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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Stumpf

5 Myths About Pregnancy, Debunked!

Updated: Jan 25, 2022


When you're expecting, you'll come to find that everyone and their mother has a staggering "fact" or alarming statistic about pregnancy. At Birthify, our mission is to provide accurate, evidence-based information so that next time Aunt Linda hits you with a "did you know…?" or a "my friend said…." (Insert ridiculous birth fact here), you will have the knowledge and confidence to say, "Wow, thank auntie, I had no idea! I will look into that!" as you kindly move on without losing sleep over it. Friends and family aren't the only ones we need to worry about. The internet is full of old wives' tales and pregnancy myths. Here are some of the top pregnancy myths debunked by the Birth Coaches on the Birthify team!


Myth #1: "You Can Tell the Sex of Your Baby By…."

Ever heard of the "ring gender test?" Well, it suggests that if you hang a ring (usually a wedding ring) on a piece of string and have someone hoover it above your pregnant belly, you can figure out the sex of your baby. If the ring sways back and forth in a straight line, it's a girl, and if the ring goes in a circle, it's a boy. Although this Ouija board approach is fun, it's not rooted in any factual evidence whatsoever. Another common myth is that you can tell if the baby is a boy or a girl based on where the baby appears to be sitting in the belly. Again, very subjective and simply untrue.


The Truth: The soonest you can know the sex of your baby is 11 weeks by taking a Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT). A NIPT looks at DNA from your baby's placenta to see if you're at an increased risk of giving birth to a child with a genetic disorder. It also reveals the sex of the baby. However, this test is usually only covered by insurance if your pregnancy is considered high-risk.


As for the baby's placement, what's true is if this is your first pregnancy or if you have strong core muscles, you might carry your baby higher since the abdominal wall is tighter. However, if this isn't your first child, your abdominal wall may have stretched so, your bump will sit lower. Sorry to say there is no way to know the sex of your baby by just looking, and typically speaking, you will be able to find out the sex of your baby at 18 weeks with an ultrasound.


Myth #2: You Can't Exercise

This is simply not true and if you don't believe us, believe this. Your body is about to do one of the most incredible things a human body can do. You're holding life inside of you, and you're going try and tell us you can't safely handle a light jog or hike with your friends?


The Truth: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant people aim for 30 minutes of doctor-approved physical activity five days a week. That said, some adjustments need to be made to your workout routine when you are pregnant.


Benefits of Working Out While Pregnant:

· Strengthens ligaments and joints.

· Creates more stamina for childbirth.

· Weight management.

· Mood-boosting.


DO's

· Low impacts exercise like: walking, indoor cycling, resistance band, gentle stretching, yoga, pilates, water aerobics, and swimming.

· Joining prenatal exercise classes.

· Having supportive shoes.

· Exercising on a softer surface (yoga mat or carpet).


DON'TS

· Play contact sports or anything where you could get hit or fall.

· Traditional sit-ups and other exercises where you lie off your back.

· Exercises that require a change in altitude.

· Hot yoga or outdoor activities in extreme heat.

· Exercising without doctor approval, especially if you're high risk.

· If you feel shortness of breath, have vaginal bleeding, dizziness, headache, chest pain, or feel unwell in any way.


When it comes to physical activity, all that matters is how you feel. Folks report being extremely exhausted the first couple of months of their pregnancy, and that is perfectly fine! If you're used to exercising at high levels of intensity, you might need to change your expectations. Remember, your body is about to do one of the most fantastic things a body can do. We can use exercise to support that process in conjunction with rest, healthy and nutritious food, and loving support from your friends, family, and community.


Myth #3: You Can't Fly During Pregnancy

Again, another precaution that got wildly blown out of proportion. Yes, women can go on vacation during pregnancy and honestly, should! A babymoon is one of the best ways to squeeze in some R&R before you deliver. That said, there are some things to consider when flying while pregnant.


Pregnant people are more inclined to blood clots while flying, and those chances increase the longer you sit. It's also true the likelihood of developing a blood clot goes up if you are dehydrated. Before hopping on a plane, make sure you drink enough water! Ensure you're getting electrolytes in, too. Coconut water is a perfect and delicious way to do that! Consider wearing maternity compression or tighter yoga pants on the plane to help prevent blood clots. Lastly, walk up and down the aisles of the plane every hour or so. This will help keep the blood flowing in a normal way.

Myth #3 Your Baby Knows You're Having Sex!

Oh, it's so wrong it hurts! Let's have a little anatomy lesson, shall we? The baby is floating inside a pool of water surrounded by muscle, also known as the uterus. The uterus is a thick soundproof cocoon of coziness, and there is no chance your baby can see, hear or feel you and your partner having sex.


Truth: Sex during pregnancy is actually great for both you and baby! It can help you sleep better, lower blood pressure, and release endorphins!


Myth #4: You'll Have Weird Cravings

The Truth: Hormonal changes and blood sugar spikes can cause certain cravings, but it's absolutely untrue that all pregnant women experience this. Hormones vary from person to person, meaning you might get cravings, you might not. The takeaway here is that it's not a sign of a healthy pregnancy if you do or don't experience this. If you crave inedible things like dirt, mud, plaster, soap, baking soda, coffee grounds, cigarette ashes, charcoal, or anything inedible, call your doctor or your Birth Coach immediately. This is known as Pica and can be a sign of severe anemia.


Myth #5 You Will "Glow"

Since forever, it seems pregnancy has been associated with some type of "glow," and that is why all your friends knew you were pregnant because you were just BEAMING! Some women experience the glow, and some do not. Just know that if you aren't looking or feeling like you just go back from a five-week vacation in Hawaii, there is nothing wrong with you!


Truth: "The glow" can be attributed to hormonal changes and can sometimes make your hair and nails look thicker and healthier, as well as leave your skin dewy and soft. But, if you remember puberty, you remember hormones work in the opposite direction too! If you have a preexisting skin condition, it's possible the hormonal shifts might trigger eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Some people experience hot flashes and heat rashes due to shifting levels of estrogen and progesterone. Your skin may appear to be glowing due to the increased oil secretion (again, hormones), and with that might come a wave of acne, so be sure to maintain your morning and evening face washing routines. All these shifts are most common in the first couple of months, so breath and relax, this too shall pass.


Final Thoughts

There are hundreds if not thousands of myths out there to be aware of! Some are silly and witchy, like the ring test, but some could inhibit you from living a full life during your pregnancy. At Birthify, we encourage you to ask questions and reach out for help. Knowledge is power, and the coaches at Birthify are trained professionals armed with a wealth of experience, ready and willing to support you through your pregnancy.


Book a Birthify Coach, Today!

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