Myth: If you want your baby to have white skin, don’t eat black foods, such as grass jelly, black coffee, or chocolate, during pregnancy
Fact: The color of the baby’s skin is determined by genetics. Genes control the expression of melanin, or pigments, resulting in people being born with different skin tones. However, the environment in which the baby grows up may affect the skin color. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight or the use of skin lotions and whitening agents may darken or lighten skin tones. Eating grass jelly, or any food that is black, however, has nothing to do with the skin color of your baby.
Myth: Drinking coconut water while pregnant will help the baby be born without a waxy coating (birthing custard)
Fact: Vernix caseosa, or birthing custard, is the waxy white substance found coating the skin of newborn babies. It normally is produced starting around the 5th month of pregnancy. The waxy substance is responsible for helping moisturize the baby’s skin, prevent heat loss, and provide anti-bacterial benefits to the baby. It also serves as a lubricant, making vaginal delivery easier. Usually, once the baby has reached full gestational age, this wax will diminish. However, if the baby is born prematurely, the coating can be quite substantial. Therefore, drinking coconut water doesn’t affect the amount of birthing custard on a baby. In reality, coconut water contains both saturated and unsaturated fats, and drinking it may cause the wax to become whiter in color, but it doesn’t help reduce it.
Myth: Drinking coconut water will cause miscarriage
Fact: There is a belief that drinking coconut water will cause miscarriage, because coconut water contains the hormone estrogen. It is true that coconut water contains estrogen, but the quantities are very small. Normally, a woman’s hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone are naturally very high during pregnancy. Therefore, the small amount of estrogen in coconut water is insignificant in comparison and would not cause contractions in the uterus resulting in miscarriage.
Myth: Having sex during pregnancy is prohibited
Fact: You can have sex normally during pregnancy. It has no effect on the fetus. There are times when you may want to reduce your sexual activity, such as early in the pregnancy when you may be experiencing morning sickness or fatigue and late in the pregnancy, when it may feel unformattable or exhausting. If you decide to have sex, be aware that it may be more tiring than usual and be sure to choose the appropriate position. However, expectant mothers who have a history of miscarriage should avoid having any sex during the first 3 months or final 3 months of pregnancy. Also, refrain from having sex if you have placenta previa or your water broke.
Myth: The nutritional supplements prescribed by the doctor will make you fat
Fact: The nutritional supplements prescribed during pregnancy include iron and other vitamins. These supplements are beneficial for both the mother and the fetus by helping improve the production of red blood cells. They don’t cause weight gain. Pregnant women experience weight gain due to hormonal changes and accumulation of fluids in cells (edema). Most pregnant women also have increased appetites, making them eat more.
Myth: While pregnant, gain as much weight as possible. Eat your heart’s content!
Fact: Normally during pregnancy, your weight should increase according to the following guidelines:
- In the first trimester, your weight should increase about 1 kg.
- In the second trimester, your weight should increase by an additional 4 to 5 kg.
- In the third trimester, your weight should increase by another 5 to 6 kg, resulting in a total weight gain of approximately 10 to 12 kg. To reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, which leads to preeclampsia, it is important to eat nutritious food and avoid high sugar intake.
Myth: Do not exercise during pregnancy
Fact: Exercising while pregnant can help in maintaining a good appearance. Not only that, but exercise can reduce back pain, fatigue, and stress. There is also evidence that exercise during pregnancy helps prevent gestational diabetes.
If you were already exercising before getting pregnant, you can still participate in moderate exercise while pregnant, including activities such as brisk walking or swimming. However, any exercise that could result in impact or injury should be avoided.
However, if you’ve never exercised before, you should consult with a doctor before starting a new routine. It is recommended to consider exercises designed specifically for pregnant women and to begin the exercise after the 14th week of pregnancy.
Myth: Wearing a brooch (pin) near your navel will protect the fetus from ghosts
Fact: This is just a matter of your personal beliefs. The truth is, during pregnancy, many changes are occurring—both mentally and physically—which can cause a lot of anxiety. For this reason, spiritual healers have given advice like this to help pregnant women feel more relaxed. There’s nothing wrong with doing it, as long as you’re careful with the needle. Or, another example might be not allowing a pregnant woman attend a funeral. This, too, could have some benefits, since it might prevent sadness or depression, which does affect the pregnancy.