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Us ladies are pretty incredible. In just the very short span of nine months (even though it may seem like forever to us), our bodies form and carry a brand new human being. We supply nutrients to our growing baby via what we eat, and our bodies blood supply increase by an amazing 50 percent! The reason for the increased blood flow is to help support the uterus. Our bodies do great and powerful things! We give life and create a whole incredible new person that we love with all of our hearts and souls.
But pregnancy can be a crazy and wild ride for a lot of us! From morning sickness to swollen ankles, you name it; we’ve probably experienced it. Now when it comes to being pregnant, there are always going to be people out there that have something to say. Old wives tales, or myths, if you will abound. They swirl and whirl around you that you aren’t sure what to believe and what not to believe! Well, as it turns out, some of those myths? They’re actually true. Here are 21 myths about pregnancy that turned out to be true.
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If you are looking to add a bouncing baby boy to your family, then stock up on those tasty yellow fruits! A study done in 2008, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society spoke to approximately 740 women. These were first-time moms-to-be and were asked to describe their diets over the year before they conceived a child. Based on caloric intake, they were then divided into three separate groups. The study authors found that basing it on caloric intake alone wasn’t what seemed to influence the gender. It was different kinds of nutrients that were doing it. Diets that were high in potassium, sodium, and calcium were all linked to boys. However, it is best to stick to a healthy and balanced diet. You could always speak to a dietitian if you want to learn more about what we eat and babies. They’ll be able to help steer you in the right direction.
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You may have thought that this one was a good old wives tale, right? One of the oldest ones around! You may have thought it was false. It’s not! There was a research study done at Johns Hopkins, and published in the journal Birth found a correlation between the two! It seems that there is a connection between the severity of heartburn and the hair of your newborn. Now, it's in the third trimester of pregnancy when heartburn starts to strike really badly. This is due to the estrogen causing your esophageal sphincter to relax. This means stomach acid can splash up into your esophagus. This same estrogen responsible for this fun-filled stomach-acid trip? It’s the same hormone that is responsible for the baby’s hair growth!
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This may be a lesser-known myth. We’ve likely all heard all about how scientists used to test for pregnancy on rabbits by injecting a woman’s urine into the rabbit. Before that, they had used mice. But the point of the test on the mice and rabbits were to see if their ovaries had gotten any bigger after injecting them with the woman’s urine to see if it contained Human chorionic gonadotropin, the hormone produced by the placenta after implantation. But this process was always messy as it involved killing the animal for the purpose of dissection, to see if the ovaries grew. In the frog, a Xenopus laevis from Africa, if the urine did indeed contain hCG, the frog, would lay a cluster of millimeter-sized black and white spheres. This technique did not kill or harm the animal in any way, and the same frog could be used over and over. The scientist that pioneered this technique was Lancelot Hogben. One researcher had even reported that after injecting over 150 frogs, it reliably gave positive results, with no false positives, and only missing three actual pregnancies. Pretty interesting, right?
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A scientific study has shown that boys take longer to deliver than baby girls do. A reason for this is because in general, baby boys typically have bigger heads than girls do, and they are usually a little larger than girls. Researcher Maeve Eogan, of the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin and her team, carried out a study between the years of 1997 and 2000 at the hospital in Ireland. Her team studied the deliveries of 4,005 females and 4,070 male babies. While most of the babies arrived with no trouble, there were more complications with boys (29%), than with girls (24%). Of the reason why boys might mean longer labor? Eogan says, “We still don't know what the answer is. The boys appear to suffer more distress in the womb, which suggests that there is obviously some sort of inherent vulnerability of male infants to the whole process of labor.”
When we are pregnant, and the baby is developed enough in the second trimester, it begins to ingest the amniotic fluid. By 21 weeks, they are swallowing ounces of it. The amniotic fluid takes on the flavor of what mom has been eating and drinking during the pregnancy. Research has found that what you eat during your pregnancy influences what your child will eat later on in life. Make sure that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet. If you aren’t sure, speak to your doctor about what you should be eating. But load up on those vegetables when you can, ladies! In this case, you definitely can eat for two!
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Hashtag twinning! According to the CDC, from 1980-2009 twin rates have been climbing, especially in women over the age of 35! In particular, women age 40 and older, twin birth rates have soared - rising by over 200%! It is thought that women over the age of 30 have more hormone fluctuations. This includes follicle-stimulating hormone levels or FSH for short. This hormone stimulates the eggs for ovulation. It was also found that women with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 (which is considered to be overweight) or more were more likely to conceive fraternal twins, than mothers with a lower body mass index.
It's almost pretty much the first sign that you are pregnant. You are extremely nauseous and can’t even keep a cracker down, let alone breakfast. Even though the term “morning sickness” is used, this sickening feeling can strike you at any time of the day. Not all women experience it, but many do. Research dating back to the 1980s showed that women who took a teaspoon of fresh ginger for morning sickness found it to be beneficial for them. You could also try ginger tea. However, speak with your doctor first. Certain teas can contain ingredients that may be harmful to your unborn child.
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Is it time for your little one to make their grand entrance into this great big world? Is there a rainstorm headed your way? This just might mean that you may just get to meet your little one very soon! A study was done that has shown a drop in barometric pressure might cause your water to break, thus jumpstarting the whole labor process. So you may just want to have your hospital bag at the ready, just in case. Perhaps you could think of cool weather-themed names for your little one on the way to the hospital! Who likes the name, Sonnie?
Ah, the good old “baby brain.” We become forgetful, walk into rooms and wonder what we went in there for and left our car keys in the fridge. Research shows that major changes happen in the brains of pregnant women. Researchers at Royal Holloway University in London found that hormones that are released during pregnancy activate different parts of the brain. The researchers studied pregnant women and mothers with babies who were 9 weeks old. They were shown pictures of adults and babies making happy and sad faces. The expectant moms were using the right side of their brain to analyze the pictures more than the new moms. The researchers believe that pregnant mom’s brains are being primed for bonding with their new baby.
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This one is a lot about getting on the airplane itself. As you edge closer to your due date, you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get medical clearance just to fly. But hey, sometimes you need to get on a flight for some reason. If it is close to your due date, be sure to bring your medical records with you. Also, you will have to check the airline website that you are flying with to see what kind of clearance you will need. For some, it is just a doctor note. For others, you’ll need to be cleared by a special assistance coordinator. This is more about the airplane not wanting to have to turn around if you go into labor in the sky, then it is about anything else. There is also one other very good reason for not flying while pregnant; it increases the chances of developing a potentially dangerous blood clot called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). These clots can start in the legs and travel to the lungs.
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Despite all of the gender nonsensical myths out there, one of them appears that it is true. We know about morning sickness. But then there is morning sickness. More specifically, it is a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. The condition can get so bad that it can land mom-to-be in the hospital. There have been a few studies done on the subject of linking women having hyperemesis gravidarum and having a baby girl. It is thought that perhaps the reason for this may be because women who are pregnant with girls are believed to have a higher level of hCG. This may contribute to the worse nausea.
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Yes, our partners can also get to experience the same joys of pregnancy as we do. By that, we mean nausea, increased hormone levels, disturbed sleep patterns, and slight weight gain. It is known as Couvade syndrome. There are even more extreme cases in which your partner can experience sympathy labor pains and postpartum depression. Some believe it may be psychosomatic. Others believe that males that are living with a pregnant partner do experience hormonal shifts from the beginning of the first trimester on through several weeks postpartum. Other symptoms can include changes in appetite, headaches, acne, cravings, and more.
We pregnant women do get swollen ankles and feet. That’s for sure. It’s more towards the near-end of the third trimester. But, here is another strange, probably lesser heard myth. Some women’s feet can get bigger during pregnancy, and stay that way. Researchers studied the arch height and foot length of 49 women during their pregnancy, and five weeks months after they gave birth. Overall, the women’s arch height had decreased, while their foot length increased by about 0.1-0.4 inches. Approximately 60 to 70 percent of the women had shorter arches and longer feet after delivering their child. 11 of the women had reported changes in shoe size.
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While it is probably okay to sleep on your back during the first trimester of pregnancy (speak with your doctor first), as you progress through your pregnancy, you will want to find a different sleeping position. Not only will this be for your comfort, but it is also for a few medical reasons as well. When you lie on your back, the uterus is putting weight on the vena cava, a major blood vessel, thus compressing it. This can lead to the disruption of blood flow to your child. It can leave you short of breath, nauseated and dizzy. Experts recommend sleeping on your left side because the vena cava is located to the right of your spine. This promotes more blood flow. If you need help falling asleep, you could always try different pillows in different positions or even a memory foam mattress topper.
Yes, while it is quite unpleasant, morning sickness, or rather we should call it any-time-of-day-sickness is actually a good sign, icky as it may be. It actually means that your pregnancy is a healthy and viable one. A study done in 2016 took a look at women who had experienced a miscarriage. They had found that women who had morning sickness with their later pregnancies were about 50 to 75 percent less likely to have another miscarriage. So, while it may seem awful in the beginning, just think, it could mean that your baby is healthy and growing in there!
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We crave all kinds of crazy foods during pregnancy, including sweets. A little bit here and there isn’t going to hurt you or baby. But going totally crazy on the sweets every day isn’t healthy for you or your growing little one. The number one reason for this is gestational diabetes. While researchers aren’t entirely sure yet what causes gestational diabetes, being overweight and overeating can certainly be a risk factor. Eating sweets all the time can also cause major fatigue. Because, after all that sugar, we’re bound to crash. However, there is one sweet that researchers are saying is okay in moderation: chocolate. A study done in 2016 by the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta, GA said that eating about 30 grams of chocolate a day could be good for you and baby. Other studies have also shown that it can lower a woman’s risk of preeclampsia.
It isn’t just some crazy urge we get one day to clean the house. Well, actually it is. But for the longest time, many people did not believe that “nesting” was a thing that had to do with pregnancy. But according to The American Pregnancy Association, it is common. Some women may experience it, and some may not feel the urge to nest at all, and that is totally okay. The APA says that women can nest in many different fashions, from a whole house purge to wanting to paint (though we suggest leaving this one to your partner), to organizing the nursery. It should also be noted that nesting can happen at any time during your pregnancy, not just during the weeks leading up to labor and delivery.
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Although it sounds like an awesome way to relax those tired muscles after a long day, getting into the hot tub while you’re pregnant isn’t the best idea. According to The American Pregnancy Association, a body temperature of over 101°F can be cause for concern, specifically hyperthermia. Certain studies have shown an increase in birth defects in infants of women who had a higher body temperature during the first trimester. Not to mention that hot tubs are often a breeding ground for bacteria, as well. If you’re aiming to relax, try a hot bath, that isn’t uncomfortable to the point of raising your core body temperature.
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If you love papaya and you are pregnant, you must make certain that the papaya that you are about to eat is a ripe one. While ripe papaya is a good source of nutrients and certain vitamins, and unripe papaya can cause some serious complications. There is a type of latex contained in unripe papaya that can lead to things like uterine contractions, which can lead to early labor. Other problems it can cause is mistaking the papain that the papaya contains for prostaglandins, which are sometimes used to induce labor. It may also weaken membranes that support the growing baby inside you. Lastly, of course, latex can be a very dangerous allergen to some people, causing a life-threatening allergic reaction.
This one you definitely have to listen to. If you can get your partner to clean the kitty’s litter box, then have them do it instead. The risk of contracting toxoplasmosis great when cleaning the cat’s litter box. It can be very harmful to a pregnant mom and the unborn child. Make sure that your cat eats only dry or canned food, and make certain to keep it inside. This way you know that it won’t be outside picking up any other kind of bacteria. You don’t have to give up kitty, just make sure there is someone else there to take care of it while you are pregnant.
We’ve all heard this one. Stress can be bad for both mother and child. But did you know that your emotions can have an effect on your unborn baby? Dr. Thomas Verny, founder of the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) and Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, has said, “Everything the pregnant mother feels and thinks is communicated through neurohormones to her unborn child, just as surely as are alcohol and nicotine.” Positive thoughts can help the baby develop a sense of happiness. So now we know, happy mom means a happy baby!
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Painting your nails is technically okay, as long as you use nail polishes that don’t contain chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate. Brands like Zoya, Knocked Up Nails, and Butter London are generally good ones to go with. However, if you are looking to get a gel manicure, you’re going to have to skip it for a few months, at least until after your baby is born. It can be potentially toxic to the baby and yourself. And whether you are pregnant or not? That ultraviolet light is pretty bad for you. You may want to change up your nail game entirely. Even after the baby is born.
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We are usually inclined to believe that our birth months are just all about astrology and hocus-pocus. But that isn’t entirely true! Research has shown that the month your child is born in can have an impact on your little one! It has been shown that babies born in the late summer to early fall have thicker bones and tend to be taller! Which is cool, because broken bones are a total bummer. It has also been noted that babies who were born in late winter or early spring were ten percent more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.