Part of the experience of being pregnant is being inundated with advice from family, friends and even strangers. While all of these people mean well, some of this advice may be myths and can cause unnecessary fear. Many of these myths sound reasonable, while others are completely unbelievable. If you are in doubt about whether a piece of advice is a myth, check with your doctor.
“If you stand on your head after sex, you’ll get pregnant.” If you are trying to get pregnant, staying in bed for a few extra minutes will allow the sperm to travel further, but there is no evidence that standing on your head will help with conception.
This is one of the more common areas for myths. Some people claim that a fetal heart rate above 140 beats per minute indicates a girl, while boys have a slower heart rate. Myths also claim that when a woman ‘carries’ her baby low it is a boy, while girls are carried high. Both of these are myths, as is the idea that the shape and fullness of a mother’s face indicates the baby’s gender.
Harming the Baby
Several myths concern harm to the baby. It is an old wives’ tale that if a mother raises her arms above her head it will wrap the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck. Many babies are born with the cord wrapped around their necks and it is caused from the baby’s activity. One silly myth states that if a woman sees something horrible, it will scar the baby or make him ugly, while another myth says that if a pregnant mother gets heartburn, it will cause the baby to be born with lots of hair. Many mothers experience heartburn, but it does not affect the baby’s hair.
“If you have sex during pregnancy, it can hurt the baby or bring on labor.” Actually, there are certain situations when a doctor will instruct a pregnant mother to avoid sex, but not because it will harm the baby or bring on labor.
Food and Exercise
If a pregnant woman eats spicy food, it will induce labor. There is also the myth that eating spicy food or walking will induce labor. Nothing you can eat will induce labor and moderate exercise is good for a pregnant woman.