Pregnancy wives’ tales part 2

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How do you know what to believe about pregnancy?


Here are eight common wives’ tales and what to do about them.

  1. Pregnant women should abstain from sex. False. Seriously, where did this one come from? No, nothing is going to bump your baby in the head and, no, they will not be traumatized for life from their pre-birth experiences. Plus, expecting moms need all of the endorphins that they can get. You may want to avoid anything too acrobatic, especially during the last trimester, but in general, there’s nothing wrong with having some intimate time with your partner.

  1. Women should not exercise during pregnancy. False. Exercise can help reduce stress and boost endorphins. Especially if you’re normally physically active, it’s a bad idea to suddenly stop. Just avoid any kinds of high-impact activity that involve lots of jumping or has a high risk of falling. Also, intense physical activity isn’t advisable during the last trimester, so stick to gentle stuff.

  1. Drinking dark beer is actually good for nursing mothers. False. If mom wants a cold one after a stressful day of, well, being a new mom, that’s fine (always in moderation though). It won’t really impact her milk production though.

  1. Women should not fly at all during their last trimester. False. Flying isn’t exceptionally dangerous… but the airline may not want you on the plane if your water breaks all over the seats. For a list of Asian airlines and their pregnancy policies, check out this article. [link:]

  1. Cocoa butter butter can help stave off stretch marks. False. This one is especially true in Thailand but, alas, doesn’t appear to be true. Some women even have allergic reactions to it or find that their skin is extra sensitive after using it.

  1. Being pregnant means eating for two (or three). False. If only. As much as most pregnant mothers would like to use this as an excuse to clean out the fridge, it’s not the best of ideas. During a normal pregnancy, you’ll only want to eat about an extra 300 calories a day. For more information, check out this article. [LINK TO EE7]

  1. You should never, ever eat fish during pregnancy. False. Seafood loving mamas, rejoice! Although it’s probably a good idea to stay away from uncooked fish (or meat, for that matter), most finned food is generally fine. Salmon especially is high in brain-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. If possible, try to buy it wild rather than farmed to stay away from some of the contaminants associated with farmed fish. Also, avoid big predators like mackerel, shark, tilefish, swordfish and bluefin tuna, which tend to be high in mercury. Yellowfin tuna is fine, but try to avoid eating it too often.

  1. Pregnant women should avoid sleeping on their back or right side. False. The most important thing about shut-eye during pregnancy is making sure that you get some. That’s not always an easy feat when you need to sprint to the bathroom every few hours, are full of hormones and have a bulge the size of a watermelon in your tummy. Although sleeping on your front is essentially impossible, there’s nothing wrong with lying on your back or whichever side feels comfortable.

Photo Credit: Bokelicious Photography Singapore via Compfight cc

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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