Dear would-be moms, here are five common pregnancy myths you should know about

Can papayas cause a miscarriage? Should you avoid exercise during your pregnancy? Experts decode some common misconceptions about pregnancy.

fitness Updated: Jun 29, 2017 15:24 IST
Soma Das
Soma Das
Hindustan Times
Pregnancy,Pregnant,Pregnancy myths
It’s a myth that exercising during pregnancy is risky. (Shutterstock)

In January this year, tennis player Serena Williams won her 23rd grand slam title at the Australian Open. Significantly, Williams played rigorous sets and won the title while being in the early stages of pregnancy.

Closer home, actor Kareena Kapoor flaunted her baby bump as she walked the ramp for Lakme Fashion Week 2016. She also attended red carpet events and posed for photo shoots throughout her pregnancy. Post her delivery in December, there are videos of the actor working out to shed 12 kilos of post-pregnancy flab.

“Gone are the days when pregnant women were made to eat more than their capacity and had to rest for nine months. Doing so made them unfit and created difficulties in having a normal delivery,” says Dr Kanimozhi Somu, senior consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at Cloudnine Hospitals, Chennai.

Here are some common myths about pregnancy:

Exercising with light weights is safe for pregnant women. (Shutterstock)

Myth 1: Exercising during pregnancy is risky

Fact: “You can continue your abs workout until the end of the first trimester. Later, you can do exercises that don’t involve lying on your back as it reduces blood flow to your baby,” explains Dr Somu. She adds that performing multiple reps with light weights is safe and helps maintain muscle tone. However, don’t lift too much of weight as it can compromise blood flow to the uterus. And to be on the safer side, consult with your doctor before choosing an exercise regimen.

Myth 2: Avoid running as it can harm your baby

Fact: Apart from high-risk pregnancies, there is no scientific evidence about problems arising from running. “If you used to run earlier, take precautions to not strain yourself, and keep your breathing under control,” adds Dr Somu.

Dr Bandita Sinha, gynecologist and fertility specialist at World of Women hospital, Mumbai, advises pregnant women to opt for aqua jogging and swimming (especially good in the later stages of pregnancy).

A common misconception is that pregnant women should eat excessively. (Shutterstock)

Myth 3: Pregnant women should eat more than before

Fact: The increase in food intake depends on the trimester of pregnancy. Dr Usha Kiran Sisodia, head dietitian and nutritionist, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai, says, “In the first trimester, greater food intake is not needed, as your body is undergoing transformation and the baby is making its place in the womb. In the second trimester, 200 to 300 calories should be consumed. In the third trimester, the calorie count can be increased to 400 calories to enable the baby’s bones to develop. Eat a diet rich in calcium, protein, iron and folic acid.”

Papaya is believed to be heat-inducing and pregnant women are often told to avoid it. (Shutterstock)

Myth 4: Eating curd, dates or heat-inducing fruits like papaya can lead to miscarriage.

Fact: A common belief is that pregnant women should avoid papayas as it increases body heat and risk of miscarriage. Dr Sisodia points out that there is no scientific link between papayas and miscarriages. Another common misconception is that pregnant women shouldn’t consume curd or dates. “There is no study on any adverse effect from consumption of curd. Eating two dates with a glass of lime juice can actually be helpful for pregnant women,” adds Dr Sisodia.

Myth 5: You shouldn’t exercise post-delivery.

Fact: It’s recommended to rest for six weeks after labour and delivery, but, after that, you can return to your exercise routine, says Dr Sinha.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

First Published: Jun 08, 2017 07:51 IST