When you are pregnant, you will hear advice from a variety of sources. While it is all well-intentioned, unfortunately many myths surround pregnant moms, causing undue stress and possibly having negative effects on their growing babies.
You can eat for two when you are pregnant. In reality, pregnancy only requires about 300 extra calories per day. Eating for two can lead to too much weight gain, exposing your baby to a higher risk of obesity in their lifetimes. In general if you are at a healthy weight before pregnancy, you should gain only about three to four pounds per month of pregnancy. You should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy.
Exercising during pregnancy is bad for the baby. Exercise can be good for expectant moms and their babies. Studies show that babies of exercising moms have better cardiovascular health. Don’t push yourself past your current level of fitness and only participate in moderate workouts. During moderate workouts, you should be able to hold a conversation easily.
You shouldn’t eat fish during pregnancy. Fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps brain development. Most physicians recommend no more than 12 ounces of seafood a week, and you should avoid seafood such as shark, swordfish and king mackerel due to high levels of mercury.
You shouldn’t sleep on your back during pregnancy. This myth is true. After 24 weeks, the growing uterus can compress large blood vessels, decreasing blood flow to the uterus and baby. Sleeping on your side will help keep blood flowing and be more comfortable on your back.
You shouldn’t dye your hair when you are pregnant. Numerous studies have shown that hair dye has no noticeable effect on pregnancy, though you should try to avoid having hair dye on your skin for a long period of time.
If you are concerned about exercise, nutrition or sleep during pregnancy, always consult your obstetrician.
About Dr. Thomson – Dr. Thomson practices at Hampton Roads OB/GYN Center at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk. She received her medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, Calif. She went on to perform her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Summa Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Her prior professional experience includes private group practice at a Canton, Ohio, women’s clinic.
Dr. Thomson’s special interests include providing compassionate care for women during pregnancy as well as gynecologic care utilizing minimally invasive procedures with the da Vinci® robotic surgical system. Dr. Thomson has participated in several research studies and given numerous medical presentations. She is professionally affiliated with The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Medical Association and American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.