Common Pregnancy Myths
At Childbirth Graphics, our sole focus is childbirth education. We strive to create and provide the best childbirth education materials and models available for educators to use while teaching their patients, students, and clients.
Many pregnant women and couples have misconceptions about pregnancy and common pregnancy hazards. Prenatal counseling and education classes are key in dispelling these myths and assisting expectant parents to take the right steps to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. Childbirth educators play the essential role of replacing common myths and misunderstandings with facts and education.
Read on to see the facts behind 10 common pregnancy myths, and discover just a few of our popular childbirth education resources that are perfect to provide expectant women and couples with the information they need to help give their babies the best start in life.
Pregnancy Myths vs. Facts
MYTH: "Eating for two means I should eat twice as much.”
FACT: Most pregnant women need only around 300 extra calories per day. A healthy and balanced diet will provide almost all of the extra nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. Calcium, folic acid, and iron are very important nutritional needs in pregnancy. A woman should discuss her dietary needs during pregnancy with her healthcare professional.
Our nutrition education section features great resources to help explain a woman’s nutritional needs during pregnancy, including our Nutrition During Pregnancy Food Set, which includes a copy of our Nutrition During Pregnancy Booklet (also available separately), a wonderful handout to provide take-home information.
MYTH: ”There is nothing you can do about morning sickness.”
FACT: Although there is no cure for morning sickness, a healthcare professional can provide tips about diet changes or other methods to help with morning sickness. For some women, a change in their prenatal vitamins helps.
Our Coping With Morning Sickness Tear Pad offers useful information to help manage morning sickness.
MYTH: “Exercise is dangerous for most pregnant women.”
FACT: Physical activity is usually recommended for a healthy pregnancy. For most women, swimming, stationary cycling, and walking are safe and provide health benefits. Physical activity can ease many common discomforts of pregnancy, such as backache and fatigue, and may help prevent pregnancy-related forms of diabetes and high blood pressure. A pregnant woman should talk to her healthcare professional about physical activity during pregnancy.
is an easy-to-follow educational handout.
Our Exercises for a Healthy Pregnancy Booklet features step-by-step images and simple explanations to present a variety of exercises that can help a pregnant woman prepare for labor and birth.
MYTH: “Raising my arms up will wrap the cord around my baby’s neck.”
FACT: The umbilical cord can become wrapped around a baby as a result of fetal movement. However, a mother’s movements will not cause the cord to become entangled.
MYTH: “Sex during pregnancy will hurt my baby.”
FACT: A baby is well protected inside the amniotic fluid in the womb. Some women with high-risk pregnancies may be advised by their healthcare professionals to abstain from sex, but sex during pregnancy is generally safe for both a mother and her developing baby.
Our With Child™ Desk Version is a comprehensive childbirth education resource that covers a full range of childbearing topics, including sex and intimacy during pregnancy.
covers a wide range of childbearing topics.
MYTH: “Because the supplements I take are available in the grocery store, they are safe for me to take while I’m pregnant.”
FACT: Little is known about the effects of herbal supplements in pregnancy. Many supplements do have side effects, and some supplements may pose special risks to pregnant women and developing babies. A pregnant woman should not take any medication or supplement until she has the approval of her healthcare professional. Even if a woman took the supplement without problems before her pregnancy, she should not take it until she has talked to her healthcare professional.
With 13 items representing safety concerns for pregnant women, our Prenatal Care Box Display is an ideal way to discuss the risks certain substances can pose to pregnant woman, including herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and more.
MYTH: “I’m 3 months pregnant, and I’ve smoked the whole time. Quitting now won’t help my baby at all.”
FACT: Anytime is a good time to quit smoking! The earlier a woman stops smoking in her pregnancy, the better. However, even past the first trimester, quitting will improve the chances for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy start in life for a baby.
Great resources to use to present the risks of smoking during pregnancy and the importance of quitting for a healthy baby include our Smokey Sue Smokes for Two™ Model, Smoking and Your Baby Folding Display, and Smoking and Your Baby Pamphlet.
look at how alcohol and other substances can reach a developing fetus.
MYTH: “It’s OK to drink alcohol while I’m pregnant as long as I don’t drink too much.”
FACT: No known amount of alcohol is safe to consume while pregnant. Alcohol use during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and low birthweight. Pregnant women who drink alcohol also risk having a baby with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Babies with FASDs may have mental disabilities, delayed physical development, facial abnormalities, and central nervous system problems. The safest choice is not to drink any alcohol while pregnant.
The dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy are highlighted in many of our pregnancy hazards educational materials, including our Alcohol and Pregnancy Booklet, Preventing FAS Pamphet, and What Mommy Does, Baby Does Display, an interactive model that shows how substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can reach a developing baby inside the womb.
MYTH: “Because e-cigarettes don’t produce harmful tobacco smoke, vaping during pregnancy is safe.”
FACT: Pregnant women should avoid e-cigarettes and any products containing nicotine. Nicotine puts the health of a pregnant woman at risk and may damage her developing baby’s brain and lungs. The flavorings in e-cigarettes may also harm a developing baby.
Our What Goes in Your Body … Goes in Your Baby! Pamphlet and The Facts About E-Cigarettes & Vaping Folding Display both explain the dangers e-cigarettes can pose to developing babies.
MYTH: “As long as I am breastfeeding my baby, I won’t get pregnant, so I don’t need to use birth control.”
FACT: Although breastfeeding can postpone the return of menstrual cycles and regular ovulation, it is not a guaranteed way to prevent pregnancy. Because a woman’s body needs time to heal between pregnancies and too little time between pregnancies may increase the risk of premature birth, healthcare professionals generally recommend a woman wait at least 18 months after a baby’s birth before a mother attempts a next pregnancy. A woman should talk to her healthcare professional about how long to wait between pregnancies and what birth control is best to use while breastfeeding.
to teach about contraceptive options in the postpartum period.
Our women’s health section features multiple resources that cover a broad range of birth control methods, including our Understanding Birth Control Flip Chart, Female Contraceptive Model, and more.
To learn more about her specific healthcare needs during a pregnancy, a woman should consult her healthcare professional.
To discover our full range of childbirth education resources under multiple health topics, shop our website by childbirth education subject.
The information contained in this article is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional.
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