Pregnancy is not a disease. Let’s get this out of the way first.
What should be the happiest time of a woman’s life, sometimes gets shrouded in myth by paranoia due to misinformation or family and societal pressures.
As a man, these are the things you need to know so you can help her through her pregnancy.
Here are some of the myths that surrounds pregnancy:
- You need to eat for two:
Clearly a balanced diet is what everyone needs and it’s the same for a pregnant woman. It is vital for the growth of the baby and to enable her to have a healthy baby and smooth pregnancy.
- Wearing High Heels is harmful for the baby:
Heels just put your center of gravity at a disarray as you get bigger. So imbalance and fear of falling is why heels can be avoided. It is ok to wear heels as long as comfortable. Some people continue to wear heels as they grow big, they should be aware that the danger of falling is grave and hence should be avoided.
- Working Out and Climbing stairs should be eliminated:
It is perfectly safe to work out if you have been active in the past. Working out is in reality good for the mother’s health. Keep in mind that one should not be out of breath and over exert. I have seen full term pregnant women running, swimming and working out in the gym. As long as that was the lifestyle before and there are no complications, it’s a great idea to be active.
- Ghee should be avoided/ Ghee aids in smooth delivery
Ghee is a good source of fat. There is no reason to avoid ghee. The west too is advocating ghee or as they call clarified butter due to its various health benefits.
The other myth is that it helps deliver the baby easier, there is no evidence of this at all. Ghee should be taken in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
- Having Sex is harmful:
There is absolutely nothing that indicates that you cannot pursue an active sex life. Unless there are serious complications, there is no reason to abstain from having sex. Ensure that your partner is comfortable or make her feel if she is not.
- Travel or Flying in Airplanes is a No-No:
Air travel is not harmful either. It is a controlled environment. Travelling is completely safe unless your doctor has advised against it due to any complication. If pregnancy is normal it is absolutely safe to travel. Airlines do not generally allow women in the last month only due to the risk of delivery mid-air.
- Coloring Hair is Harmful:
There are many women who need to get their hair colored, either aesthetically or to cover greys, whatever be the case it’s a personal need. It is proven that the chemical in hair nowhere penetrates skin that deeply to harm the baby.
- Massaging oils and creams will prevent stretch marks:
No amount of oil or cream will prevent stretch marks. This is generally a hereditary or genetic thing. There are some lucky women out there who might not get them due to their genes.
- Loud Music Can Damage the baby’s Hearing:
No loud music will have that much impact on the baby. The baby is safe in a fluid that surrounds it. surely it does hear noises, but generally they are muffled tones, nothing that loud gets to them. It is safe to go to concerts or be in a room with loud music.
- A String and a Ring will tell you the Sex of the baby:
Nothing, besides an ultrasound can determine the sex of the baby. Do indulge in it as harmless fun but it has no relevance at all with knowing the sex of your child.
Lastly, some things one can avoid or completely eliminate are:
- Raw Meat/Fish
- Soft Cheese
- Raw Papaya
And the most important of them all, taking stress and being unhappy during pregnancy. It’s not a myth that it impacts the baby. Make sure your partner is loved and accepted regardless of her mood swings or sometimes having the inability to cope with various changes. Together you can ensure your baby and mother both are relaxed and happy.