5 Pregnancy Myths

If you’re like many moms-to-be, you’ll study pregnancy books and surf the Web for information. You’ll want to know how to keep your baby as healthy as possible. And, like others, you might fall prey to some myths.

So let's separate fact from fiction about five misconceptions.

Myth No. 1: You shouldn’t exercise while pregnant.

Exercise is good for you and your baby. But you may need to make a few modifications. Aerobic and strength-training exercises are recommended as long as you don’t have any complications or health issues. 

Exercise helps you stay in shape. It can also help ease pain and prepare you for childbirth.

Check with your healthcare provider before you start a fitness program. Ask about how often, how much, and how hard you can exercise. Also, ask for tips on safe exercise during pregnancy.

Myth No. 2: You can gain as much weight as you want during pregnancy.

Women should gain weight during pregnancy, but gaining too much is not healthy. 

So how much should you gain? That depends on how much you weigh when you get pregnant, how many babies you’re carrying, and other factors. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that women of normal weight gain 25 to 35 pounds. Women who are underweight or carrying more than one baby should gain more. Those who are overweight or obese should gain less.

Myth No. 3: You shouldn’t travel while pregnant.

It’s normally OK to fly or take car trips while you’re expecting.

Before you make travel plans, keep in mind that you’ll likely feel more comfortable traveling during the middle of your pregnancy. This is usually between 14 to 28 weeks. You’ll be less likely to suffer from morning sickness. Still, you won’t be so large that you have trouble getting around.

When traveling by car, limit the drive to no more than 5 to 6 hours. Most airlines restrict travel in the last weeks of pregnancy. When driving or flying, be sure to walk and stretch every couple of hours. You should also drink enough water to stay hydrated.

And skip the hot tub and the rollercoaster. Hot tubs can raise your body temperature too high. The sudden starts and stops of theme park rides could raise your risk for the placenta problems. 

Myth No. 4: You’re healthy, so you’ll have an uneventful pregnancy.

Healthy women have an advantage because they don’t have to deal with other health issues during pregnancy. But good health doesn’t always mean a complication-free pregnancy. Getting care from a healthcare provider is a must. This can protect you and your baby.

Myth No. 5: A healthy woman facing an uncomplicated birth won’t see much modern technology at her delivery.

The truth: Technology plays a major role in most births. This is true even when mothers and babies seem to be healthy. Technology ranges from pumps for fluid therapy and from electronic fetal monitoring to epidural or spinal anesthesia.

Some groups say these interventions carry some risk and should not be routine. Others say the interventions, when used the way they should be, have transformed pregnancy and help moms have healthy babies. 

Being pregnant is a special time, so don’t spend it worrying too much. Call your healthcare provider as soon as you think you’re pregnant. If you’re planning to get pregnant, see your healthcare provider before you conceive. He or she can give you advice based on your health history.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016

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