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Pregnancy Fallacy

What to really expect when you’re expecting


Should you eat this? Must you avoid doing that? There is so much hearsay and claims that the modern mum-to-be has to sift through for the sake of her baby and her own well-being, that fiction risks overruling fact. We highlight eight common pregnancy myths and break them down for you!



The food you eat affects the skin colour of your baby.

iStock_000010072649_LargeYou may have heard the following claims: drinking soy milk will ensure your baby has fair skin, while eating food laced with dark soy sauce or drinking coffee gives your baby a dark complexion. There is no scientific evidence that supports these claims, and in fact, overdosing on soy products may prove harmful to the foetus, as soy contains isoflavones, which mimic oestrogen and may cause deformities in the developing foetus. However, soy is a great source of nutrition that is cheap, easily available and found in a variety of forms like miso, soy sauce and beancurd. Consume it in moderate amounts alongside a balanced diet.


Eating pineapple will cause you to have a miscarriage or go into premature labour.happy girl with pineapple

While we now know that no food you eat will affect your baby’s skin colour, what about foods that affect the developing foetus’s well-being? Pineapple is a fruit that purportedly causes pregnant women to have a miscarriage or go into premature labour. Here’s the reason why: it contains bromelain, a compound that breaks down proteins, which is largely what your growing baby is made up of. However, one would have to consume a huge amount of pineapple – seven to eight at one go – to risk such an effect!

Woman Tasting CakeMYTH #3

You should eat for two.

Pregnant women only need an additional 300 calories daily, according to the Health Promotion Board. Eating more than necessary piles on unwanted weight, and also increases the risk of an over-large baby, which may lead to labour complications such as having to go through an emergency caesarean operation. So make it a point to eat as healthily as you can, choosing whole grains, lean meat and fish, and plenty of veggies for your main meals, and wholesome snacks like fresh fruit, nuts and low-fat yoghurt.


Eating ‘cooling’ foods is a no-no.

The concept of ‘warming’ and ‘cooling’ foods stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophy. Foods that have cooling properties are touted as unsuitable for pregnant women, especially in the early stages of pregnancy as they weaken the womb and pose the risk of miscarriage or bleeding. However, TCM is about finding your body’s balance through both warming and cooling foods and herbs. So don’t pay heed to hearsay – consult a certified TCM practitioner for a proper diagnosis and advice.


Sex during pregnancy will harm your baby.

Ever heard the one that claims an erect penis will poke and make a dent on your baby’s head? Here’s the fact: your baby is snugly protected in an amniotic sac, and your cervix is sealed by a thick layer of mucus known as a mucus plug. Hence, sexual penetration does not pose any harm. However, pregnancy complications such as placenta previa (low-lying placenta), risk of miscarriage and other diagnosed complications must be taken into consideration. Always consult your obstetrician, who is in the best position to give you advice. And while sex during pregnancy is usually harmless and enjoyable, do maintain proper hygiene practices so you don’t risk getting vaginal infections such as thrush.


Exercise should be avoided during pregnancy.

iStock_000010810045_FullUnless your obstetrician has diagnosed you with complications that may compromise the pregnancy, it is perfectly fine to continue exercising. Doing low to moderate intensity exercise will prove to be more beneficial than harmful to you, as it will help to strengthen your body as it adjusts to accommodate the growing foetus and weight gain. Some examples of suitable exercises for pregnant women consist of swimming, brisk walking, yoga and Pilates.


Nausea brought on by pregnancy will last for only three months.

The cocktail of hormonal surges, bodily changes and enhanced senses (particularly that of smell) normally affects most women in the first trimester (up to 12 weeks), but for many others, it may go well beyond that into the second or even third trimester. So don’t feel too bummed when the discomfort doesn’t seem to fade off: there are many reasons to rejoice! For one, nausea is associated with a surge in the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is what the body needs to ensure a viable pregnancy. On the other hand, do note that not experiencing nausea doesn’t mean your pregnancy isn’t doing well; count your blessings and cherish your appetite!


Your baby’s gender can be predicted by the shape of your growing tummy.iStock_000018836776_Large

How this one came about is a mystery, but it is a fact that there is absolutely no way to predict your baby’s gender by the shape of your tummy. Your growing belly’s shape (and size) is determined by the size and position of the developing foetus. The most reliable way to find out your baby’s gender is by doing an ultrasound; depending on how much your little one chooses to reveal via his or her position, your baby’s genitals can usually be seen from 16 weeks of pregnancy onwards.


Sylvy Soh
Posted by ezyhealth on Feb 4 2015. Filed under Myth Busters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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