Skip the flu shot? No more coffee? I can't have sex? These are just three of the top 10 pregnancy myths we address here at Tulsa Women's Health Care.
1. Myth: Skip the flu shot.
Fact: Just the opposite! The flu vaccination is very important. Some worry that the vaccine may give them the flu or that the ingredients could hurt their unborn baby. The vaccine does NOT contain a live virus. Therefore, the flu injection won’t give you the flu, nor is there any evidence that the vaccine can harm the fetus. Also, pregnancy weakens a woman’s immune system, making her more vulnerable to getting a severe case of the flu. Most important, your baby is passively immunized through your vaccine and is therefore protected at birth. So get your flu vaccine! Do stay away from the nasal spray, however. It contains a live, weakened virus.
2. Myth: You’re eating for two.
Fact: Seconds? Not so fast! Yes, you are eating for two, but not for two adults! A woman at an average weight needs only 300 additional calories per day to properly support her baby’s growth. A 25-35 pound weight gain is normal for someone who is already at a healthy weight. The pregnancy itself is 20 to 22 pounds at term, so the extra 3 to 13 pounds in mommy weight is to ensure appropriate fetal growth.
3. Myth: Avoid hair dyes.
Fact: No need to rock the roots! Experts say chemicals from hair dye, permanents and relaxers are absorbed through the skin only in minimal amounts and aren’t harmful. The strong odors, however, can cause pregnant women to become nauseous, so make sure the area is well- ventilated.
4. Myth: Caffeine is a no-no.
Fact: I’ll have a triple venti, two-pump mocha, non-fat, no-whip, no-foam! Many pregnant women are often warned to give up caffeine because it might cause miscarriage, preterm birth or low birth weight. But the case against caffeine isn’t strong. Now don’t go for the triple shot like Dr. Nilson! For our pregnant patients, we recommend sticking to 200 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of a 12 oz cup of coffee) or less per day.
5. Myth: I can’t eat fish or sushi.
Fact: This is one of the most common myths. Fish is actually a healthy, low-fat option for mom and baby. Consumption of fish high in mercury should be limited to twice a week. Swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel are examples of fish containing high amounts of mercury. However, shrimp, salmon and light tuna are great choices and contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, helping your baby’s brain and visual development. Uncooked fish found in some sushi and sashimi can contain bacteria and parasites. If you eat contaminated food and become ill, it is harder for pregnant women to recover, but there are no other restrictions even on raw fish.
6. Myth: Say no to sex!
Fact: Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy or have been advised by your doctor to abstain from sex, feel free to get frisky! The baby is well protected by the amniotic sac, mucous plug and strong uterine muscles. You and your baby are not, however, protected against STDs.
7. Myth: I shouldn’t travel.
Fact: Airport body scanners, x-ray machines at security and radiation from flying are too minute to cause any fetal birth defects. Be sure to walk around the plane and stretch your legs at least every hour to avoid forming blood clots. Flying past the 32nd week of a normal pregnancy, however, is not recommended.
8. Myth: I can’t ride rollercoasters.
Fact: Are rollercoasters safe during pregnancy? Are rollercoasters ever safe? Your risk remains the same. Trauma is unlikely, but could occur. If the abdomen is affected by the trauma, then the baby could be harmed or the bag of fluid around the baby could rupture. So, ride at your own risk!
9. Myth: No baths or hot tubs.
Fact: Some moms are afraid to relax in the hot tub or even a hot bubble bath because they are unsure if it is too hot for their unborn baby. The truth is, the baby is fine. It takes quite awhile for our core temp to rise and when it does you will have long escaped, feeling too overheated yourself.
10. Myth: Induction vs. Caesarean?
Fact: At Tulsa Women’s Health Care, our physicians allow patients the option of medically inducing labor when and if the circumstances are appropriate. There are certain criteria that must be met before an induction can be scheduled. As long as you meet those requirements, medical induction of labor will not increase your risk for c-section.
Source: Tulsa Women’s Health Care . TWHC is a sponsor of KJRH.com.
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