Science14 mins ago
Pregnancy: Old Wives Tales
There are a whole range of rumours and myths surrounding pregnancy from some believable ones to some ridiculous old wives tales. Many recent surveys have answered these myths once and for all and put the crazy notions to bed.
Truth or scare?
A surprising 18% of mothers-to-be still believe that eating curry will bring on labour. It has been argued that maybe the spices in the food stimulate the bowel, which encourages the uterus to get going; however there are no scientific facts that back up this theory - but why slave over a hot cooker when you could just order a take-away.
Other old wives tales frequently thought to be true include not being able to exercise during pregnancy, a survey shows that a surprising 39% of women actually believe this myth. Exercising while pregnant can give your body a greater ability to handle the discomforts of pregnancy and labour, but while helping to prepare you for the physical stresses you should consider that inappropriate or over exercising can be harmful for mum and baby - so get your doctors approval before beginning an exercise program.
One of the most common pregnancy myths is of course the question of is it going to be a boy or girl? As soon as the bump starts to show people will start giving their opinions - if you’re carrying low it must be a boy so if your bump is high it therefore must be a girl. The truth is the way you carry your baby depends on your muscle tone, whether it is your first pregnancy, the position of the baby and his age and size. It’s a 50/50 so you’re likely to be right half the time, so why not just guess.
There are many myths surrounding food during pregnancy, with a total of 62% of women being unsure of what types of cheese they can eat, 56% do not know what kind of fish they can have and 50% are unsure about eating mayonnaise. There are however some well known no go areas of food while pregnant, including raw meat such as sushi, rare beef or poultry because of the risk of contamination with bacteria and salmonella. Also raw eggs should be avoided at all costs, so that includes Caesar dressing, certain ice creams, custard for the same reason as raw meats. Soft cheese and fish containing high levels of industrial pollutants, such as freshwater fish like salmon.
Flying while pregnancy is a grey area and many mums-to-be avoid doing it just in case. Flying is safe during pregnancy as long as you get up often and walk around to avoid the risk of blood clots. The only recommendation about pregnant women flying is that you shouldn’t fly after your 36th week of pregnancy. It is also advisory to check airline policies before booking your ticket- the last thing you want is to book it and find out you can’t fly, having a baby is an expense enough without added expenditure.
The truth is pregnancy is rife with old wives tales that have been passed from generation to generation. While advice is a great idea while pregnant you shouldn’t listen to everything you hear else you could end up never eating, sleeping, leaving the house or even moving!