Pregnancy Diet Misconceptions

By Cari Nierenberg – Live Science Contributor January 10, 2018
Dr Esha Chainani
Scientific Editor: Rand Kittani
Link to original article:

Pregnancy is filled with misconceptions because everyone under the sun has advice to give! From your grandmother, to your mother, to your neighbour to the other women in the mommy group – every single person you meet will have advice to give you.
However a lot of these misconceptions/superstitions do not have any scientific basis so we’re here to do some misconception-busting today!

Morning sickness:

When a mother-to-be is experiencing morning sickness, the biggest mistake she can make is thinking that if she doesn’t eat, she’ll feel better, Krieger said. 

The exact causes of morning sickness are not known, but it may be caused by hormonal changes or lower blood sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic. This common complaint can bring on waves of nausea and vomiting in some women, especially during the first three months of pregnancy. 

And “it’s definitely not happening only in the morning,” Krieger said. “It’s any time of day.” To ease morning sickness, it’s better to eat small amounts of foods that don’t have an odor, since smells can also upset the stomach, she suggested.

Plate of Sliced Breads

Food cravings:

It is common for women to develop a sudden urge or a strong dislike for a food during pregnancy. Some common cravings are for sweets, salty foods, red meat or fluids, Krieger said. Often, a craving is a body’s way of saying it needs a specific nutrient, such as more protein or additional liquids to quench a thirst, rather than a particular food, she said. 

Man Holding Ice Cream Cone Under Cloud

Eating for two:

When people say that a pregnant woman is “eating for two,” it doesn’t mean she needs to consume twice as much food or double her calories. 

“A woman is not eating for two during her first trimester,” Krieger said. During the first three months, Krieger tells women that their calorie needs are basically the same as they were before pregnancy. During the first trimester, the recommended weight gain is between 1 and 4 pounds over the three-month period.

Krieger typically advises pregnant women to add 200 calories to their usual dietary intake during the second trimester, and to add 300 calories during their third trimester when the baby is growing quickly. 

Pregnant Woman Sitting on Bathtub

It’s dangerous to exercise

Pregnant women must remain active as this reduces co-morbidities in pregnancy like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. Regular exercise also improves sleep, reduces backache and
However do not attempt to exercise more than what you used to do when you were not pregnant, and scale down when you’re in your third trimester. For example if before pregnancy you were used to doing some yoga and brisk walking, stick to that don’t ramp up to crossfit when you’re pregnant.
Low intensity workouts like yoga, tai-chi and walking are always a good place to start.
Consult your doctor before starting anything new

Woman Doing Yoga

You can’t have sex

This is completely untrue – you may be feeling very uncomfortable (physically or with the thought of having sex) but it is safe in pregnancy right up till the end of the third trimester.
Sex can be a great way of couples to bond, release stress and improve sleep.
However in some high risk pregnancies it is not advised – consult your doctor about this at your next appointment

Man Touching Woman's Baby Bump

Pregnancy is the happiest time in your life

You are not alone if you’re having a difficult time. Making and carrying a baby is hard. Its a process. A LOT of women have a LOT of painful/debilitating/annoying symptoms like severe nausea and vomiting, cramps, backache, weakness. And that is excluding the mental toll it takes on you. Rates of depression and anxiety are increased in pregnancy. Also your hormones are fluctuating and basically all over the place which creates mood changes as well. So worry not if you’re hating the pregnancy – it will be over soon and it will totally be worth it.

Pregnant Woman Wearing Marled Gray Sweater Touching Her Stomach

You have to have that pregnancy glow

Again, not every pregnancy is full of rainbows and sunshine. A lot of skin problems crop up in pregnancy (like acne!) and you may experience severe nausea (sometimes morning sickness can last the entire pregnancy) and not everyone’s skin reacts the same way when they are pregnant.
The hormonal changes and increased oil production can wreak havoc on your skin, not to mention the bloating.
Worry not, take care of your skin – wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and use an oil free moisturiser.

Woman in White Dress Sitting on Brown Rock Near Sea

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