PROFILE LET’S CHAT
WORDS KATE CLIFFORD
FORMING A NEW HUMAN BEING IS THE MOST COMPLICATED THING A WOMAN CAN DO WITHOUT REALLY HAVING TO THINK ABOUT IT. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WOMEN DON’T FRET OVER IT, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE ARE BOMBARDED WITH ALL SORTS OF WEIRD AND WACKY MYTHS! SO WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?
am of the opinion that pregnancy should come with a big warning sign as soon as that second blue line pops up on the test. A red flag should jump out to say, ‘well done, now don’t eat, smell anything or sit on any polished furniture!’ My fiancé and I found out we were expecting our first child about five weeks after the blessed baby’s conception. Obliviously unaware of the massive task ahead, and the pond of pregnancy myths I would have to wade through, I decided to take the laid back approach and avoid all the contradictory online blogs and books. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I had to say goodbye to my favourite snack – toasted ham sandwiches. Soft cheese was also out and I had already bid my heartbreaking farewell to sushi, but I thought that’s where the pregnancy ‘no-no’s’ ended. Well, how wrong I was! The shock of how many myths there actually are came when I was about six-weeks pregnant. I sent Rhys out to grab a cheeky Macca’s soft serve ice cream and as a joke he sent a message to my stickler-nurse sister. In a panic, she almost screamed a text message back to him that I absolutely could not eat soft serve. The next week a book arrived in the mail with a week-to-week guide on pregnancy. On top of the soft serve, I was also forbidden to sit on polished furniture, could no longer take long, relaxing baths, colour my hair, drink
coffee, run, jump, lift my hands above my head, oh and clean the house – but I really didn’t mind about that last one. So with this bombardment of new information being thrown at us, as well as trying to cope with morning sickness, what myths can we believe? Confused and hormonally frustrated, I decided to get an expert’s opinion on the matter! Respected Sunshine Coast obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Kylie Isaacs says she is commonly asked about what to avoid when pregnant, especially when it comes to food and physical activity. “At the beginning it’s ‘how do we stop the nausea?’. At the end it’s ‘how do we get the baby to come?!” Dr Kylie shares. “It is important to have preferences and knowledge of what is available but there are just as many myths that can play on women’s minds when it comes to labour and birth. “Pregnancy loss or a problem with the baby are also concerns, but most women will worry about harming their baby because of something they have done, an illness they are fighting such as a cold or any number of the old wives tales they are told.” So here we have it, the eight pregnancy myths Dr Kylie says you should know!
Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks. FALSE!
There are plenty of good sites discussing foods to avoid and which foods are safe.
Unfortunately there is no evidence that anything you put on your skin will prevent stretch marks and no product available today has the ability to improve skin elasticity and improve collagen. Colouring your hair is harmful for the baby. FALSE
There is no reason to avoid hair dye. The amount of chemical that would be absorbed is so minimal, there is no harm to your baby. If you are particularly concerned, avoid ammonia-based products and dyeing your hair in the first trimester.
You shouldn’t take hot baths / saunas while pregnant. FALSE – kind of.
Overheating can result in mothers increasing their heart rate which may in turn reduce the blood flow to the baby. Saunas and spas are probably more of a concern than a hot bath.
You can’t eat sushi, hot dogs or deli meats? TRUE – kind of.
Myth four Pregnant women should eat for two. FALSE (sigh!)
Definitely a myth – pregnant women with a ‘normal’ pre-pregnancy weight need about 300 to 500 calories extra per day, but most importantly need to eat a wellbalanced diet. It is important to ensure adequate calcium.
If you cook it you can eat it. Listeria and toxoplasmosis are uncommon infections that can be passed on to your unborn baby. To avoid these infections you should avoid paté, cold cooked chicken, cold sliced meats, soft cheeses, pre-prepared salads and uncooked seafood. You shouldn’t drink coffee while pregnant. FALSE
There is little evidence to show that caffeine in moderate doses is harmful to your baby. One to two coffees per day is unlikely to cause any harm.
It isn’t safe to fly during your first or last trimester. FALSE
Pregnancy and flying both increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When flying it is recommended you drink plenty of fluids, mobilise around the cabin when able or do the exercise demonstrated to increase blood flow and prevent DVT. Although most airlines would prefer not to be delivering your baby mid air, beyond 28 weeks airlines request you carry a letter from your doctor dated within 10 days of flying stating your due date.
Pregnant women should keep away from polished furniture. FALSE! Sorry ladies, we can’t avoid the cleaning. Not only are there very safe natural alternatives available for cleaning these days but the chemical options are also safe to use. I would recommend using gloves and of course cleaning in well-ventilated areas. profilemag.com.au
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