays. Because best in class transportation system with safety equipped vehicles like trains, taxis and cars are completely safe unless the mom-to-be is facing issues in pregnancy like placenta previa and is advised by the physician to avoid travel. Also, the air transport system is safe before 35 weeks of pregnancy considering individual health conditions.
Myth 6: General myths
Lot more myths keep emerging from time and trend around pregnancy like
- The family must not shift the house if a pregnant woman is present. Actually the reason behind it is when shifting a house, lots of dirt and germs may be present in the air, which makes the pregnant woman vulnerable to infections. Also, the smell of newly painted houses may make the pregnant woman worsen her morning sickness.
- If the pregnant woman has severe morning sickness and nausea, the baby may have lots of hair after birth. This is again a myth, as it is the hormones in a woman body that creates nausea and not the baby.
After breaking lots of myth around pregnancy, as the woman let’s take an oath to be as a guide and well-wisher for fellow to-be mommies. Let’s spread only positivity and hope through words. Be a woman, who empowers the other. Because ”Positivity is contagious”