4 Pregnancy Myths Squashed

pregnant monitoring

I can't think of any other medical condition with so many myths about it than pregnancy.  As your baby bump continues to grow, you will likely hear many different myths about pregnancy.  Complete strangers may even walk up to you and spout off ridiculous facts or pregnancy advice  Much of this advice will be a complete myth.  Here are just a few of the myths I discovered throughout my pregnancies.

Myth #1:  Forbidden Foods

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There are several foods that many people think are forbidden when pregnant, including smoked salmon, hot dogs, deli meat, and sushi.  Salmon actually is extremely good for pregnant woman, as it is high in omega-3 fatty acids.   Hot dogs and deli meat are fine to eat as long as they are cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Finally, sushi is allowed, except for rolls with mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish.

Image via Flickr/grendelkhan

Myth #2:  Avoid Taking Baths

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When my back and hips hurt from carrying around the extra weight during pregnancy, I just want to soak in a nice bubble bath.  Thankfully baths are permissible, as long as the water temperature is under 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Bath water that is too hot will cause you to become overheated, which increases your heart rate and reduces blood flow to your baby.  A general rule of thumb is, if you have to ease yourself into the bathtub to adjust the temperature the water is too hot.

Image via iStock/spanishhalex

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Myth #3: Determining Your Baby's Gender

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Perhaps the biggest myths about pregnancy is the various Old Wives tales about determining if your baby is a boy or girl.  Since we chose not to find out if baby #3 was a boy or girl, I heard plenty of old wives tales.  The majority of my friends and family thought for sure I was having a girl, because I was carrying high.  I carried all three of my pregnancies high and am the proud mama of three boys!  

Another well known Old Wives tale to predict gender is if the baby's heart rate is above 140 bpm (beats per minute) it's a girl, and if below it's a boy.

How can I forget the silly Drano test when trying to predict the sex of your baby?  I never tried this one, but I know many friends did.  Supposably after you mix a tablespoon of Drano in with your urine the mixture will turn green if you're having a girl and blue if you're having a boy.  This myth was studied by physicians in Vancouver in 1999, where it was determined to be unreliable.

Image via Flickr/Meringue Bake Shop

Myth #4:  Jump Starting Labor

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During the last three weeks of my pregnancy, I was more than ready to meet my baby.  I counted down the days until my due date.  Every morning I woke up thinking, “I hope today is the day I go in to labor.”  It seems that everyone had a different opinion of things I could do to help kick labor into high gear.  Here are a few of my favorite suggestions:

Drive down a dirt road or go on a roller coaster ride.

Walk on the beach.  (I live 3 hours away from any sort of beach worth walking on!)

Oh, you must eat __________.  The list includes pineapple, eggplant, spicy Mexican dishes, castor oil, and  foods containing basil, oregano, and ginger.  Also, my grandmother told me to drink hot cinnamon tea. 

No matter what old wives tale you are told, research has shown that there is no activity that will bring on labor.  Labor is triggered by biological signals, most of which remain uncertain, even to the medical community.

For more on this subject check out Time Magazines article 20 common pregnancy myths.

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What advice did you receive during your pregnancy that proved to be a myth?  

Image via Flickr/harinavoteza

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What do you think?

4 Pregnancy Myths Squashed

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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20 comments

  1. Sara says:

    supposably is not a word!!

  2. Courtney says:

    Pregnancy is NOT a medical condition.

  3. Jenny says:

    Oh my! Roller coasters? What the heck people? Well, even being only 15 weeks pregnant at the moment with my first, I have heard some of these. Mainly ways to reveal gender. While I do like to muse on these old wive’s tales I do it mostly for fun, hardly any of them are reliable 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    I love sushi, I hope that myth is false though ill have to run it by my doctor

  5. billie jo says:

    the 2that i heard of was massage you nipples and sex will encourage labor..

    • Sara says:

      I just read that too, that the only scientifically proven way to bring on labor is nipple stimulation (though I swear that the sex every day for the week leading up to my due date is what popped my daughter out 😉 )

  6. Leighann says:

    wedding ring on a string always made me laugh

  7. geana says:

    I think they are all myths except for the castor oil, Im on my 3rd baby and i will use it like i did my other two, Each time I took it 10 days before both due dates, I would go into labor after i fell a sleep.. I drank a bunch of that yucky stuff though, it worked for me within hours of taking it..

  8. Dessa says:

    Supposedly* NOT supposably

  9. Andrea says:

    Hot dogs are NOT good while pregnant. They contain nitrates which are proven to slow down oxygen absorption in the blood – and especially to a fetus. The fact that this information is contained in this article makes me disregard the rest of the info.

    • Alison says:

      Psh, I’ve eaten so many packages of hot dogs since I became pregnant, and not a single thing is wrong with me or the baby yet. Cook them all the way. I usually let mine completely explode in boiling water before I take them off the stove. Just make sure you get them to proper temperature. Nitrates are also used in the soil that your vegetables are grown in, which means that there are nitrates in your veggies, too. I’m pretty sure you kept eating those the whole time.

    • Natalia says:

      I think the big difference between bacon and deli meat (which both contain nitrates) is that most people will cook bacon while eating the deli meat cold-cut style, which is unsafe.
      Andrea, don’t disregard all information because there might be a glitch with one thing. Do your research, talk to your doctor, and find out what works best for you, your body, and your baby.

    • Natalia says:

      I think the big difference between bacon and deli meat (which both contain nitrates) is that most people will cook bacon while eating the deli meat cold-cut style, which is unsafe.
      Andrea, don’t disregard all information because there might be a glitch with one. Do your research, talk to your doctor, and find out what works best for you, your body, and your baby.

    • Christine says:

      ACTUALLY, you can buy nitrate/nitrate free organic hotdogs made with all beef. You would probably eat bacon though wouldn’t you? Did you know bacon has nitrates too? As long as you dont buy the nitrate free version. So before you disregard someones info, double check yours because that was also an incorrect statement.

  10. destiny says:

    very interesting !

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