1. Wider hips make giving birth easier
Many women believe that having wider hips makes its easier for the baby to pass through the body during labour, however this just isn’t true. The distance between the iliac crest has nothing to do with the size of the birth canal. It is the size of the round hole within the pelvis that counts for something, and the size is not determined by the wideness of hips.
2. The size and shape of the belly indicates the gender of the baby
Although this would be an extremely convenient and easy way to predict the gender of the baby, it’s just not that simple. The size of the fetus and the position the baby is within the womb can affect the shape and size of the bump – not the gender. Although, it is a fun way to take a light-hearted guess about what the gender may be!
3. Multiple ultrasounds are not safe for the baby
There is actually no evidence that suggests that a prenatal ultrasound can harm the mother or the unborn child. An ultrasound, despite what people may think, does not use radiation. Rather, it uses high-frequency sound waves that just simply bounce off the baby. This means that it should not harm the baby in any way.
4. It’s bad for the baby if you lie on your belly
The baby isn’t as delicate as you may think. The baby is hidden deep inside the muscular uterus and is highly protected by all its internal organs. Therefore, a woman can lie and sleep on her belly as long as its comfortable. If it feels okay for the mother, its okay for the baby!
5. You can’t run while you’re pregnant
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you should give up running. If anything, you should try keep as fit as possible during your pregnancy. However, keep in mind that if the pregnancy has complications, then it may be advised not to take part in running – for example, if you have high blood pressure or multiple gestation pregnancy.
6. Morning sickness happens only in the morning and first trimester
80% of women experiences morning sickness as a symptom of pregnancy. But it’s actually only 2% of women that suffer with this in the morning, despite its name. In most cases, this will end after the first trimester, but 20% of women experience it until they deliver the child.
7. You can’t lift your arms above your head
This is probably one of the most craziest myths out there. Raising your hands cannot, as some believe, cause the umbilical cord to wrap around your baby’s neck simply because your movements cannot have an affect on the umbilical cord at all. Besides, if the baby is born with their umbilical cord round their necks, it’s often a easy fix.
8. All women feel happy during pregnancy – it’s the best time of your life!
Everyone thinks women should be happy during their pregnancy – after all it’s a mothers instinct, right? But many women experience stress, confusion and fear during their pregnancy, with 14%-23% experiencing depression. This happens due to the hormone changes that happens within the brain once a woman is pregnant.
9. You lose all your pregnancy weight during the delivery
Pregnancy weight consists of the weight of the baby themselves, the placenta, the growing uterus and breasts, an increased blood and fluid volume in the woman’s body – and of course any extra fat she may have gained through cravings and ‘eating for 2’. After giving birth, she will lose weight of the baby, the placenta and the fluid, however the rest of the weight will remain.
10. A C-section is the easy way out
Many pregnant women believe that a C-section is less painful and much safer than a vaginal delivery. Therefore, they wish to have it. However, C-sections are just as painful as a vaginal birth, the difference being – the pain from a C-section begins after the birth. The aftercare and pain after a C-section is known to extremely intense.
11. The baby isn’t affected by what happens outside
For years it was believed babies were born with no knowledge of the outside world, but now doctors have determined they can recognise mom’s voice and other sounds too. They can also taste food mom is eating and have dreams as well, so a fetus is much more attuned than we might think!
12. You can gain as much weight as you like
Weight gain is perfectly natural during pregnancy, but gaining too much weight is not healthy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a normal weight gain should be 25 to 35 pounds, but this should vary depending on whether mom is underweight or overweight prior, or is carrying more than one baby.
13. You shouldn’t travel whilst pregnant
This is a big myth because, actually, it’s typically perfectly okay to travel when pregnant – you just need to consider how far along you are. Mid pregnancy, around 14-28 weeks is generally the most comfortable time to travel, but you should make sure to stretch every couple of hours and stay hydrated.
14. If you’re healthy, there’ll be no problems
A big trap a lot of pregnant women fall into is assuming that they will encounter ergo pregnancy issues simply because they’re healthy. This is not necessarily the case, and it is important to prepare for the fact that you may encounter complications, so regular meetings with a healthcare professional is a must.
15. Tech won’t play a big role in a healthy delivery
Another myth. In reality, technology is a core part of the childbirth process, and whether it’s equipment like electronic fetal monitoring to epidurals to pumps for fluid therapy, technology plays a major role in all deliveries these days, and you should expect to encounter plenty at your delivery.
16. You can’t dye your hair
Okay, so this one is dependent upon the type of dye, but research does suggest that it is safe to color your hair in pregnancy – provided the chemicals in your dye are not super high (which they typically won’t be). Make sure you do a patch test before just to be sure you are completely comfortable with it.
17. You have to eat for two
You don’t need to eat for two during pregnancy; this is a myth. In fact, according to studies, you won’t need any additional calories until the third trimester, where you may require up to 200 additional calories. The best thing to focus on is having a healthy and balanced diet as much as possible.
18. Sex when pregnant is a no-no
Actually, this is also a myth, and sex during pregnancy is perfectly fine, unless your doctor or midwife has advised against it. Your sex drive is likely to change a lot during the pregnancy process, and this is something that affects everyone differently – but it’s important to remember that sex during pregnancy, if you want it, is absolutely fine.
19. You’ll experience strange cravings
Now, whilst this is true in a lot of cases, it is not a guarantee for all pregnant women, because pregnancy is different for everyone. Hormonal changes can impact your taste and smell, and in rare cases some women will experience a condition called pica (caused by iron deficiency). This can lead to cravings for inedible things, like clay or detergent.
20. Gaining weight quickly means you’re having twins
Okay, so whilst it’s easy to see the mental gymnastics that led to this myth it is ultimately not true. It might make sense that fast weight gain would be caused by the presence of two babies as opposed to one, but the reality is that how fast you gain weight can be completely random, and doesn’t correlate with multiple births.
21. Baby will come on its due date
Another key myth that plenty of pregnant women face during their pregnancy is that your baby will come on its due date. In fact, the due date is only an estimate, and most babies are born after this date. If your baby is born before 37 weeks, this is a premature birth and your doctor will consult you over potential complications this may cause.
22. You should avoid cats
There is a concern that cats can transmit an infection called toxoplasmosis, which is harmful during pregnancy. Whilst this is true to a degree, this is an infection that you can catch from the poo of infected cats, so avoid changing a litter box (or at least use gloves). Stroking or touching a cat should be fine.
23. Teen pregnancies are higher than ever
In fact, this could not be further from the truth. In reality, teen pregnancies in the United States fell to their lowest ever levels in 2022, with a birth rate of 13.5 pr 1,000 females aged 15-19. In fact, aside from a couple of spikes, the teen birth rate in the US has been steadily declining since 1991.
24. An occasional glass of wine is okay
You should never be drinking alcohol whilst pregnant, and it is impossible to know what is a safe amount to consume. Even moderate alcohol intake can lead to lifelong problems for your baby, so it is essential to make sure you avoid it entirely. Speak to someone if you are finding it hard to avoid alcohol.
25. Irregular periods means you can’t get pregnant
In fact, the occasional irregular period cycle is actually perfectly normal for most women, and there are so many different hormonal changes that can impact your period, such as sleep disruptions and stress levels. Consistently irregular periods, however, could be a sign of infertility, so consult your OB-GYN if you’re concerned.
26. A pregnancy over 35 is high risk
Most moms 35+ have normal, healthy pregnancies. In fact, in some ways there are more advantages to being an older mom, such as more life experience and financial stability. If you have concerns about getting pregnant at 35+, you need to make sure you speak to your OB-GYN about it.
27. Breastfeeding comes naturally
Many assume that breastfeeding is a natural instinct, but this is not always the case. In fact, it is completely normal for a mother to need support and coaching to help get the right positioning and to acclimate to breastfeeding. Speak to someone if you feel like you need help with this, as there is plenty available.
28. Bleeding in first trimester means a miscarriage
There is no doubt that bleeding at any stage of the pregnancy can be scary, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a miscarriage. Bleeding during the first trimester is actually pretty common in 20%-40% of women. Still, if you experience any bleeding, consulting a professional is always advisable.
29. You can’t get pregnant on your period
Yes, it is very uncommon for a woman to get pregnant when on her period, but it is not impossible. Sperm is estimated to be able to survive in the uterus for up to five days, so there is always the possibility of an egg being fertilized, especially if you have short menstrual cycles.
30. You can’t drink coffee when pregnant
Alcohol is a big no-no, but coffee is actually something that pregnant women can still continue to enjoy. According to research, 200 milligrams or less of coffee per day is perfectly fine for pregnant women, which is the equivalent to around a 12-ounce cup. If doing this, though, you should try to limit other sources of caffeine too, such as tea and chocolate.
31. Giving birth via C-section once means you will every time
Whilst this is true in some cases, it is not always true of everybody. In fact, there are occasions in which a vaginal birth will be possible even after having had a C-section. This will, of course, depend on your health history, and there may well be possible complications, so it’s worth discussing this with your OB-GYN.
32. It’s possible to predict the sex of your baby
Despite all of the claims that there are signs and indicators that can help predict the sex of your baby, this is actually not true. Only ultrasounds around weeks 19-20, and blood tests around week 10, can actually accurately determine the sex of your unborn baby.
33. Avoid hot tubs during pregnancy
Yes and no. If the temperature of the hot tub is more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit then you should look to avoid it. However, as long as the temperature is cool enough and you are adequately hydrated, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy warm baths or hot tubs.
34. You shouldn’t eat seafood when pregnant
This is not true. There are certain types of seafood that it is advisable to avoid when pregnant, such as swordfish and mackerel, due to high levels of mercury. However, there is plenty of seafood that can actually be really healthy during pregnancy due to high volumes of omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines.
35. Heartburn means your baby will be born with lots of hair
There’s an old wives’ tale that heartburn during pregnancy means your baby is likely to be born with a full head of hair, but there is no truth to this. Heartburn is a common symptom of being pregnant, and it has no correlation to your baby’s hair, this is simply a myth.
36. Eating peanuts can make your baby allergic
In reality, it is actually perfectly safe for you to eat peanuts during pregnancy, provided you yourself are not allergic to them. There is no evidence to support the idea that this is going to make your baby allergic. There are certain foods that should be avoided in pregnancy, but peanuts are not one.
37. Cream can help avoid stretch marks
Stretch marks are often a concern a lot of moms have after giving birth, which is why many look for ways of reducing or getting rid of them. However there is no evidence to support the idea that creams or oils can help avoid stretch marks. These will, typically, fade on their own over time.
38. Twin pregnancies are rare
It might seem like twin pregnancies are very rare, but they are actually more common than you might imagine. According to the CDC, in 2017 there were 128,310 twin babies born in the United States, and twins account for around 33 out of every 1,000 births, whilst things like IVF can increase this number even further.
39. You’ll feel yourself again once you give birth
Actually, this is not necessarily the case, and for some women it can take years for them to feel like themselves again after pregnancy. So, it is important to be aware of this, and not to have unrealistic expectations about how the end of your pregnancy is going to be.
40. What works for other moms will work for you
One of the biggest myths many pregnant women grapple with is the idea that what works for other moms will work for them, and this isn’t necessarily the case. There are lots of things that may work for other moms that won’t work for you, and vice versa. Every pregnancy is different, and it is important to find what works for you.
41. Eating fish will make the baby’s IQ higher
This contradicts the other myth that you can’t eat seafood whilst pregnant, and instead suggests fish consumption can elevate your baby’s IQ, which is, of course, not strictly the case. According to the FDA, however, it can slightly help the baby’s cognitive development, as well as improving heart health too.
42. You lose a tooth for every pregnancy
Another crazy pregnancy myth is the one that states you lose a tooth for every pregnancy you have. It’s unclear where this myth originated, and there is, of course, no truth in it; your loss of teeth has nothing to do with whether or not you are pregnant.
43. Fetal movements decrease as you near labor
Something that a lot of people tend to believe is that fetal movements decrease as you approach labor, but this is not the case. In fact, you should continue to feel your baby right up to (and including) labor, and if you can’t then you should contact your midwife right away.
44. Foot sizes permanently increases after pregnancy
Whilst it’s true that your body enlarges during pregnancy, and your extremities may well swell up, you don’t need to worry about it being permanent. Your feet should go back to the regular size after pregnancy, and if they don’t you should seek medical advice.
45. All herbal teas are safe to drink whilst pregnant
Herbal teas are full of antioxidants and nutrients, which are really good for your body in many ways. However, not all herbal teas are safe for pregnant women, and you need to try to avoid parsley tea and chamomile tea in large quantities, to be on the safe side.
46. Sleeping on your back could harm the baby
There are so many myths to do with posture, and where you should or shouldn’t lie, and one of the big ones is that sleeping on your back could harm the baby. This isn’t strictly true; most doctors agree that spending time on your back whilst sleeping is fine. But after 20 weeks you should try not to spend the whole night on your back.
47. Epidurals will always cause back pain
There are a lot of things that can cause back pain, and when you’re pregnant, pretty much everything will cause you pain or discomfort. It is a myth that epidurals will always cause back pain; what’s more likely is that your body is adjusting back to its former alignment.
48. Pregnancy causes permanent tooth loss
Another myth of pregnancy that is not true is that it causes permanent tooth loss. The reality of the situation is that pregnancy may result in temporary loosening of your teeth, which may wiggle slightly, and this can be cause for alarm. However, this can also be caused by other conditions, so you should get it checked out.
49. Eating pineapple can induce labor
One of the most unusual pregnancy myths we’ve encountered is the one that states that pineapple can induce labor. This probably came from the fact that pineapple contains bromelain, which is believed to trigger contraction and soften the cervix, though this is not scientifically proven.
50. Craving sweets means you’re having a girl
This feels like one of those old wives tales about certain food cravings being linked to a specific gender, but it’s nonsense. There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that craving sweets means you’re having a girl, but it is certainly a fun experiment to conduct!
51. The flu shot can harm your baby
Now, this one is a very old myth, but one that continues to perpetuate. The reality is that it is perfectly safe to have a flu shot when pregnant; both the CDC, and the UK’s NHS back this up, and there is certainly no evidence that this is something that can harm your baby.
52. Prenatal vitamins can replace a healthy diet
It is important for expectant moms to be taking the right vitamins and supplements to help nourish them, and ensure they’re getting enough daily nutrients. However, it is important to understand that these are not a replacement for a healthy diet, so you still need to make sure you are eating right.
53. Fetal heart rate can predict your baby’s gender
Despite what some people have claimed in the past, the idea that your baby’s heart rate can be a prediction of their gender is a myth. And, in fact, the studies suggest that there is not really much difference in terms of beats per minute between boys and girls.
54. Eating ghee will result in a fairer-skinned baby
Ghee is believed to have a wealth of health and beauty properties that make it an appealing and attractive choice. Whilst it is true that ghee can play a big role in helping your skin develop greater elasticity, and it can help babies with natural weight gain, there is no proof that it can make your baby fairer skinned.
55. Pregnancy glow means you’re having a boy
Again, it’s unclear where this one originated from, but it is also one of those myths that has no real truth to it. Women can have pregnancy glows no matter if they’re pregnant with a boy or a girl, so this is one that you need not pay too much attention to moving forward.
56. The shape of your nose changes during pregnancy
This is a hilariously silly myth, but one that has continued to perpetuate. You will not experience changing nose shape as a pregnant woman, aside from slightly larger growth because of the fact you’re pregnant, and therefore your body is also growing along with it.
57. Sleeping on your left side is the only safe sleeping position
There is a lot of talk surrounding particular positions, and where pregnant women should or shouldn’t be lying. However, there’s no proof that sleeping on the left side is the only safe position to be sleeping in. And, in reality, back sleeping is regarded as the all-round best option.
58. Dad’s weight gain will mirror mom’s during pregnancy
As much as we would love for this to be true, it sadly is not. Now, it might be the case that you are eating more due to pregnancy cravings, and dad is following suit. But to suggest he will mirror your weight gain feels a little premature, and this is one of the strangest myths we’ve encountered.
59. You can’t paint your nails
This is probably along the same lines as the dyeing your hair myth, where the concern is about chemicals from the nail polish seeping into your body and being toxic. In reality, there is little evidence that exists to say that you can’t paint your nails during pregnancy.
60. Breastfeeding prevents you from getting pregnant again
The classic phrase goes “You can’t get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding,” but the reality is rather different. In fact, you can still get pregnant even when you’re breastfeeding, and even if your menstrual cycle has returned to normal, so don’t pay attention to claims that it will prevent pregnancy.