Some pregnancy myths – Jamaica Gleaner : Eczema.
When I was pregnant with my first child, my mother’s helper informed me that if I drank too much milk my baby would get eczema. Although my initial reaction was to see this as a myth I still conducted some research and found nothing to support this claim. Fortunately, my son does not have eczema.
It is not unusual for pregnant women to receive a variety of advice and/or warnings during their pregnancy. Unfortunately, though well-intentioned, sometimes these bits of advice leave many expectant mothers feeling worried and confused. Let’s look at some of the myths.
1.You are now eating for two
I would answer yes and no to this myth. Yes, a pregnant woman has to consider the developing baby for both the types of foods she eats and quantity, but remember she is not eating for two adults and she only needs about 300 extra calories per day and she could meet this requirement by consuming a medium-sized ripe banana and two extra glasses of low-fat milk.
2.No coffee, no caffeine
For women who enjoy that morning cup of coffee, the news is good. Assuming that an average cup of coffee contains 100mg of caffeine, research suggests that she can consume up to three cups of coffee per day. Otherwise she may increase her risk of miscarriages and having a baby that is smaller than expected.
3.No sex during pregnancy
I find this question particularly important for the spouses of my patients. To the relief of many men, this is untrue for the most part. A woman with a normal healthy pregnancy can have sex throughout the pregnancy. However, if she has certain conditions such as placenta previa where the placenta covers the cervix, or she is at a high risk for preterm labour, the couple should avoid intercourse.
3.Don’t exercise during pregnancy
While this is true for pregnant women with certain high-risk conditions such as preterm labour, incompetent cervix and heart disease, exercise is recommended for healthy women with a normal pregnancy. If a woman exercised regularly prior to pregnancy, she can continue to be active with a few modifications. If she rarely or never exercised prior to pregnancy, she would still benefit from about a half hour of exercise each day but this certainly is not the time to sign up for a marathon.
4. If you have a craving for a certain food and you don’t eat it, and you scratch your body, the baby will have a birthmark resembling the food that you did not eat
I find this one particularly interesting because some people insist that it is true with various stories to prove it. Birthmarks can vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres and some even need to be removed surgically. However, the bottom line about birthmarks is that no scientific cause has been found.
Dr Monique Rainford is a consulting obstetrician and gynaecologist; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.