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Pregnancy is one of the most important events in a woman’s life. It is the time when she gets maximum attention from her near and dear ones, from friends, relatives and colleagues. There exist a number of dos and don’ts imposed on her by elders and well-wishers. While some have scientific basis, some are mere myths.
There are a lot of myths concerning pregnancy prevalent in every country, most of which pass on from generation to generation unless someone busts them. Let us here check out some of the most common myths related to pregnancy.
Many believe that the shape and height of a would-be mom’s stomach can predict the gender of the baby. The traditional belief says that if her stomach is carrying the baby low, it turns to be a baby boy and if her stomach is carrying it high, then it's a sign of a girl. This popular notion has no scientific basis. The shape and elevation of the belly of a pregnant mother is determined largely by the original shape of her abdomen, her uterine and muscle tone, the strength of the abdominal muscles, the number of babies conceived, and to some extent, by the position of the baby. It may well be the case that the baby has just dropped lower, near the pelvis region, making you look like you are carrying the baby low. Just don’t believe if you have been told that you are probably carrying a boy, since you look like that.
Another myth says that the heart rate of the foetus can foretell the gender of the baby. People believe that if the heart rate of the foetus is faster, then it would be a girl, and if it's lower, it would be a boy. But, this rate varies along the period of pregnancy. It normally depends on the age and health of the foetus. There is no conclusive scientific study to assert the validity of this myth.
Another myth says that the shape of your face and the texture of your skin foretells the gender of your baby. Have you heard your aunt or grandmother saying that you are going to have a girl, because your face has been glowing ever since you conceived? You should not anticipate anything based on their prediction, because like the other myths, this too does not have a scientific basis. Pregnant women normally have some weight gain during pregnancy that could affect the shape of their faces and skin tones.
Another common myth is that you should keep the news of pregnancy a secret for the first couple of months. The elderly females of your family might advise you to keep your pregnancy a secret for the first few months, because of the fear of evil eye. This myth too is absolutely absurd and unreasonable.
Sometimes women are advised not to put arms around their head, because, if they do that, they might risk their baby get strangled by their umbilical cord. But this belief is baseless, as there is no definite scientific study to confirm this.
Another myth is that a would-be mom needs to restrict her activities to a minimum. Some form of activities should be avoided, no doubt. But your doctor is the best judge for that.
There is a common belief that eating eggs, papaya and pineapples can cause a miscarriage. As far as ripe fruits and vegetables are concerned, eating them in moderation will meet your nutritional need and will not harm the baby. However, the medical experts agree that unripe papaya can cause uterine contraction and can be unsafe for a pregnant woman. Egg is a high protein diet, and you may include that too in your diet after consulting your doctor. Some say that having plenty of ghee in your diet would ensure a smooth delivery. This too is not scientifically validated.
There is a myth that you should not take a bath regularly, when you are pregnant. This too is baseless, since maintaining hygiene is a general requirement during pregnancy.
Sometimes elders advise you to drink a mixture of saffron and milk or eat oranges during pregnancy to have the child born with a fairer complexion. But this too seems to have little validity, since the skin tone is determined by the genes. Food items have very little to do with the original complexion of your baby.
There is another popular belief that if you have heartburn during the pregnancy, your baby is going to have a lot of hair on his head. This too sounds ridiculous, because, heartburn is a common symptom often experienced by a pregnant woman, due to acid-reflux. If you eat foods that cause excess acidity, the vapor will come up all the way to the esophagus. It is known as the heartburn. It has nothing to do with the thickness of your baby’s hair.