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Myths & Facts of Pregnancy

You should take pregnancy vitamins before getting pregnant.
 
FACT:
 
Taking a supplement containing 0.4 mg of folic acid decreases the risk of open neural tube defects such as spina bifida in the baby. Women with a strong family history or a previously affected child will usually have a higher dose recommended. It is important to start taking folic acid at least a month before getting pregnant and to continue until at least 12 weeks pregnant.

You are eating for two.
 
MYTH: 
 
Women only need to increase their daily caloric intake by 300-350 calories.  For example, if you consume 1800 calories per day before pregnancy, you would increase to about 2100 calories per day to support the pregnancy. This is equivalent to a bowl of oatmeal, a glass of milk and one fruit serving. Total weight gain will vary but an average sized woman should aim for approximately 25-35 pounds during her pregnancy.  A lower weight gain is recommended if you start out overweight when you become pregnant. 

A great example of this is a banana bran muffin – 196 calories and a non fat latte (12oz) – 130 calories
Total – 326 calories 
 
A little alcohol is okay during pregnancy.
 
MYTH:
 
Studies looking at alcohol consumption during pregnancy have failed to show a safe amount that has proven to be safe. Different women metabolize alcohol at different rates owing to individual differences in the enzyme that breaks down alcohol. Even occasional use has been shown to cause varying degrees of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which includes birth defects, speech and language delays and learning disabilities.  It is safest to avoid alcohol before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy.
 
You can predict if you are carrying a boy or a girl.
 
MYTH:
 
No methods to determine the sex of the child have been shown to be more accurate than 50%. These include carrying high or low, heartburn, spinning a watch or necklace over the abdomen etc.
 
There are ways to bring on labour.
 
FACT:
 
There are many natural ways known to stimulate contractions when a woman is near her due date.  They include moderate exercise such as walking, climbing stairs. Housework especially activities involving bending such as gardening or vacuuming may bring on labour.  Acupuncture or massage has also been used to stimulate labour. If planning any of these methods, it is best to involve your pregnancy health care provider.
 
You should not eat sushi when pregnant.
 
FACT AND MYTH:
 
It is safest to avoid uncooked seafood and meat while pregnant to decrease the chance of acquiring bacterial infection or parasites.  While most sushi grade raw fish does not carry such potential disease, it is safest to avoid such items. Properly cooked fish and meat and vegetarian sushi is acceptable.  Large fish such as mackerel, swordfish, shark and tuna should be avoided even if cooked as they may contain high levels of mercury.
 
You should not go in hot tubs or have a hot bath while pregnant.
 
FACT:
 
Hot tubs and very hot baths can elevate your own body temperature above 38 degrees C (101 degrees F). Hot tub use in the first 2 months of pregnancy may lead to increased risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects like. Male partners should also avoid hot tubs while trying to conceive as increased testicular temperature can impair normal sperm production.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Parenting

Mummy Tummy