Pregnancy is one of the most miraculous, and complex, processes that occurs in a woman’s lifetime. So, it’s no wonder the aura around pregnancy and childbirth is so ripe with myths that become accepted as medical science.

We’re here to bust some of those common pregnancy myths so you can enjoy your pregnancy to its fullest, without having to worry about your every move.

  1. Eating fish is off limits. Not so. And, in fact, a couple of servings of fish is good for you. The issue isn’t the fish, it’s the mercury levels the fish contain, due to contaminated water, that causes the problem. Here is a list of fish high in mercury. These should be avoided:
  • Orange Roughy
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Ahi Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Marlin
  • Shark

These fish have the lowest levels of mercury and you can enjoy two, 6-oz. servings per week:

  • Anchovies
  • Salmon (both canned and fresh)
  • Butterfish
  • Haddock
  • Flounder
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Fresh water trout
  1. Using cocoa butter on your belly will prevent stretch marks. We are sorry to inform you that this simply isn’t the case. Skin elasticity is predominantly genetic, so if your mother and/or sisters had stretch marks, you may too. Your belly skin can get pretty itchy when it starts stretching, so all that cocoa butter can help to keep your skin moisturized and reduce the irritable itching sensation.
  2. Carrying high/low/left/right means you’re having a boy/girl.pregnancy myths You will hear all pregnancy long about how you are carrying relates to the gender of your unborn child. However, there is no correlation between belly shape, size, angle, or even morning sickness and the gender of your child. Babies come in all different shapes and sizes, regardless of their gender. Your body, plus the baby’s body, plus the position the baby is in that day are the factors that dictate how you carry on a particular day. Everything else is just a wives’ tale.
  3. Never sleep on your back. Unless you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, and have been specifically told by your doctor not to sleep on your back, you and your baby should be fine. There is a large vein, called the vena cava, that can become compressed while lying on your back, especially as the baby gets larger through the latter second and third trimesters. However, the most important thing for you and your baby is that you are as well rested as possible. Should the baby crimp the vena cava while you sleep, you will instinctively move into a different position.
  4. Eating for two never felt so good. It’s never healthy to overeat, and the same holds true when your pregnant. The truth is, pregnancy only requires an average increase of about 300 calories per day. And, most of those calories should be coming from high-quality protein, fruits, veggies, and whole grain foods. Most doctors want to keep weight gain to a 30-pound maximum, but that all depends on your size, body type, and health status.
  5. Avoid exercising during pregnancy.Again, there are high-risk situations where exercise during pregnancy will need to be avoided, but these situations are very rare. In fact, we recommend that you exercise regularly to remain healthy and strong for your upcoming labor. Exercise also helps to keep you from retaining water and gaining unnecessary weight.

Worried about recent myths you have heard about what you can and can’t do during pregnancy? Contact Overlake OB/GYN for sound, compassionate, and quality prenatal care.