Misconceptions About Pregnancy: The Real Truth
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Those nine magical months when your body creates a life are full of surprises. You can prepare for your pregnancy all you like – read books, talk to people, do your research, etc. But nothing can fully prepare you for the roller coaster ride that is pregnancy.
Pregnancy is the most wonderfully rewarding time of any woman’s life but for first-time mothers-to-be, it can be a little confusing and overwhelming. With all the chatter around the dos and don’ts of pregnancy shrouded in myths, it can be difficult to differentiate between facts and fiction.
You don’t need to worry about anything, however, for we’ve got your back. We’re here to bust some pregnancy-related myths that are not backed by science and clear the air around some food items that should be avoided during your pregnancy. Let’s get started:
Myth #1 – You need to eat for two
Please don’t. This is the most common myth about pregnancy diets thrown around with no scientific backing. During pregnancy, you just need to ensure you eat healthy and nutritious diet ., but your caloric needs do not double up as you get pregnant.
A great way to ensure you are getting in all the essential nutrients is by way having a blanced daily diet and by incorporating a nutritional beverage into your diet. Horlicks Mother’s Plus is Designed scientifically to meet the nutritional requirements of pregnant and lactating women it contains 25 nutrients including 21 essential vitamins and minerals in addition to carbohydrates, protein, fat and DHA* which are important for the normal development of the brain and nervous system of the foetus. Available in Vanilla and Kesar variants, Horlicks Mother's Plus is the #1 gynaecologist recommended nutritional beverage for pregnant women.
Myth #2 – You should avoid papaya during pregnancy
False. Ripe papaya is a great source of multiple nutrients essential for a healthy pregnancy and when consumed in moderation, does not pose a risk to you or your baby. Raw papaya on the other hand contains an enzyme called chymopapain, which is known to cause contractions in the uterus, leading to a miscarriage and is best avoided. However, please consult your gynae/ nutritionist regarding any query on consumption.
Myth #3 – Consuming coconut-based items will result in a hairy baby & acidity
Coconut water does not lead to acidity. Your rapidly growing belly leads to slower digestion, sluggish metabolism, and other digestive issues such as constipation and acidity.
Coconut water is one of the most nutritious drinks to have during pregnancy. It is packed with Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, chlorides, and electrolytes that can keep you hydrated. Coconut flesh is a great source of dietary fibres and good fats. Moderate consumption of both coconut and coconut water is good for the mother and the baby.
Myth #4 - Spicy foods can cause uterine contractions and miscarriage
All spicy food items do is cause a lot of heartburn for the mother and hence it is advisable to reduce the level of spice in your pregnancy diet. There is no scientific backing to the myth that spicy food can induce labour or cause miscarriage.
Myth #5 - Pregnant women should avoid eating eggs, fish, meat, or poultry during pregnancy
Not only is this myth misleading, but it can also cause many women to miss out on all the nutrition that these food items provide them with. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Of course, pregnant women should avoid eating raw eggs in any form as they increase their risk of contracting salmonella. But boiled eggs, or eggs in the form of mildly spiced egg curries and omelettes can very well be a part of your pregnancy diet.
Fish is a source of omega 3 fatty acids and meat, and poultry are great sources of protein, Vitamin B, and iron – all vital to the health of the mother and the baby. So, if you are a non-vegetarian person, you don’t need to give up meat during your pregnancy – simply avoid cold cuts and make sure the meat you consume is fresh and cooked well.
Myth #6 - Consuming a lot of ghee during pregnancy will ease delivery
Ghee has several undeniable health benefits and should definitely be a part of your pregnancy diet. However, like with everything else, moderation is the key here too. Excess consumption of ghee can lead to excess weight gain and obesity which can cause complications during pregnancy.
Myth #7 - Avoiding tea and black coffee during pregnancy will lead to a fairer baby
This is untrue. You should cut down on tea and coffee during pregnancy because your baby’s metabolism is not mature enough to handle caffeine and for no other reason whatsoever.
Myth #8 - Indulge In All Your Food Cravings For This Time Is Special And Won’t Come Back
It is completely okay to indulge your pregnancy craving every once in a while, but giving in to every single craving can adversely affect your baby’s and your health. Indulging in junk food high in salt and providing your body with empty calories can cause water retention and hypertension. All these issues can complicate your pregnancy and delivery.
It is also advisable to limit your street food consumption as it can put you at risk of contracting stomach infections because street food vendors are not known for their high standards of hygiene.
For a healthy, non-complicated pregnancy, the bottom line for o a diet is a healthy and balanced diet. Eat more homecooked, fresh meals that provide you and your baby with all the essential nutrients. Stick to smaller portions in the form of frequent meals spread across the day. And remember – moderation is the key here. Make more conscious choices, eat mindfully most of the time, and only occasionally indulge in unhealthy food cravings.
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