Pregnancy: good and bad advice

When you are pregnant, you should not wear a necklace or eat peanut butter… Some pieces of advice given to pregnant women are not that good… Take a look!

Our members quickly answered when we asked if they ever received strange or good advice. Here are samples:

Advice you should not follow

"Do not bend over!" I couldn’t believe it, I was about to pick up socks on the floor and I was being told off! They were treating me as if I was handicapped!

"Stay put… avoid physical activities… sleep with your legs in the air…" On the contrary: practice sports! There is nothing better for baby and mom!

I heard all kinds of things! The worst advice was to avoid peanut butter and vitamins (because of the color) to prevent allergic reactions in the fetus!

"Sleep on the right side rather than the left and drink castor oil to induce labor…" they told me.

"Sleep a lot before your baby comes because when they get there, you won’t sleep much!" I heard that one so many times and I always thought it was ridiculous. As if we could store sleep. Whether you sleep more or less doesn’t change anything to the fact that you will be tired when baby comes!

The worst advice that comes from the generation of our parents and grandparents: don’t follow the doctor’s advices (for example concerning alcohol, the risks of toxoplasmosis, salmonella, etc.) because “when they were our age” they didn’t and they are not dead… Science evolves; let’s take advantage of it.

My grandmother and my aunt told me not to wear a necklace during pregnancy because the umbilical cord could get around the baby’s neck… Don’t sit on your legs because your baby will be breech… Don’t always rub your belly in the same direction because it will twist the cord…

"You must eat for two!" That’s the worst thing you can tell me at the moment, it really gets on my nerves!

The worst advice: don’t hold that, it’s heavy! Don’t bend over! Stop belly-dancing! I kept dancing until two days before delivery, my baby was a week late and I was in much better shape afterward because of it…

The worst advice: get on all fours 45 minutes every day if you want to give birth naturally. I did it… and I had a C-section. I lost the mucous plug at 33 weeks and I was told to stay still and not to take a bath if I wanted to give birth at term. The membranes ruptured naturally at 34 weeks… Listen to yourself; don’t listen to what others say!

One of the worst bits of advice I got: eat a spoonful of peanut butter to prevent allergies…!

And a few pertinent pieces of advice

The best advice I had: listen to your inner voice, trust your instinct but at the same time, give yourself time and allow yourself to learn and make mistakes.

Good advice: keep doing what you usually do… if you dance, keep dancing! I can dose and I am the mother.

I disagree with those who tell us not to listen to advice. I think we must use our instinct and our judgement and take some and leave some. Some women who have been through what we are going through can have very insightful information to share and we should never forget that these people are just trying to help!

The best advice ever: don’t hesitate to ask for help after birth. Pride is very nice but when the dad goes back to work, you learn to seek help, even if it’s just to take a shower without keeping your baby in the bathroom…

Three myths about pregnancy

(Translated from French - La Presse, January 2009)

Sports involving jumps can cause a miscarriage.

This is a myth, say three experts: Céline Lemay, midwife, Nancy Thomas, gynecologist obstetrician at CHUL and Jean Ross, family doctor and obstetrician. Although women must be cautious: their heartbeat should not exceed 140 per minute and extreme sports, as well as those involving significant impacts like horseback riding, are prohibited. Those who never trained before and decide to get started overnight should be careful says, Dr. Nancy Thomas.

It is harmful to dye your hair when you are pregnant.

This is false, says Jean Ross, who quotes Motherisk, a reference on drugs, chemicals, and diseases that have an impact on the mother and the unborn child. A study published by this agency states “Evidence suggests there is minimal systemic absorption of hair products, so personal use by pregnant women 3 to 4 times throughout pregnancy is not considered to be of concern.” However, because it is a chemical product, Céline Lemay and Nancy Thomas recommend avoiding it, especially during the first trimester.

Hot baths are harmful during pregnancy.
This is a myth, say the three specialists. As long as you don’t use hot tubs or saunas that could raise the body temperature above 39 degrees Celsius.
Image de Josée Descôteaux

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