Being pregnant comes with a lot of changes and a whole new set of responsibilities – like making sure that everything you do is going to have a positive effect on your baby’s health. It can be tough to keep track of everything, but luckily there are resources available to help you out. Whether you’re looking for advice on what food to avoid or what medications are okay to take, there’s bound to be somebody who can help you out.
So, we all know that smoking, shellfish, blue cheese and drinking alcohol everyday is a no-no. But what about other things, like dyeing your hair blonde or owning a cat? Also, is it safe to fly on an airplane if you’re pregnant?
There are many myths about pregnancy, and it can be difficult to figure out which precautions in pregnancy are necessary and which ones are myths. However, there are some common myths about pregnancy that you can be aware of so that you can make the best decisions for you and your baby. One myth is that you should avoid all caffeine during pregnancy. However, moderate caffeine consumption (200 mg per day) is actually safe during pregnancy. Another myth is that you should avoid all seafood during pregnancy. However, seafood can actually be a healthy part of your diet during pregnancy, as long as you choose low-mercury options and limit your consumption to 12 ounces per week.
Flying during your first or last trimester can harm the baby.
That’s not true! Flying will do no harm. Some airlines won’t let you on the plane after 28 weeks, but that’s because you may go into labour and force the plane to land. On flights longer than five hours there is a higher risk of thrombosis, but this risk is the same for everyone.
You shouldn’t touch your cat during pregnancy.
That’s a wives tale. There is nothing wrong with stroking your cat. Toxoplasmosis can be found in cat faeces, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the company of your feline friend. A sensible precaution to take when pregnant is to avoid cleaning out the cat litter tray or wear gloves.
You can’t eat smoked salmon when pregnant.
Salmon is a great fish for expectant mothers as it contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for development. Salmon is also a freshwater fish, so the likelihood of mercury poisoning is low. Sushi is also permissible, with the exception of mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish. Tuna should be eaten in moderation.
You shouldn’t use bleach or hair dye when pregnant.
If you’re concerned about dyeing your hair while pregnant, you can wait until the second trimester. This is when all of your baby’s organs have developed. Another option is to get highlights instead of an all-over color. This way, the chemicals will have less contact with your scalp. Hair-coloring agents are absorbed through the skin, not through the hair shaft. So, if you’re coloring your own hair, wear gloves and ventilate the room. Don’t leave the dye on any longer than necessary, and thoroughly rinse your scalp afterwards.
You should sleep on your left side while pregnant.
This is a myth. But it’s good to get used to sleeping some of the night on one side or the other. This is because, as the uterus gets heavier, it presses on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart, so when you lie on your back for a long time it can affect the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta. Another way to prevent this from happening is by lying on your left side which will take the pressure off of that specific vein.
Pregnant women should eat for two.
It’s a myth that pregnant women need to eat for two. In fact, they only need around 200 extra calories per day. So if you do eat for two, you’ll not only have a bigger baby, but you’ll also end up much fatter than your pre-pregnancy shape. You’ll face months of hard work getting back into shape!
Debra Aspinall is a experienced journalist who has written for many different publications, most notably Emma’s Diary. Aspinall writes about a variety of topics related to pregnancy, women’s health and beauty, and travel. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to these topics and is considered an expert in her field.