Obviously, a great first step is to gather evidence from reliable sources. With that in mind, let’s bust some common advice about babies!
Separating the Myths from the Facts
1. You’re Eating for Two
Nope, this is not a free pass to order double servings of all your favorite foods. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the average woman should consume roughly 300 extra calories—per day! What do 300 calories look like? Try eating half a sandwich.
2. Zero Tolerance Caffeine Policy
The evidence against caffeine is not very strong. Standard recommendation: if pregnant women go for less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, they are well within safe levels. Good news: 200 milligrams of caffeine pretty much matches the amount you’ll get from one 12-ounce cup of java.
3. You’ve Been Grounded
Take a moment and think about all of this:
- Airport body scanners
- X-ray machines
- In-flight radiation
- All of those germs and microbes trapped on board with you
It’s no wonder pregnant women might want to plan a staycation instead. But health experts agree that flying is not a hazard except for those with pre-existing conditions. If you have questions in your case, consult your physician.
4. “Not tonight, honey.”
When you have sex during pregnancy, you should take all the same precautions you always take against sexually transmitted infections. However, the facts are:
- Sex will not hurt the baby
- Orgasms don’t cause miscarriages
- Sex position has nothing to do with the sex of your baby
5. Determining Your Baby’s Sex by the “Hang” of Your Belly (and other predictors)
The odds are 50-50. So, any method of “prediction” is bound to be right half the time. That doesn’t mean there’s an ounce of science behind it. You may want to get a sonogram to have a better idea.
Heed This Advice!
Here is one bit of advice about babies that makes a whole lot of sense: Don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until after the first trimester.
A logical reason exists. The chances of a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion during the first couple of months is higher. But there’s a self-loving reason here, too. The longer you wait to share your big news, the less advice about babies you have to deal with!
3 More Pre-Baby Realities
1. Morning Sickness
This one is close to universal. Up to 90 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness at some point. One common theory about morning sickness revolves around it protecting the mother from toxins.
2. Heightened Sense of Smell
About 66 percent of pregnant women rate their own sense of smell as being heightened. Studies have found that pregnant woman (relative to non-pregnant women) are specifically sensitive to smells like:
- Cigarette smoke
- Spoiled food
- Food being cooked
Researchers believe it could be hormone-related. Like morning sickness, it has the added value of protecting the mother and her baby from poisonous or spoiled food.
In studies, pregnant women scored about 12 percent lower on the memory tasks as each trimester passed. There are many theories, but two simple possibilities are:
- Reduced amount of sleep
- Dramatic shifts in daily routines
At the end of the day, the primary fact is that giving birth is a challenging time. It will shift your life and your relationship for sure!
Therefore, one baby-related advice to always keep in mind is counseling. Attending group or private counseling sessions with your partner is a proven way to navigate this exciting transition.