By Elayza Gonzalez
All moms-to-be are bound to be exposed to pregnancy myths that are just that — myths! While some tips and facts ring true, others are old wives’ tales that can lead to worry and cause panic for no valid reason at all. It is important that pregnant women do everything they can to ensure baby’s safety as well as their own, but they can also separate fact from fiction and experience an easy-breezy pregnancy.
Myth: Spicy food induces labor.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there is no evidence that indicates spicy food can trigger labor. You can still enjoy spicy foods, but do not count on a baby coming into the world any sooner!
Myth: Say no to caffeine.
Although caffeine is absorbed through the placenta, you do not have to do without your daily coffee fix entirely. According to the American Pregnancy Association, there is conflicting research as to how caffeine effects the fetus. Until there is more conclusive information, Mayo Clinic advises pregnant women to limit the amount of caffeine in their diet to less than 200 milligrams, which is about the amount in one 12-ounce cup.
Myth: Having cats can lead to birth defects.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease that results from infection by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which can be found in cat feces. According to Mothertobaby.org, a service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, soon-to-be-moms should stay away from litter box duty and not feed cats raw meats, which increases the risk of bringing the parasite into the home. Taking these simple precautions allows moms to be healthy while enjoying cuddles from their furry friends.
Myth: Sex will hurt the baby.
Contrary to popular belief, sex will not physically hurt the baby. They are protected by the amniotic sac, uterine muscles and a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix. So long as you have a low-risk pregnancy, you can safely have sex with your partner. However, you do still need to be careful of sexually transmitted infections as those can be transmitted to your baby.
Myth: Jumping induces labor.
Put the jump rope down and relax; jumping does not induce labor. If you want to keep exercising during pregnancy, experts at the Cleveland Clinic say walking would be the better option. Although walking will not induce labor either, it might start contractions. Ultimately, the cervix only opens when it is good and ready, but there is no harm in taking a stroll while waiting for baby’s arrival.
Myth: Evening primrose oil can be used to induce labor.
OK, maybe this oil can actually induce labor, but it can also cause your uterus to rupture, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The body converts the oil into prostaglandins, which can help soften the cervix, but the oil has no federal oversight or dosage control. An overdose can be dangerous to mommy and baby, so speak with your health care provider before ingesting this oil.
Myth: You cannot lift your arms above your head.
Some pregnant women worry that if they lift their arms above their head, the umbilical cord will get wrapped around their baby’s neck. This is false. The truth is umbilical cords are not affected based on how women position their bodies during pregnancy.
If you have any questions about any potential myths being truths, ALWAYS consult your doctor before trying/using any method or ingredient while pregnant.