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If you are pregnant, you’ll soon be bombarded by family, friends, and even complete strangers with advice and wild information about your pregnancy, you, and your baby.  Since ancient times, pregnancy and childbirth have been shrouded by old wives’ tales, myths, and superstition.  From crazy cravings, to tricks to determine your baby’s gender, prepare yourself with the facts not fiction! To be able to tell the difference, check out 9 common pregnancy myths that are just that – myths!

1. Pregnant women shouldn’t take baths

Minor correction here: pregnant women shouldn’t take hot baths. Women are told not to take baths, because HOT water ” over 98 degrees ” is unfavorable to the pregnancy. Taking a warm (NOT HOT!) bath can actually help soothe some uncomfortable ailments such as the swelling in arms and legs, increase the amniotic fluid and prevent premature contractions.  Let’s not forget the power a bath can have on your emotional state. Baths can help a mother relax and alleviate anxiety about her pregnancy.  In the same way, swimming is a great exercise for pregnant women as well.

2. Pregnant women who carry low are having a boy

Another myth that goes along with this is that if you experience acne when you are pregnant, that is a sign you are having a girl.  However, no research has concluded that either of these rumors are true. How a woman carries the baby depends on her body type and whether she has been pregnant before. It does not reflect gender. Taller, thinner women appear to carry higher. Shorter and fuller women appear to carry lower. Also, in a second pregnancy, since abdominal muscles may be looser, the pregnancy may appear to be lower. Pregnancy acne is also unrelated to gender and is only a sign of natural hormonal changes in the mother.

3. Pregnant women crave pickles and ice cream

Not all women crave pickles and ice cream, but food cravings such as these are based in fact. In general, food cravings can be very helpful in telling you what your body needs.  Women who crave pickles are really craving salt and may be mineral deficient, and specifically in sodium. Additional minerals are particularly important in pregnancy when women’s bodies increase in blood volume by up to 20 percent, so the existing minerals in her body are diluted.  Many women crave junk foods such as ice cream during pregnancy because junk food is associated with comfort. The sugars found in sweet foods, as well as in breads, pasta and rice cause the body to produce serotonin, which makes women feel good.

4. Pregnant women shouldn’t eat fish

Although women are told not to eat fish due to mercury levels and fears of food poisoning, women can choose fresh fish with low mercury levels, because fish oil has many benefits to the baby. Just think, women in Japan don’t stop eating sushi!  Although Mercury and food poisoning are significant concerns, women are individuals and every pregnancy is unique. Small white fish (such as Flounder, Tilapia and Herring) have lower mercury levels because they have been living in the ocean for a shorter period of time by the time they are caught. Fish oil contains helpful omega-3 fats, which enhance the development of the baby’s brain, improve the baby’s IQ, make the baby a better sleeper after birth, prevent premature contractions and premature labor, prevent high blood pressure during pregnancy, and act as an anti-inflammatory that prevents infection. If a pregnant woman is uncomfortable eating fish, it’s also effective to take a fish oil supplement instead.

Read More Pregnancy Myths On: MadameNoire

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