13 Things Your Grandma Told You About Pregnancy That You Shouldn’t Believe

You can count on no less than ten sources of advice once you announce that you’re pregnant. Doctors, moms, grandmas, books, TV, and well-meaning strangers all have input on what to expect or what to do during a pregnancy.

And let’s not forget the endless abyss of the internet. There’s a lot of good information mixed in with misinformation. How do you sort everything out? Striking down myths is a good start, and we’re here to help. Don’t scare yourself by what you may have heard from granny or one of your co-workers, as some things are just superstition and myth. Here are a few examples:

  1. Morning Sickness Ends After 3 Months

    While for many women it does taper off after the first trimester, morning sickness symptoms can last beyond that period and occur at any time of the day or night. Severe forms of morning sickness like hyperemesis gravidarum require the care of a medical professional.

  2. Walking Induces Labor

    Are you two weeks past your due date? You may have heard an old wives’ tale that walking will induce labor. It does not, but it can help position the baby once you are already in labor, moving her further down the birth canal.

  3. You Have to Stay Away from Your Cat

    Don’t evict your cat just yet, because merely touching it won’t make you or your baby sick. Because of toxoplasmosis, pregnant women should NOT change the litter box. Parasites in cat feces cause the illness which can lead to physical and developmental defects in the baby, and in some cases, miscarriage.

  4. No Flying During First or Last Trimester

    How many of us have heard this one? Unless your personal doctor or the airline is the one issuing the rule, there isn’t one. Fly when you wish.

  5. Eating Fish is Bad – Especially Sushi

    Fish is actually good for you as it contains protein and Omega 3 fats. Because of mercury concerns however, doctors want pregnant women to avoid eating shark, swordfish, mackerel, or tilefish. High levels of mercury can harm the baby. Freshwater fish like salmon is great, but limiting tuna intake to about 12 ounces a week is recommended.

  6. Avoid Hair Chemicals

    Wondering about the safety of coloring your hair during pregnancy? It’s up to you, but using a temporary hair dye won’t harm your fetus. If you still want color but without harsh chemicals, look into henna or Kool-Aid.

  7. Exercise and Overhead Lifting Can Hurt Baby

    Exercise can actually help mom have a smooth delivery. With clearance from your doctor, physical activity like aerobics, yoga, or another regimen is fine. And don’t worry about lifting your arms above your head, you won’t strangle the baby by moving your arms.

  8. Your Belly Shape Foretells Gender

    We’ve all heard that if a woman is carrying low, it’s a boy, and if carrying high and wide, it’s a girl. This one is false. What would the guess be for fraternal twins? Ha!

  9. Heartburn Means Hair for Baby

    We’ve thrown this one in for fun, but there is some merit to it. A Johns Hopkins study showed you can actually feel it. Sometimes they’re able to tell you about your baby’s hair by looking at the sonogram in the late stages of your pregnancy. If you are having heartburn, ask about it!

  10. No Coffee

    The caffeine in coffee can reach the baby through the umbilical cord, and its stimulative effects can act the same as in adults. Doctors don’t ban it, but recommend no more than 12 ounces per day – unless you go with decaf.

  11. Spicy Food Will Induce Labor

    Not true. If you have a craving and your body can tolerate the spice, enjoy it. If it can’t, the heartburn or tummy upset will let you know, but it won’t induce labor.

  12. Sleep on Your Left Side

    There are health benefits for anyone who sleeps on their left side, but pregnant women have no special instructions when it comes to sleeping position. Sleep in a position that is comfortable – if you can find one.

  13. Eat for Two

    Okay, sad news: we don’t need to double our calories when eating during a pregnancy. Yes, you’re hungrier, but carrying a baby only requires about 300 extra calories a day. Nutrient-dense foods are best, so feel free to pile your plate up with those!

What pregnancy myth were you told but later learned was untrue? Do you still believe any of these? Have you had any experience with number 9?