The miracle of life is surrounded by superstition and strange mythology—here are the top five bits of pregnancy fact versus fiction:
You shouldn’t lift anything heavy
True. You’re already carrying precious cargo, so there’s no need to prove yourself. What’s more, pregnancy hormones soften your ligaments, so muscle strains and tears are more likely. Enlist the help of a gallant strongman, or, if you really do have to lift something, bend you knees to reach it, not your back.
You can’t eat fish while pregnant
False. Fish—especially the oily type—is an excellent source of omega 3; important for healthy foetal brain and eye development. Try to work in at least two portions into your weekly meal-plan. What you do need to watch out for is the fish containing mercury harmful to a baby’s developing nervous system: avoid swordfish and marlin, and limit the tuna to two steaks a week.
Hot curry brings on labour
False. But don’t deprive yourself should the craving present itself—just remember pregnancy can wreak havoc with digestion, and you may suffer some uncomfortable heartburn after. As far as inducing labour goes, it’s really in the hands of the gods—or your midwife, should she decide medical induction is the way to go. Rest assured that induction usually only happens around ten days past your due date. So; patience. And more curry to pass the time.
You can’t exercise when pregnant
False. Being active is actually encouraged for healthy pregnancy and healthy development of your baby. Just keep it gentle, and always run your exercise routine past your GP or midwife first.
You should eat for two
False. Pregnant women and non-expecting women alike need between 1,800 and 2,100 calories per day. It’s only in the final trimester that your requirements ramp up—by a tiny bit—an extra 200 calories a day. As long as you’re ensuring your plate is a good mix of fresh produce, healthy protein, good fats and complex carbs, you and your baby are getting what you need.