Updated: Apr 4
There are lots of articles which concentrate on the diet of a pregnant woman. What she should eat, what she should avoid, what she should limit, how much she should eat and so on, but the problem with most of this advice is that they are mostly based on myth with no concrete facts.
With the stress of the pregnancy, pregnant women still have to deal with the plethora of information concerning what they ought to do and what they ought not to do. It can be so frustrating especially when the information is contradictory. Her friends and family members won’t let her shine with the pregnancy.
“No, you shouldn’t be eating that, it’s not good for the baby” or “Eat more so that your baby can get its share.” It could be frustrating to hear, but these are things you need to endure till you drop the bundle of joy.
Here are some myth-busting facts about pregnancy diet to help you decide that.
Eat for two.
Eating is one of the most prevalent pieces of advice on diet during pregnancy, which is quite misleading because it makes pregnant women think they have to eat more than required in order for their baby to come out healthy.
Yes, the recommended daily value of nutrient intake is slightly higher for pregnant women, but it doesn’t mean they will have to eat a bowl full of food or snack on empty calories for the sake of eating for two.
Eating too much could make you consume a large number of calories which could eventually lead to weight gain and obesity. Gaining weight could harm your psychological health and cause prenatal or post-partum depression. It could also lead to the appearance of stretch marks which no pregnant woman would like to see on her skin during or after pregnancy.
It could also lead to pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is one of the leading causes of the caesarian section because it could cause the baby to become too big to pass through the vagina. It can also put you at risk of type 2 diabetes and preeclampsia.
Pregnancy is a source of joy for women.
Joy during pregnancy is not always the case. Some women are not even happy when they got pregnant. Those who were happy at first become depressed as the trimester progresses and they experience illnesses, bloating, constipation, edema and so on.
One way to keep a positive attitude during pregnancy is to maintain a healthy diet and work out.
The fetus is not a living thing.
According to research, the fetus is very active in the womb and is quite adaptive to its environment.
Canned Food is not safe.
Although pregnant women are advised to use fresh ingredients in cooking to get most of the nutrients, that doesn’t mean that canned foods are not also good. Just ensure that they are not leaking and they don’t have any rust in them.
Also, if you are not going to finish the content of the canned food immediately, it is advisable to transfer it to an air-tight container, to limit its exposure to bacteria.
Fruits such as pineapple orange, banana may lead to miscarriage.
There is no evidence that states eating these fruits will lead to miscarriage, but if you are observant and you notice any discomfort after eating them, then it’s best to avoid them.
Pregnancy makes a woman glow.
Pregnancy may look good on some women, but for the others, pregnancy changes them in ways they never thought it would. Their skin looks dull and rough, some develop acne-like teenagers, and they are always suffering from one ailment or the other.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are required.
It is important to take your folic acid supplements as they are quite necessary for the growth and development of the fetus. Most women do not get enough of it from food sources before pregnancy, so it is necessary to take them as soon as possible because most of the growth and development of the fetus takes place in the first trimester.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are not so important if you maintain a healthy diet which is eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. These supplements are only made for first time pregnant women. If you are old in the game and you make sure to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle, then you do not need vitamin and mineral supplements.
Moreover, don’t just take any supplement you fancy, you need to consult your doctor first. If your doctor has not specifically asked you to take certain types of supplements, don’t be overzealous.
Seafood would cause baby skin problems.
Eating seafood during pregnancy will not cause any skin problems to your baby; rather it will help the cognitive development of your baby. Various studies believe that babies born to mothers who had a healthy serving of seafood during pregnancy gave birth to intelligent babies with high IQ.
Pregnant women should take at least two servings of seafood per week during pregnancy, as it contains the omega- 3 nutrients, which the body needs for the vision and cognitive development of the baby. They are a good source of zinc, iron, and protein.
Pregnant women would have to be careful about the type of seafood they consume as some contain a high level of mercury. Fishes you should avoid according to FDA include king mackerel, orange roughy, tuna, tilefish, swordfish, shark and big-eye tuna. Pregnant women need to avoid eating such fish, so it doesn’t cause damage to the fetus.
Dairy products, wheat and nut will give your baby allergies.
This statement makes one begin to wonder what then is left for a pregnant woman to eat. If the dairy product didn’t make a list, where will calcium come? There is no evidence supporting this claim.
With heartburn comes a male child.
Another myth that has been spreading is women who suffer from heartburn during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to hairy babies while those who didn’t go through the discomfort of heartburn will give birth to female babies.
Then one begins to wonder what if the woman is pregnant with twins or more than two, will she have double heartburn, or will there be days for heartburn and free days? Or how sure are they that both twins will be hairy?
A lot of these myths are wrong on all counts, while some may have a bit of truth in them. The watchword for a pregnant woman is being careful and also curious. Ask questions to get an explanation of things. Ask for evidence to back up their claims and lastly, work with your doctor.