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Popular Myths About Pregnancy

Forming a baby in the womb is the most complicated thing a woman can do without really having to think about it. But that doesn’t mean women don’t worry over it.

Cutting-edge fetal research is challenging some of the conventional wisdom about pregnancy, producing findings that may surprise you. Read on to find out more about what science can tell us about how pregnancy really works.

Myth #1: Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks. False. In fact using cocoa butter makes women’s skin more sensitive, and some women have allergic reactions to it./p>

Myth #2: You can’t fly during your first or last trimester. False. You can fly whenever you want. Some airlines won’t let you on the plane in your last trimester, but that has more to do with fears that you’ll go into labor and force the plane to land or spoil the upholstery.

Myth #3: You can’t pet your cat during pregnancy. False. However, you shouldn’t change your cat’s litter box during pregnancy because of the risk of toxoplasmosis from the feces.

Myth #4: You shouldn’t eat smoked salmon while pregnant. False. Salmon is good for mothers-to-be; it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, which studies show have a variety of benefits for pregnant women and their fetuses, and salmon is a fresh water fish, so the likelihood of mercury poisoning is low.

Myth #5: You can’t eat hot dogs either. False. Hot dogs are also fine to eat, as long as they’re well-cooked.

Myth #6: Pregnant women should keep away from polished furniture. False.

Myth #7: Dying your hair is harmful for your baby. False.

Myths #8, 9, and 10: You shouldn’t have sex, lift your hands over your head or touch your toes while pregnant: All false, unless you have a specific medical condition and your doctor warns you against it.

Myth #11: You shouldn’t take hot baths while pregnant. True. You should avoid saunas, jacuzzis or anything that raises your body temperature over 102 degrees.

Myth #12: You shouldn’t drink coffee while pregnant. False. Don’t go overboard, but a cup a day won’t hurt.

Myth #13: You should abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. True. The American College of Obstetricians, along with all other American health authorities, advise women to refrain from drinking alcohol.

Myth #14: Pregnant women should sleep on their left side. False. Get whatever sleep you can.

Myth #15: The baby’s position in the womb can tell you its gender. False. Also, the line on the skin stretching below the navel is no clue to whether your baby’s a boy or girl. You just can’t tell from outside the womb.

Myth #16: Walking makes labor go faster. False. It might make you feel better but there’s no activity that’s going to bring on labor.

Myth #17: Pregnant women should eat for two. False. Carrying a baby actually only requires 300 extra calories a day. So technically you should be eating for about one and a fifth.

Myth #18: A bigger baby is a better baby. False. The average baby weighs about 7.5 pounds. Babies that are much bigger than that are more likely to suffer from diabetes and obesity in later life.

Myth #19: Drinking dark beer helps the milk come in. False. It might help the mother relax though, which does help with milk letdown, but it has nothing to do with the barley in the beer.

Do this. Don’t do that. With all the pregnancy “advice” out there, it’s hard to know what to believe — or whom to believe. But remember, every pregnancy is different, so follow your doctor’s orders above anything else.