Pregnancy is a time when women are often showered with advice from all directions – friends, family, and even strangers. While some of the advice might be helpful, there are times when the advice is downright dumb. Unfortunately, many people still cling to old wives’ tales and myths when it comes to pregnancy. These pieces of advice can be not only unhelpful but also dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies.
1. “Don’t Exercise”
One of the most absurd pieces of advice given to pregnant women is to avoid exercising. Exercise during pregnancy is not only safe, but it also has many benefits, including improving mood, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes, and even helping to ease labor and delivery. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any exercise program during pregnancy.
2. “Eat For Two”
Another piece of advice that pregnant women often hear is to “eat for two.” While it is true that the body needs more nutrients during pregnancy, this does not mean that women should double their food intake. Overeating during pregnancy can lead to unnecessary weight gain, which can increase the risk of gestational diabetes and other complications.
3. “Don’t Travel”
Pregnancy does not mean that women have to stop traveling altogether. However, some people advise pregnant women to avoid travel altogether, especially during the first trimester. While there are risks associated with traveling during pregnancy, such as blood clots and infections, women can still travel if they take the necessary precautions, such as wearing compression stockings, drinking plenty of water, and taking frequent breaks.
4. “Don’t Drink Water”
Some people believe that pregnant women should avoid drinking water to prevent swelling. This is not only false but also dangerous. Drinking water is essential during pregnancy, as it helps to flush out toxins and maintain amniotic fluid levels. Additionally, dehydration can lead to complications such as preterm labor and urinary tract infections.
5. “Don’t Lift Anything Heavy”
Another common piece of advice given to pregnant women is to avoid lifting anything heavy. While it is true that lifting heavy objects can put a strain on the body, moderate lifting is generally safe during pregnancy. In fact, strength training during pregnancy can help to maintain muscle mass and reduce the risk of back pain.
6. “Don’t Cut Your Hair”
One of the weirdest pieces of advice pregnant women receive is to avoid cutting their hair. The myth is that cutting your hair during pregnancy can harm the baby or cause complications during delivery. Myth being the key word. There is no medical evidence to support this, so don’t fall for this old wives’ tale.
7. “Drink Alcohol in Moderation”
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not safe, and it is recommended that women avoid alcohol altogether. For some reason, though, some people advise pregnant women to drink alcohol in moderation. This advice is not only dumb but dangerous. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause lifelong physical and mental disabilities.
8. “Eat Spicy Food to Induce Labor”
Another piece of advice that pregnant women often hear is to eat spicy food to induce labor. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Eating spicy food may cause heartburn or indigestion, but it will not induce labor. If a woman is past her due date and wants to induce labor, she should talk to her doctor.
9. “Don’t Take Medication”
Some people believe that pregnant women should avoid taking any medication, including over-the-counter painkillers, to protect the baby. This advice is not only dumb but dangerous. There are many safe medications that pregnant women can take, and some medications are essential for managing certain medical conditions during pregnancy. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any medication during pregnancy.
10. “Don’t Sleep On Your Back”
Some people believe that pregnant women should avoid sleeping on their backs, as it can cut off blood flow to the baby. Unfortunately, this advice is not entirely accurate. While it is true that sleeping on your back can cause discomfort and even fainting in some pregnant women, there is no evidence to suggest that it harms the baby. Pregnant women should sleep in a position that is comfortable for them.