Bringing a new life into this world results in a mix of emotions, especially if it's your first. It's a happy, exciting time and you can't wait to meet your baby, but going through the whole nine months can be scary. Body changes and pregnancy symptoms can vary from one expectant mom to another, but you could experience a lot, and some are odd and can be discomforting and, frankly, they can be annoying as hell.
The fear of the unknown can make people cling to any hearsay or pamahiin. You want to make an informed decision because it will affect not just you but your unborn baby as well. Here are a few myths to do away with on your first and subsequent pregnancies:
Myth 1: Exercising is bad for preggos
You are not sick. You are pregnant. So barring any complications to your pregnancy, doing 20- to 30-minute exercises with light to moderate intensity on most days of the week is good for preggos. Make sure, however, that you get your doctor's opinion and go signal when it comes to exercise.
If you've been working out before conceiving, and you have a relatively low-risk pregnancy, you can definitely continue your routine, only tweaking it as needed as your pregnancy progresses. Starting an exercise routine when you're already pregnant is recommended but within limits. The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises pregnant women who exercise not to overexert themselves. If you have trouble carrying a conversation while working out, then it means you're overdoing it.
Myth 2: "You're pregnant! You should eat for two!"
That means eating healthily and not feeding your unborn baby like an adult. (He gets his nutrients via the placenta.) A preggo's ideal weight gain is a total of 25 to 40 pounds, depending on your body mass index. That's just about 300 calories on top of your recommended daily caloric intake.
That said, you should not skimp on eating unless your doctor puts you on a strict diet—and trust us when we tell you don't want to push it that far. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy could lead to gestational diabetes and other pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, which can endanger your baby's health and yours.
Myth 3: Once you deliver via C-section, there's no going back
Actually, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is possible. However, you need to meet certain conditions to be a candidate for VBAC. The keyword in the previous sentence is "candidate," meaning you and your doctor can try for a vaginal birth, but it's not a guarantee that you will not undergo C-section.
What are some of the conditions for a VBAC? You didn't have a low transverse uterine incision or a bikini cut in your previous CS. It has not been less than 18 months since you delivered your last baby. You only had one CS delivery and had no pre-existing medical conditions that may impact birth. Lastly, the reasons for your precious C-sections should not be present again if you're trying for a VBAC.
Myth 4: You should be induced when you hit 37 weeks
A pregnancy is considered full term when you are on your 38th week of pregnancy. Experts now believe that babies should keep 'cooking' in the womb for as long as it's still healthy for mom and baby. The World Health Organization (WHO) new recommendations state that as long as there are no life-threatening issues that come up, labor and birth should be progress with as little intervention as possible.
Inducing labor is an example of such intervention, and it may do more harm than good when it's performed earlier than 38th week. There are exceptions, though. You can be induced earlier than 38 weeks if there's a more pressing threat to you or your baby's life, such as your water bag has ruptured, your placenta has aged, your amniotic fluid is low, you have pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, or you're carrying multiples.
Myth 5: How dark your neck or underarm is can predict your baby's gender
Using the Chinese calendar to conceive a boy or a girl has gotten good positive results for moms who have tried it, but it is not a guarantee. Predicting your baby's sex based on the shape of your tummy, your preggy glow (or lack thereof!), how dark your neck or underarm is, whether you crave for sweet or spicy foods—all of these are not accurate predictors if you're having a boy or a girl.
You can find out the sex of your unborn baby via ultrasound at approximately your fifth month of pregnancy. The odds are high that your ultrasound can tell your baby's gender correct, but it's still not 100-percent guaranteed. The only way to know if you're having a boy or a girl is to undergo genetic testing.
Remember that every pregnancy is different, so get your information right. The surest way to do so is to ask your doctor. Get a second or third opinion if you want to be cautious about your well-being as well as your unborn baby's health.
This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.