14 Pregnancy Myths You Can Ignore - Baby Chick

14 Pregnancy Myths You Can Ignore

pregnancyPublished April 15, 2018


Pregnancy is a trying time for any woman. From our mothers telling us to avoid this and that, to friends giving us their two cents on what we should or should not do, to strangers adding their random opinions to the growing list — getting through pregnancy without becoming overwhelmed by all of these opinions can be challenging. While some opinions your doctor will confirm are silly pregnancy myths you can ignore, others can be dangerous to you or your baby.

Pregnancy Myths You Shouldn’t Worry About

1. You can eat what you want.

Doctors agree that pregnant women need to eat a bit more than those who are not. However, this should only add approximately 300 calories to your diet, not a thousand or more.1 You are not eating for an army.

2. Cocoa butter will prevent stretch marks.

This is false. Cocoa butter has been found to make our skin even more sensitive, and for some women, it can also cause an allergic reaction (which is something to avoid when pregnant).2

3. You can’t touch your cat.

While petting your cat during pregnancy is fine, you should not clean your cat’s litter box because of the risk of toxoplasmosis.3

4. You can’t take hot baths to relax.

Scalding hot baths when you’re pregnant should be avoided. You should also avoid things like saunas and jacuzzis because they will raise your body temperature “over 102 degrees,” which is unsuitable for your baby.4

5. Don’t snack throughout the day.

Eating three meals a day is good, but when you are pregnant, it is better to eat five to six small meals throughout the day from various food groups as they will keep your blood sugar in a constant range, which is healthy for you and your baby.

6. A big baby is a healthy baby.

The average baby weighs about seven and a half pounds, and bigger babies are more at risk of obesity and diabetes as they grow older.5

7. A small baby is a healthy baby.

While a big baby has its disadvantages, a small baby also comes with several risks.6 A smaller baby can suffer from serious health problems as a toddler and as an adult as compared to a baby with a healthy weight.

8. You should stop working out.

Staying active while pregnant is important to prepare yourself for birth and to be healthy for your baby. Although you should avoid high-intensity workouts, you should continue working out for nine months.

9. One drink won’t hurt the baby.

Some people allow themselves a sip of wine, while others abstain entirely. While much of this myth depends on the mother, studies have shown that drinking during pregnancy increases the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).7

10. Smoking won’t affect the baby’s health.

Some women smoke during their first pregnancy, and when they see that their baby is fine, they think they can get away with smoking during their consequent pregnancies. However, studies have shown severe health risks that smoking can cause for babies — so even if the health issues are not evident — abstaining from smoking during this time is highly recommended by medical experts worldwide.8

11. You Can Tell the Gender by Your Stomach

I always heard old wives’ tales that if you carry low, it means you’re having a boy. More than enough, moms told me there is no truth in this! There is no scientific evidence that links the way you carry to the gender of your baby.9 The only way to honestly know what you are having is to find out the gender with your doctor or wait until the baby is born to find out the gender (if you have that kind of patience!). This is among the most circulated pregnancy myths!

12. You Can’t Wear Heels

This one was a bit disappointing (any excuse to avoid heels is a good thing in my book), but for all the women who love putting on their favorite pair of stilettos for work or a dinner date, you don’t have to stop just because you’re pregnant. The real reason this pregnancy myth went around is that wearing heels may increase your chance of falling, which, in turn, could hurt the baby. But, as long as you are careful and comfortable in your heels, there is no need to stick to flats for all nine months.

13. You Can’t Dye Your Hair

Yes, it’s true; this is one of many pregnancy myths! You don’t have to deal with dark roots or grey hairs while pregnant. It’s smart for women to feel their best while pregnant, and if a hair touch-up does that for you, then, by all means, get your hair done! It’s been proven that hair dye is not toxic enough to harm your baby and that the skin only absorbs a tiny amount so that it won’t affect the fetus.10,11 If you perm or chemically straighten your hair, you may want to wait until the baby is born to get these treatments done.

14. You Must Avoid Traveling

This one is a mixed bag. Many people will tell you not to get on an airplane in your first trimester, while others are adamant about steering clear of travel in your third trimester. Research has shown that there isn’t necessarily a correlation between planes and pregnancies.12 Still, many doctors will have pregnant women avoid plane travel due to the inability to get help from a doctor and the small confines should you have an issue. Always consult your doctor before traveling to determine the best option for you and your baby.

As soon as you get pregnant, be prepared to hear everyone’s opinions about what you should and shouldn’t do while pregnant. And be ready to combat the pregnancy myths! Just remember: this is your body and your baby, and usually, you are the best person to know what feels right.

Pregnant woman feeling pain while sitting at sofa in living room

12 Most Surprisingly Weird Pregnancy Symptoms

Portrait of beautiful pregnant black mother holding her pregnant belly at home. Close-up.

10 Commandments of Pregnancy

Pregnant woman window shopping at jewelry store

The Best Shoes To Wear During Pregnancy

A pregnant constipated woman with bladder problems needing to pee, rushing to the bathroom.

Lightning Crotch: What It Is and Why It Sucks

Worried woman holding pregnancy test.

Cryptic Pregnancy: Everything You Need to Know

Young pregnant woman at home sitting on sofa and relaxing with pet dog

10 Things Pregnant Women Do When They’re Finally Alone