No Cats, No Baths, and Other Pregnancy Myths

PregnancyQuestionYou will hear plenty of old-wives’ tales about your pregnancy. While some may coincide with your own experience, most are not an exact science. Here are some common myths you may hear while you are expecting.

Gender Prediction Myths:

Many tales claim that a baby’s gender can be predicted by how low or high a mother is carrying, what types of food she craves, the baby’s heart rate, and even the sexual position the baby was conceived during!

The truth is how a mother carries is based on the baby’s size or position, the mother’s muscle structure, her posture or a myriad of other factors. Heart rates are not conclusive for predictions and food cravings are specific to each mother’s whims.

Ultrasounds can give a good guess of your baby’s gender, but even they are not 100 percent foolproof. The only real way to know your baby’s gender is to wait until delivery day!

The Heartburn Means Hair Myth:

Plenty of pregnant women experience heartburn, but give birth to a bald-headed baby. Heartburn is common because a mom’s stomach is being shifted as her baby and her uterus grow. It becomes easier for acid to move backwards, causing reflux. It can be uncomfortable, but unfortunately doesn’t guarantee a baby with beautiful locks.

Baths Cause Infections Myth:

Concerns about pregnant women taking a bath stem from the idea that an infection could easily spread through bath water into a mom’s reproductive organs. That risk has been discredited by many medical professionals.

If you a take a bath while you’re pregnant, just make sure the water is not too hot to avoid raising your body temperature too high. Bubble bath or other bath products may irritate your skin, so test a small amount of a new product before using it on your entire body.

No Seafood Myth:

It is widely accepted in American culture that pregnant women should not eat sushi because of the parasites that could be consumed in raw fish. But certain cooked fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for brain development. Try some salmon, tuna or tilapia if you are hungry for fish, it can be beneficial for you and your baby.

No Sex While Pregnant Myth:

Unless your doctor gives your specific medical instructions to avoid intercourse, a healthy sex life is great for pregnant women. The baby is protected in the uterus, so if a mom is feeling the mood, she can safely be with her partner.

The No Cats Allowed Myth:

The CDC does recommend that you avoid changing a cat’s litter box while pregnant due to the risk of toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite that can be passed through cats and their feces. But other normal activities with your furry friend are fine.

If you must change a litter box, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. You can ask your vet to test your cat if you want to be extra careful.

Labor Triggers Myth:

Some people claim spicy foods, bumpy car rides, or even the phases of the moon can bring on labor. But labor is caused by a complex series of hormonal signals. Near the end of your pregnancy, you may wish a spicy meal or bumpy ride could get labor moving along, but there is no guarantee!


Do you have another pregnancy myth to share? Leave us a comment!