Debunking 4 myths you would hear about pregnancy

By Frederick Chia / 9 February 2023

pregnancy Pokok.AsiaAny myths coming into your mind instantly? Source: Public Health England

  • Pregnant women need to eat twice as much

  • Pregnant women cannot drink coffee

  • You shouldn’t have cats during pregnancy

  • Your belly tells the baby’s gender

Regardless of who and where you’re from, you would surely encounter and receive lots of advice the moment you announce your pregnancy. Oftentimes, people will advise you on all kinds of things and foods you should avoid during pregnancy. 

Here’s what I thought: I once believed that pregnant women need to eat twice the amount of meal. Well, my standpoint is that the mummy needs to feed the baby in her stomach, right? After doing some readings about pregnancy, I found that it was just a common myth we heard everywhere.

I believe we all want to clarify whether these advices are credible and doctor-proof, right? In the end, what we want is to prepare for the best in the next nine months for the arrival of the little angel. 

Let’s cut the words, here are some of the myths to debunk and learn together. 

1/ Pregnant women need to eat twice as much

pregnancy Pokok.AsiaEat smart, not eat hard! Source: Medical News Today

Yes, carrying a baby is a full-time job for a woman’s body. However, this doesn’t mean you should eat twice the amount of your meal every day! You only need to consume about 300 more calories for the little one to grow and develop normally. It may seem little – even my favorite bagel with two tablespoons of cream cheese is equivalent to it! 

Mums-to-be, you need to be aware of which foods you’re feeding your baby. Instead of junk foods, you should choose foods that are high in protein, rich in omega-3 fatty, and low in sugar. 

While picking your meal, remind yourself to eat foods rich in vitamin C like berries and melons, as well as dairy products to have a good source of protein. By debunking this myth, you can avoid the curse of gaining too much weight because of the double amount of food you had. 

Also, you could stick to this opportunity and keep a healthy and balanced diet for a strong physical. To me, that’s killing two birds with one meal (If you know what I mean). 

2/ Pregnant women cannot drink coffee

pregnancy Pokok.AsiaWhy are you taking my morning fuel away? Source: Elizabeth Millard 

I believe this myth has shattered the hearts of coffee lovers! Little did you know, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises that pregnant women can consume caffeine but under limitations. They recommend pregnant women to consume lesser than 200mg of caffeine a day, which includes food with caffeine too!

Most importantly, we should know why limitations on caffeine intake are crucial during pregnancy. During pregnancy, our body takes longer to metabolise caffeine, which leads to higher chances of caffeine flowing in your bloodstream. In this circumstance, it is best to keep it low so that your baby will not be the one receiving the remaining caffeine through your placenta. 

And… I hope I’m not the last person to know that certain foods contain caffeine other than my favourite brew coffee. Foods such as soft drinks, chocolate, and energy drinks could have at least 31mg of caffeine. Therefore, consulting your doctor on your food intake helps in assisting you with the right caffeine intake level. 

3/ You shouldn’t have cats during pregnancy

pregnancy Pokok.AsiaIf I had a dollar for every time someone said that I would be a billionaire. Source: Vlada Karpovich

First, you had to sacrifice your love for coffee, and now Mr. Tomcat too?! Now, this is pure evil. It might even make you question yourself about getting into this pregnancy journey. 

People were told to keep their fur babies away as they heard that cat faeces carry an infection called toxoplasmosis caused by a specific parasite. That’s not completely true. Your cat would only carry this infection if they go outdoors preying on birds, mice, and other rodents. Even if they do, you don’t have to leave your beloved fur baby, as long as you take a few simple precautions. 

First, I would let someone else clean the litter box to avoid exposure to the parasite. Secondly, and most hard of all, you should avoid touching your fur baby’s mouth if and after they contact parasites. Simpler than leaving your fur babies, right?

Interestingly, pregnant ladies are more likely to get infected by toxoplasmosis through contaminated meat than cats! So make sure you avoid undercooked meat and wash your hands attentively after handling raw meat.

4/ Your belly can tell the baby’s gender

pregnancy Pokok.AsiaWow, you must be having a strong baby boy with this high bump! Source: GETTY

If you haven’t heard this pregnancy myth, I’m happy to share it with you! Some say that if your belly is high, you’re carrying a boy as they are more independent. As for girls, the explanation goes that a low belly indicates a girl as they need more protection. Listening to this old wives’ tale, my doctor would quit his job because of how ridiculous the gender stereotype is!

The truth is that the size and position of your belly during pregnancy depend on a few factors. A first-time pregnant mummy would have a higher bump since they have stronger abdominal muscles. Doesn’t that make much more sense?

The baby’s size and position will alter your belly’s position, not just abdominal muscles. Later in your pregnancy journey, your bump may look lower when the little one has moved towards the pelvis. 

After all, your belly has no direct relationship with your baby’s gender and any of the gender stereotypes. It is all about the changes in your body during this wonderful journey. 

One step closer to becoming a smart mummy!

Now that you have debunked a few common myths your aunties and neighbours would tell you during your pregnancy journey, it’s your time to spread it out and let them know too! Share with us some of the other myths related to pregnancy in the comment section below.

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