When pregnant, you are likely to believe even myths for the sake of your baby’s health. Many a times, wrong beliefs and practices which have been passed on from one generation to the next become the norm and are often forced upon on pregnant women by the elders of the house. These do not really have any scientific basis but are based on hearsay. Here are 10 common ones busted by Sonali Shivlani, an Internationally Certified Pregnancy, Lactation and Child Nutrition Counsellor.
Myth 1: Hanging pictures of beautiful babies on the wall result in cute babies.
Fact: Looks and features of the newborn depend on genetics. Hanging photos of cute babies does not ensure any particular features in your baby. However, having good looking or positive pictures on the wall can surely make the would-be mother feel good which is great for overall pregnancy and well-being.
Myth 2: Drinking coconut water after the seventh month of pregnancy makes the baby’s head as large as the coconut.
Fact: This is completely false. Coconut water is a good source of potassium and should be consumed in moderation for optimum gut health. It will have no impact on the size of the baby’s head.
Myth 3: Drinking coconut water will result in the baby having a lot of hair and the mother getting acidity.
Fact: Again, not true! The baby generally lies head down in the third trimester and the acidity that the mother feels as a result of her growing belly is actually in the upper abdomen and it is not due to coconut or its water.
Myth 4: Eating something white first thing in the morning will result in a fair-skinned baby.
Fact: No way! This is sheer myth. The colour of the food you eat has no bearing on the complexion of your newborn. Like looks, it too depends on your genetics.
Myth 5: One should not indulge in any activity during an eclipse else the baby will be born with some deformity.
Fact: An eclipse is a natural phenomenon. It will definitely not cause any defects or deformities in the baby. This does not mean you look at one with the naked eye. General precautions need to be taken by everyone, not just by pregnant women.
Myth 6: The shape of the stomach can help determine the sex of the baby.
Fact: The stomach is shaped on how the baby lays in the womb. Whether it is a girl or boy cannot be deciphered based on the shape.
Myth 7: The type of cravings a pregnant woman has can determine the sex of the baby.
Fact: Pregnancy cravings are essentially due to nutritional deficiencies in the body and not because it is a girl or boy. There is no concrete proof that craving for a certain food means the woman is expecting a girl and vice versa.
Myth 8: The mother’s complexion determines the sex of the baby.
Fact: It’s actually hormones which cause skin changes during pregnancy like patches on the neck, dark underarms and at times even darkening of skin on the face which is called the pregnancy mask.
Myth 9: Eating ghee or oil will help the baby slide out from the vagina during labour.
Fact: Ghee or oil does not help the baby slide out easily in any way. All they do is add a whole lot of calories in your body which becomes difficult to shed once the baby is born. Refrain from eating piles of fatty food and eat a healthy, balanced meal.
Myth 10: Pregnant women need to double their diet quantity as they are eating for two people.
Fact: This is quite common but is untrue. Though you are eating for two people, you do not have to double the quantity of food. All you need to add is 300 extra calories. The healthier options you choose, the better it is. Pregnant women need extra nutrition from all food groups and not just fat.
Sonali Shivlani is an Internationally Certified Pregnancy, Lactation and Child Nutrition Counselor. She has worked with more than 10000 couples through her pre- and post-natal programs. She is the Executive Director of CAPPA India and trains and certifies professionals in the Birth field. She heads the Pregnancy Fitness Educator Program for CAPPA International. She is also the author of the Super Mom’s Recipe Book. She is on the expert panel of Mother and Baby a leading magazine in this genre.