Pregnancy comes with so many excitements and anticipations. Expectant mothers are usually concerned about so many things. They are very careful and constantly asking questions about every step they take or what they eat, ensuring that no harm comes to their unborn babies. Everyone around you has a piece of different advice about pregnancy do’s and don’ts. Countless of what they advise is simply pregnancy myth, untrue, and totally misleading. Read below to about the 10 remarkable pregnancy myths and facts.
Myth 1. Pregnant women should not eat sweet
Fact: Contrary to this myth, research shows that pregnant women who eat 5 or more chocolates weekly in their third trimester are at a lower risk of developing preeclampsia. Another recent study also found that women who eat chocolate daily in their pregnancy give birth to babies, who laugh, smile more often, and show less fear at 6 months old.
Myth 2. Don’t exercise
Fact: Staying active throughout your pregnancy journey is encouraged for you and your baby. You can exercise to stay healthy and safe as long as you are not experiencing any complications unless your doctor asked you to stop for some health reasons.
Myth 3. Always eat for two
Fact: Before you go on overfeeding yourself with the belief that you are eating for yourself and your unborn baby, learn that this is not true. Read more about the daily recommended amount of calorie on Tommy’s.org 200 calorie recipes for your final trimester
Myth 4. Avoid seafood
Fact: According to a study published in a leading journal, eating fish low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy enable women to give birth to smarter kids. pregnant women who consume at least 12 ounces of seafood a week have higher chances of producing children with higher verbal IQ, superior motor skills, communication, and better social skills.
Myth 5. You can’t fly
Fact: To clarify this, simply read the FAQs on your airline’s website. Don’t forget that after 28 weeks of pregnancy, you will need to provide a letter from your doctor to confirm that you are fit to fly. Don’t forget to take your medical notes with you and ensure that your travel insurance covers you. Read more about flying in pregnancy
Myth 6. Don’t eat peanut and dairy
Fact: Discard the myth that eating dairy and peanuts will make your baby allergic to them. You can only avoid eating these foods if only you are allergic to them or your doctor asked you to avoid them hence, they are perfectly safe and healthy.
Though it is advised to avoid the consumption of certain foods during pregnancy due to the fear that they contain certain harmful microbes. these foods include pates, raw meat or fish, eggs, soft-serve ice cream, and some soft cheese.
Myth 7. Morning sickness occurs only in the morning
Fact: Morning sickness which is nausea or vomiting can happen at any time of the day as a result of changes in hormones. This varies from woman to woman, some don’t even experience it while others do at different times of the day. Though, this is mostly occurring in the morning and improves after the first trimester.
Myth 8. Avoid having sex
Fact: Every woman experiences sex urge differently during pregnancy. Some women develop more urge for sex and feel better about it because of the increase in blood flow around the pelvic. Other women may also experience lower libido. You may have to avoid sex if only your specialist advised you to, as a result of complications.
Myth 9. Stretch marks can be cleared with cream
Fact: Stretch marks usually fade away over time. There is no suggested evidence that any oil or cream can prevent or remove stretch marks
Myth 10. Stay away from cats
Fact: Well, you aren’t expected to give out your cats during pregnancy. Though, it is found that cats feces contain toxoplasmosis, which is dangerous and can cause birth defects. Ask someone to help you or wear hand gloves when cleaning up their mess.
10 surprising pregnancy myths and facts in Nigeria
Myth 1#. Safety pins prevent an attack from the evil ones.
It is said that the safety pin would prevent any spiritual harm or attack to an unborn baby.
Fact#. This is simply untrue! You might get injured from safety pins. Be careful about what you believe and practice.
Myth 2#. Don’t raise the arm above your head while pregnant else, the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck.
Fact#. The umbilical cord can wrap around the baby’s neck in most cases where there’s an excess amniotic fluid that increases fetal movement or where the cord is extra-long according to a report by the UT Southwestern Medical Centre.
Myth3#. Heartburn during pregnancy suggests the baby will have long hair.
Fact#. Heartburn during pregnancy occurs when the digestive apparatus moves upwards as a result of the growing weight of the baby. Genetic makeup also determines hair on a newborn.
Myth4#. If you don’t drink a lot of water while pregnant your baby will be born dried.
Fact #. This is another shocking old wives’ tale. Though, it is advised that pregnant women should be drinking water from time to time to avoid getting dehydrated.
Myth5#. You can predict what baby a pregnant woman will be having by her facial beauty.
They claimed that if a pregnant woman is looking beautiful that suggests she’s expecting a baby girl and if she’s looking otherwise that means she’s going to have a baby boy.
Fact#. Changes in hormones, morning sickness, and expanding baby bump affect a lot of changes in pregnant women’s facial appearances, leaving a lot of them exhausted and with acne. This has nothing to do with determining the sex of the baby in the womb.
Myth6#. If you crave for food, your baby will love food
Fact#. This is simply untrue and has no proof.
Myth7#. Don’t look at ugly animals
This is a common myth across several cultures. It is believed that when a pregnant woman looks at an ugly animal, her baby would look like an unpleasant animal.
Fact#. It is important to note that babies are never ugly. So there is no empirical fact to support the above myth.
Myth#8. The shape of your pregnancy determines the sex of the baby
For instance, if your baby bump is low, it’s a baby boy, and if it’s high, it’s a baby girl
Fact#. This is false because it’s simply the reflection of the shape of the pregnant woman as the baby in her womb grows, carrying low or high does not determine the baby gender.
Myth9#. You must experience ‘show’, or the amniotic sac must break before delivery.
Fact#. This is absolutely one sign that suggests that your baby is on the way or labor has set in. This is common to most women, not every pregnant woman experiences show. It does not mean that something is wrong with you if you do not experience this. I recalled my pregnancy was overdue and instead of experiencing a show as they claimed, what I saw was blood. So, this is nothing to be worried about if yours comes otherwise.
Myth10#. No sexual intimacy because indulging in it during pregnancy might hurt your baby.
Fact#. This is untrue because there are seven layers of skin from a woman’s abdominal wall that protects the amniotic sac. During pregnancy, a woman’s cervix hardened and lengthened to protect the uterus. you can only avoid sex if your doctor advises you to do so in order to avoid certain complications.
Finally, pregnancy comes with a lot of concerns, pregnant women tend to be asking so many questions and how to stay safe, fit, and protect their unborn babies throughout their gestational period. Everyone in the family including mothers-in-law, older sisters, and friends surely have a host of advice to offer.
You just have to be on the watch out for these, lend them your ears, but do what is right because so many of what they guide you to do are merely old wives’ tales. Be guided against some of these misleading myths. You are safer seeking the right information from your healthcare provider.
Questions you don’t ask pregnant women in Nigeria
My pregnancy myths experience in Nigeria
My pregnancy journey in Nigeria opened my eyes to so many pregnancy myths, beliefs, and restrictions I found awkward but, I had no choice, other than to play along with the majority while doing what I believed was right within me.
What those in the western world sing like a daily creed about their pregnancies are the things you are directly or indirectly forbidden to talk about your pregnancy in Nigeria.
Don’t ever ask pregnant women in Nigeria these questions
DUE DATE: Your delivery due date is what your gynecologist tells you on your first day of antenatal consultations. Every woman who has been pregnant is 100% aware of this fact. Ask a pregnant woman in Nigeria her due month or date, if she’s kind enough, she would tell you that “it’s only God that knows when her baby is due”. If you are unlucky, she would bash you with the question of, “why do you want to know?”. Then she goes back home to bombard you with prayers of ”casting and binding!”. This is simply because she believes you had an ulterior motive for asking such a question.
If you don’t want to be called names or labeled a “witch”, don’t ever think of asking a pregnant woman in Nigeria the sex of her unborn baby. They barely disclose this with anyone not even to their loved ones except their husbands. Though a few numbers of them may decide, they do not want to know their baby’s sex during ultrasound until their baby is born.
Cultural and over religious indulgence have made 99% of people in Nigeria believe in witchcraft. So many women believe that reviewing details about your pregnancies to others may bring ill-luck. Some believed that telling people your baby’s sex might enable them to switch babies in the womb huh! This is simply another pregnancy myth and the reason why most pregnant women go about wearing pins on their clothes with the claim that it protects them and their babies from evil manipulations.
Belief About Caesarean Section
Asking a woman to choose either Caesarean section or normal delivery is another prohibited topic to discuss. C-section is never an option among pregnant women in Nigeria. I got the shock of my life when I had my baby via C-section, my older sister who came for the Omogwu” warmed me seriously never to tell anyone that I delivered via C-section. When I did ask her why? She simply said “it’s something not to be proud that people would see me as a weak woman who wasn’t capable of pushing out her baby” hmm! That’s another pregnancy myth I supposed!
To 90% of women in Nigeria, It’s something they pray against. To them it’s a bad omen, a stigma-this is why they all want to be “Hebrew women” in Nigeria LOL! A couple of them die in the process of childbearing just because of their stubbornness, false prophecies, and belief. I pray everyone’s faith sees them through.
Though this is a general notion. It is practical in my country. The baby shower trend overseas doesn’t exist. In Nigeria, people officially celebrate the arrival of babies on the 8th day of delivery, this is common among the people from the west, the (Yorubas) while the majority of others celebrate after 3 months that is, church dedication.
The mortality rate is on the increase in Nigeria, probably as a result of these pregnancy myths and the belief of every pregnant woman wanting to be delivered like the Hebrew women. Women should generally understand that no matter the mode of delivery, either delivery through the vaginal or C-section, what should be paramount is the safety and survival of both mother and child. This outcome is what should be considered as safe delivery! See a video here about my personal pregnancy myths experiences in Nigeria while I was pregnant with my first child.
So, if you are a foreigner married to a Nigerian or you are visiting Nigeria from anywhere, please avoid asking pregnant women any of the above-stated questions else, you get labeled negatively.