Image of 10 common pregnancy myths

Dr. Mary Gratch has heard a lot of tales about pregnancy during her many years as an obstetrician and gynecologist (Ob/Gyn) at SBH Health System. Some are superstitions passed down from well-meaning grandmothers, and others come from articles found on the Internet. Truth bomb: knowing the truth behind the myths is very important for the health of you and your baby.

1)You can’t get pregnant when you’re breastfeeding. Not so. Breastfeeding has nothing to do with your period cycle or when you can get pregnant.

2) Using birth control will affect your ability to have a baby. There is no truth to the idea that using pills or other birth control will make you not able to get pregnant at a later time.

3) If you’re trying to get pregnant, some positions during sex can help. Another old wives tale that is not true.

4) If you have heartburn while you are pregnant, you will have a baby with lots of hair. A study done at Johns Hopkins found this to be mostly true! However, if you do not experience heartburn, your baby can still be born with a full head of hair.

5) “Morning sickness” means you will only feel sick in the morning. Feeling sick while you are pregnant can happen at any time of day. “Morning sickness” usually goes away after the first trimester, but can happen all through pregnancy for some women.

6) If you get an epidural during delivery, you will forever have back pain. An epidural is given to relieve pain during labor and wears off during your delivery. There is no proof that it causes long-term back pain.

7) Your baby will be a boy if you have sex a certain way or at a specific time. No, it doesn’t work this way. A chromosome from the sperm is what determines your baby’s gender.

8) You need to stop drinking coffee when you are pregnant. Studies show that drinking one or two cups a day is fine, but five cups daily may not be such a good idea.

9) Don’t eat fish if you’re pregnant Sort of true. When you are pregnant, you can eat fish that have a lot of nutrients – like salmon. However, avoid fish high in mercury – like shark, tilefish, swordfish, and mackerel. And remember, light tuna is always better than white tuna.

10) Crossing your legs or reaching above your head during pregnancy will make the umbilical cord wrap around the baby’s neck. Do you know that about one out of every four babies is born with the cord around their necks? If this happens, it is natural and has nothing to do with how you sat or moved during your pregnancy. Also, exercise like swimming, walking, yoga, and Pilates are all good.