- Women shouldn’t do strenuous exercise while pregnant (weightlifting, long distance running, etc.).
Myth. Healthy women who have previously been participating in these activities can continue to do so through most of their pregnancy (although at a somewhat reduced pace that should be discussed with their physician), and ease-up as they get closer to the delivery date. Women who have not participated in these activities prior to getting pregnant should start slowly, and only work up to it under physician supervision. Appropriate exercise will strengthen you back and joints, increase blood flow to the baby, and prepare your body for childbirth.
- Cat owners should rehome their pet while a woman is pregnant.
Myth. The cat is fine. It’s the litter you want to stay away from. If your cat eats certain infected organisms, like birds or rodents, toxoplasmosis parasites can be passed along through their feces. To reduce your exposure to toxoplasma, find someone else to manage the litter tray. Alternatively, thoroughly wash your hands after petting the cat or changing the litter.
- Sushi is off limits while pregnant.
Myth. While you want to steer away from raw, mercury-rich fish, particularly in the first trimester, appropriately prepared sushi is generally safe. There are also rolls that contain cooked fish which have nutrients and vitamins essential to the growth and development of your baby.
- No flying while pregnant.
Myth. It is perfectly safe to fly in pregnancy, but some airlines have their own regulations about when you can fly. Most physicians would recommend flying (or cruises) only to locations where there is good access to high level maternity care. This is especially important after 22 weeks when prematurity prevention and care are a concern. Check with your physician as you get closer to your delivery date so that you can gauge when you could run the risk of going into labor mid-flight. Also, it’s extra important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water the day before and the day of your travel to minimize the dehydration effects of dry cabin air. For long flights, also be sure to get up and walk around the plane or do stretching exercises in your seat every 30 minutes.
- No extended car travel while pregnant.
Myth. Car travel is fine. Follow all the safe precautions you would, including wearing your seat belt. Again, as your due date gets closer, check with your physician about how far is too far if you don’t want to risk starting labor too far from your delivery hospital. Every 2 hours, take bathroom breaks and walks to improve circulation and reduce bladder pressure. Be a passenger whenever possible; your uterus will get closer and closer to the wheel during pregnancy, which could be dangerous if you get into a crash.
- You’re eating for two, so eat more!
Myth. There is no reason to eat more, just eat healthier! Your body becomes very efficient during pregnancy, absorbing more of the nutrients you take in. Try to eat a diet higher in protein and somewhat lower in carbohydrates and you only need to consume 300 extra calories a day for your baby. Treat your body the best ever while you are pregnant to keep yourself and your baby healthy. Make sure you are getting plenty of calcium, folic acid and protein in your diet. When hungry between meals, try to go for a healthy snack like a boiled egg or a handful of raw nuts. Of course, cravings will come and a few sweet treats now and then won’t hurt.
- Don’t color your hair while pregnant.
Myth. Because the first 12 weeks are important to the baby’s development, wait until the second trimester to go to the salon. Utilize techniques that apply color on the hair shaft to avoid soaking up the harmful chemicals.