Pregnancy and motherhood are one-of-a-kind experiences, especially for the first time. While the experience is daunting in itself with multiple hormonal and bodily changes, going by the right advice to care for yourself and the newborn can be quite a task.
From midwives to parents to concerned neighbours — well-wishers’ advice on handling your pregnancy can pour in from all quarters but is all advice scientifically or medically sound? We’re not sure. So here we are to bust some of the most commonly heard and unquestioned myths about pregnancy that need to be shouted from the rooftops (but we’ll keep it down and do it via our blog!)
Myth: Pregnancy is a way of saying that your body is sick and needs care
Fact: Pregnancy is not a disease but a natural condition. Because of the limited blood supply in the brain, you may experience nausea, giddiness, and headaches in the first trimester. You are not unwell — your body just requires a different kind of support. Recharge by taking power naps if you feel too exhausted, and ensure your meals are nutritious and timely!
Myth: You must eat for two people when pregnant
Fact: While it is advisable to increase your calorific intake slightly in the second and third trimesters after consulting your doctor, pregnancy doesn’t need you to overeat or restrict yourself from eating anything other than alcohol (wink)! Eat your regular portions and nutritious meals and ensure you take your supplements and medication on time. Including complex carbohydrates can be super beneficial.
Weight gain is normal during pregnancy but it’s good to keep it under control (less than 15 kg) to avoid postpartum complications.
Myth: A vaginal delivery is not possible after a cesarean delivery
Fact: The kind of delivery depends on how the current pregnancy is progressing, the woman’s labour, and the risk of any potential complications. There is no such rule that a woman who has had a c-section first delivery cannot have a vaginal birth. The type of delivery is highly dependent on the individual case and your OB-GYN is the best person to guide you.
Myth: It’s dangerous if you’re past your due date
Fact: It’s normal to give birth before or after your set due date. Your OB-GYN will recommend a course of action if the health of the mother or fetus is at stake
Myth: Running/ exercise could cause early labour
Fact: Exercise during pregnancy is not only safe — it’s recommended and encouraged in the second and third trimesters. Check with your OB-GYN for the intensity of the workout to follow. After the first trimester, you can begin with slow and relaxed movements. The second trimester is the best time to start a workout routine that will help you have a more comfortable pregnancy. Continuing to move will help with muscle strength and the opening of the cervix, increasing the likelihood of a vaginal delivery.
You are meant to enjoy each day of your pregnancy without giving in to myths that do you no good. The goal is to have a healthy body and a healthy mind to sustain this 9-month-long journey that you’re heading on and beyond!
With inputs by Dr Dilip Ghaisas MD (OBG & GYN), DGO – Obstetrician and Gynecology and Dr K Deepthi MBBA (OBG & GYN), MS – Obstetrician and Gynecology
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