Pregnancy Myths

Nutrition related myths
From the very start of pregnancy, mothers are subjected to various traditional do’s and don’ts, some of which have been proven but many of these beliefs do not have substantial scientific or medical evidence to back them up. Despite this many women swear by them! Your loved ones may bombard you with innumerable ‘tips’ in the excitement of your pregnancy, but remember to practice only what you deem is right, in accordance with what your medical practitioner advices.

General pregnancy myths

Myth: Women decide the sex of the baby.
FALSE. The male’s sperm is the deciding factor in determining the baby’s gender.

Myth: Your skin glows during pregnancy.
TRUE. The March of Dimes states that blood flow increases during pregnancy, including within the vessels just beneath the surface of the skin. In addition to this, the hormones released during pregnancy causes the skin’s sebaceous glands to release oily secretions called sebum which makes the skin look shiny. The ‘glow’ seen in pregnant women may be the result of these two factors.

Myth: Raising your arms above your head can cause the umbilical cord to strangle the baby.
FALSE. It is physically impossible to be able to control the movement of the umbilical cord by mere movements of your arms.

Myth: Pregnant women who carry low will have a baby boy; pregnancy acne means it will be a girl.
FALSE. Taller, thinner women tend to carry higher; while shorter and fuller women appear to carry lower. Furthermore, since abdominal muscles may be looser in a second pregnancy, the pregnancy may appear to be lower.

Pregnancy acne on the other hand is simply the result of natural hormonal changes.

Myth: Pregnant women shouldn’t take baths.
FALSE. Pregnant women shouldn’t take HOT baths as temperatures above 98 degrees is unfavourable to the pregnancy. Taking a warm bath helps:
·        Reduce uncomfortable swelling in arms and legs
·        Prevent premature contractions
·        Increase amniotic fluid

Nutrition related myths

Myth: You should be eating for two.
TRUE. It is true that your nutrient needs increase, but energy requirements only increase about 300 calories per day for the second and third trimester of pregnancy, which is about a cup of reduced fat milk or yogurt and a medium orange! Remember, research has shown that too much weight gain is linked with complications at birth.

Myth: Childbirth will be easier with less weight gain.
TRUE. Your baby will be at risk of a premature birth which often results in lung and heart problems if you do not gain enough weight during your pregnancy.

Myth: You only crave the foods your body needs.
FALSE. Cravings should not be the sole indicator of your nutritional needs as pregnant women can crave foods of any type.

Local old wives' tales, superstitions and myths
  • A pregnant mother’s cravings, regardless of how absurd, should be tended to, lest the child is born with a tendency to drool. Even cravings for foods considered unhealthy for mother or child should be catered to, but eaten in moderation. *Don’t worry, having food cravings while pregnant is completely normal - about two-thirds of pregnant women have them! If you are having food cravings, go ahead and indulge in them, but the key word here is moderation. Always bear in mind to keep your diet balanced and control giving in to your cravings if they are cutting out other necessary nutrients.
  •  Foods considered too ‘cold’ are thought to cause miscarriage in women. The Chinese believe that your womb is an incubator for your baby. The womb is to be kept warm (and not too hot) so that your baby can grow. ‘Cold’ foods include watermelon, wintermelon and water chestnut, to name a few.
  •  If a pregnant mother frequently eats food that is not properly cut or mashed, her child will have a careless disposition.
  • Light coloured food and drinks (e.g. milk) will make your baby fair-skinned. If soy sauce or dark soy sauce is consumed in large quantities, your baby will have darker skin.
  • Bananas should be avoided because the baby might ‘slip’ out
  • Watermelons are to be avoided too, not only because it is considered a ‘cold’ food, it will also make your baby’s head big, resulting in a difficult delivery
  •  Pregnant women should avoid eating squid for fear of complications when giving birth such as the baby getting strangled by its umbilical cord (analogous to the squid’s tentacles). This was a popular superstition in the olden times.
  • Foods that are believed to ‘poison’ the fetus, such as bananas and some types of fish should be avoided.
  • Animals that have scales or rough skin should be avoided or the baby will develop skin problems.
  • Desiring sour food stuffs indicates a female baby and desiring sweets indicates a male baby.
  •  If a pregnant woman drinks a lot of tea/coffee, the baby will be born with dark skin.
  • Eating papaya, eggs and other ‘heaty’ foods may result in abortion

How to Avoid Abdominal Separation During Pregnancy

Diastasis recti-Abdominal Separation
How can I reduce and minimize this pregnancy condition?
Diastasis recti-

Diastasis recti is a condition where the two right and left sides of the rectus abdominis (your "six-pack" muscle) spreads apart at the body's mid-line (the linea alba). Separation occurs in response to your uterus pushing against the abdominal wall and pregnancy hormones which soften connective tissue. Separation can occur at any time in the last half of pregnancy but is most problematic after pregnancy when the abdominal wall is weak, when there is no longer a baby inside to aid support. Premature separation can also be seen as early as 20 weeks.

There are varying degrees of this condition during pregnancy
Factors during pregnancy that can cause premature separation:
Poor Posture
Daily Activities
Incorrect Exercise
Multiple Pregnancies
Subsequent pregnancies
(pregnancies too close together-) when the muscles have not returned back to their pre pregnancy strength or closure

What to do
If you want to reduce your diastasis then you 1st need to address the things you do daily. Poor posture is held over numerous hours and days and daily activities can also be done for many hours. Anything you do over a long period of time will increase this condition very quickly.

Incorrect Exercise during Pregnancy
Exercise in the gym is completed in minutes and we can easily avoid exercises that increase separation if we know what they are. All frontal Planks on the swiss ball or on the floor, full or kneeling press ups should be avoided during second and third Tri-mesters and more suitable core strength exercises should be done.
This photo was taken for this article: FRONT PLANK: As you can see there is increased pressure downwards regardless of how strong the abdominal muscles were prior to pregnancy

Poor Pre & Post Pregnancy Posture
Poor Posture can be harder to correct. Some of us may have had poor posture for many years.
Sway back posture is the main culprit of premature separation. Prior to pregnancy in a sway back posture the core and gluteus muscles along with the mid trapezius in the middle back are long and weak. This incorrect posture pushes the hips and tummy forward, weakening the abdominal muscles further pre & post pregnancy.
Sway Back Posture: Post pregnancy-long and weak abdominal muscles, hips and tummy pushing forward

If poor posture is not addressed and continues during pregnancy lower back pain is inevitable and increased separation will be caused due to the abdominal weakness and continued pushing forward of the uterus. Specific pregnancy strength and postural correction exercise are what is needed.

Daily Activity:
Possibly one of the worse daily activities that will increase separation is pushing a buggy incorrectly. Many of us will push a buggy several hours during the week!
Decrease weight if possible especially if walking up hill, I would always ask the oldest child to get out and walk if and when possible.
In this photograph this position you are leaning too far forward and rely on the buggy for support not your own muscles-your core strength, there is also alot of upper body tension through the neck and shoulders. In this incorrect pushing position you are pushing down from your tummy increasing separation.
In the correct position your hips are tucked under and you are supporting yourself as opposed to the other way round. You can use your glutes and leg muscles instead of your lower back muscles.There is no upper body tension.

Multiple and Subsequent Pregnancies
Subsequent pregnancies that are close together should not mean that you cannot prevent premature or an increased diastasis recti and just because you are carrying a multiple pregnancy doesn’t mean you will have increased separation. It is paramount that you close the separation after each pregnancy.
By addressing the factors I have mentioned and following a pre or post pregnancy program before commencing a pregnancy diastasis recti is reduced to a minimum therefore increasing your recovery and helping you get rid of your baby tummy quickly post birth.

Trying to Get Pregnant

To get pregnant at a very young age especially at a very young age is a pity to see, however; to get pregnant at 40’s is a not good to see either.

Pregnancy is very delicate because there is a little angel growing inside you. Thus, a pregnant woman and woman trying to get pregnant must take necessary measures so that the baby is healthy as we all wanted them to be. A baby in a family adds joy and happiness. Even how tough the day is at work or even at home doing all chores, the baby will always eases it with their lovely smiles and giggles. It is just so devastating to see mothers on TV leaving their babies in the garbage and the worst is killing them by abortion and throw them away in canals, rivers and garbage dumps.

There are women who get pregnant very easy. They did not even know they were already pregnant after few months of delayed menstruation. However, there are women who were capable to have babies but were not able to get pregnant as soon as they wanted to. They have to take some Vitamins; others take hormones just to ensure they will be able to produce a baby. Others have to reduce weight, quit smoking and drinking.

For a woman trying to get pregnant, menstruation is a big thing. Whenever they miss their period for a couple of days, they get so excited. But their excitement will be gone after they knew that it was just a change of menstrual cycle and not pregnancy.  Sometimes, they get disappointed everytime they have their menstruation. Others, already loss hopes but there are also some who just keep on trying.

Women who are trying to get pregnant are also sensitive just like pregnant women. Thus, their partner will also play a big role in this process. Not unless their partners are not yet ready to have an additional member of the family. It is important that the couple is ready for the coming of another member of their family. Well, for the couple who do not have any child, they are not yet called family so they have to decide if they wanted to have a family. Their partner should be supportive in every precautionary measure that their wives are taking just have the baby they’ve been waiting for. Husbands should also follow whatever the doctor had advice if ever there is. It’s not all the woman’s effort, it must be both although the woman will carry and deliver the baby.

There are also couples who are very excited for the coming of the baby in their lives and that a nursery was already built. The cribs, the baby rattles, baby bottles and other baby stuffs are already prepared. But there are also some who give away all baby stuffs received as their wedding gift because they were already tired of waiting. Sometimes, these both gave only couples pressure and will result of not having a baby. It is also a doctor’s advice to keep away from being stressed. Trying so hard to get pregnant will make a woman pressured and will result to stress.

No matter how hard you try to get pregnant, it is only God knew when the baby will come, in a right time. All you have to do is to wait. Keep wishing and keep waiting.

Sample Pregnancy Meal Plan

Fruits for Pregnant womenI have prepared a sample pregnancy meal plan for 8 days following closely the
Pregnancy Food guide.Pregnant women need additional 300 calories per day to allow the mother's body to change and the baby to grow. The calorie needs may vary according to your pre-pregnancy weight and the amount of weight need to be gained.

Breakfast : Carrot juice\Apple juice\orange juice\cranberry juice,Pomegranate Bread,Boiled Egg,milk
Lunch:Fish vegetable cutlets,Broccoli rice Casserole ,Carrot Pudding
Dinner:Vegetable Sprouts Noodles, Low fat Cranberry Creme Brulee
Snacks:Guacamole with multi grain chips

BreakFast:Whole Fruit(Apple/pears/plum/peaches/banana),Fruit Challah with Cranberry Preserves,milk
Lunch:Mushroom Walnut Soup,Penne Pasta with Purple Cauliflower,low fat ice cream
Dinner:Baked Pomfret with Vegetable stir fried Brown Rice,Pumpkin lentil soup,Nuts and fresh fruit salad
Snacks:Pumpkin Chocolate Biscotti

BreakFast:Berry Banana Soy Smoothie
,milk,Almond Orange Muffins
Lunch:Chicken Soup,Fruit and Nut Saffron Brown rice Pilaf,Dal Makhani
Dinner:Sesame Dinner rolls with Chicken Shorba ,milk or ice cream
Snacks:Fruit Chaat,Energy Bites

BreakFast:Omelet with Broccoli and Mushrooms,Nutty fruity granola
Lunch:Garlic Herb Chicken,Green Mango Rice,salad,Falooda
Dinner:Salad Olviye,Mint Lentil Soup,Carrots and avocado pasta
Snacks:Energy Bites

BreakFast:Flax Blueberry Smoothie,Green Dosa or Vada with chutney
Lunch:Semolina Veggie Soup,Soy vegetable biryani,Beet Cheese Treats
Dinner:Banana Flower Vegetable Cutlets,Vegetable Crepes with Cabbage and Spring Onions,Avocado fruit cream
Snacks:Peanut Bites

BreakFast:Gobi Paratha,milk,Whole Fruit
Lunch:Green Mung Khichdi with Sesame Chutney,Bread Pudding(Double ka meetha)
Dinner:Sesame chicken with Sauteed Cabbage Salad and Red potato Oven fries,Spice Apple and Pomegranate Pie
Snacks:Sweet and savory phyllo shells

BreakFast:Fruit crepes,whole fruit,milk
Lunch:Mutli Seed Bread Sandwich,leafy green salad,fruit juice
Dinner:Kofta Pulao,Sprouts and Snap Peas Salad,milk
Snacks:Oat meal Fruit macaroons

BreakFast:Saffron Bread,Milk,Whole Fruit
Lunch:Broccoli Soup, Gingered eggplant and snap peas pasta, Milk
Dinner:Sesame Buns with vegetables , Green meat Kababs,Fruit juice
Snacks:Cherry Nut Crescents

Learning About Pregnancy From A to Z

Learning About Pregnancy From A to Z – Some pregnancies are wonderful, but others are not so nice. Taking good care of your body means a much more manageable pregnancy. Use the tips in this article to raise the odds in your favor for feeling great during your pregnancy.
When you need bigger clothes, buy them. You are sure to be far more comfortable and will have expanded wardrobe options. You should never be embarrassed about going maternity clothing shopping. Only you can determine what looks good and feels right for you.
Make sure you’re changing all litter boxes for your cat in the household. Cat urine and feces contain chemicals which can cause you health problems and potentially cost you your pregnancy. If you are married, have your spouse do this job for a while, or if you are single, see if there is a neighbor or family member that can lend a hand.
Learning About Pregnancy From A to Z
Steer clear of Vitamin A if possible while you are pregnant. Vitamin A, in larger quantities, can severely affect fetal development. Limit your intake of things like mangoes, liver and egg yolks unless advised otherwise by your obstetrician or midwife. It is okay to have a little bit of these foods, but do not eat them daily.
Consider bringing a doula on board for your birth. A doula is someone who is trained to be a birth coach. This can give you much support during labor. They are also able to help your partner provide the type of support you need.
Sleeping on the left side of your body is a good idea in your third trimester. This allows unrestricted blood flow to the baby, as well as promoting the flow of blood to the uterus and kidneys. Try not to sleep on your back, as it is a bad position when it comes to blood flow.
There are steps you can take for an easier pregnancy. Use the information given here, and your pregnancy will be fantastic. Use this article as frequently as you need to and even have your partner look at it so they’re able to give you their full support.
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