10 Pregnancy Myths

When it comes to pregnancy, everyone seems to have some kind of advice to give you. Take it all with a grain of salt, though, as some of it is accurate and a lot of it isn't. Here are 10 pregnancy myths you might have believed about pregnancy... but rest assured, they are not true!

1. You shouldn't stretch or touch your toes while pregnant.

What is this, the Victorian age? Why is touching your toes considered too strenuous for pregnant women? This is one of the sillier pregnancy myths., it is just a myth. Unless you have an actual physical condition and your doctor advises you to limit certain motions, you can continue touching your toes (or trying to, at least) to your heart's content.

2. You should only sleep on your left side when you're pregnant.

Also totally untrue. You can sleep in whatever position you'd like, even on your back if that's what's most comfortable for you.

3. Pregnant women are eating for two.

This is a widely cited justification for succumbing to cravings, and is probably where the myth came from. But your baby is a fraction of your size, so why would you need to eat double the calories? In actuality, you only need an extra 300 calories a day while you're pregnant.

4. Being pregnant means nine months of tired mornings.

No coffee for nine months? Can you survive it? Actually, you don't have to. A cup of coffee every morning won't hurt anything. A whole pot isn't recommended, though -- for you or the baby.

5. Pregnant women can't eat sushi.

Raw fish lovers unite! It turns out you can actually have sushi while you're pregnant -- just not all kinds of sushi. Specifically, you'll need to avoid mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish -- and you should limit your tuna intake to about two rolls per week. But fish is actually good for pregnant women, so if you love sushi, don't let anyone tell you to avoid it entirely!

6. Pregnant women shouldn't have smoked salmon.

Smoked salmon isn't going to harm your baby. There's not likely to be any mercury in it, for one thing, since salmon live in fresh water. In fact, eating salmon while pregnant is actually good for you because of its omega-3 fatty acid content.

7. Pregnant women should stay away from cats.

There is, in fact, something in cat poop that could be harmful to your baby, so you shouldn't scoop the litter box while you're pregnant. But don't be afraid to spend time with your kitty! And maybe share a little of that smoked salmon with her since you're eating it again now, too.

8. You can prevent stretch marks with cocoa butter.

This is a wonderful example of not believing everything you hear. Cocoa butter won't prevent stretch marks, and a lot of women actually have reactions to it, so don't be tempted to try it "just in case it's true".

9. You can't fly during your last trimester.

They may not let you on the plane, but that has nothing to do with it harming your baby -- they just don't want you going into labor on the plane, because it would be inconvenient.

10. Physical activity speeds up labor.

If you want your labor to come on faster, you can just go for a walk, right? Wrong! Physical activity actually doesn't bring on or speed up labor.

These pregnancy myths may seem reasonable when you first hear them, part of why they're so tempting to believe. It's best to practice skepticism when someone other than your doctor gives you pregnancy advice, though, as this list demonstrates!

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