Busting 6 Common Pregnancy Myths in Sri Lanka
A Mother’s Perspective
“DON’T TOUCH THAT CRAB CURRY!! “My mother screamed as she leaped across the table in true looney tunes style to stop me. “But…. but why?? I’ve been craving it all trimester” I whimpered. My heart, broken, dreams shattered, eyes welling up in disappointment, mourning the loss of my long-awaited crab feed. But I gave in. After all, I wasn’t going to risk the safety of my baby for a meal. We’ve all been there. We know in our gut it must be hogwash, but we go along with it anyway. Too long have pregnant women lived in fear of sushi and stilettos. So, let’s bust some pregnancy myths.
No coffee when you're expecting
If you’re naturally not a morning person, chances are that pregnancy isn’t going to make you smiling miss daisy. But how dare they take your morning coffee, your only solace away? How cruel! You can finally relax because this one is for the false pile. It’s not so much as not having any at all but more about limiting your caffeine intake. Don’t just blame your poor cuppa Joe, cus this includes certain caffeinated fizzy drinks as well. As long as you keep it to one cup a day, you should be fine. So, go ahead and breathe easy. You’ve earned your cappuccino. If you’re still worried, you can always go for decaf.
You must eat for two.
Ever seen a character on TV that you felt like you could totally relate to? With my first baby it was the Tasmanian devil. I would devour everything and anything edible. Looking for last night’s leftovers? Sorry, gone. Looking for the watermelon that was right there yesterday? Nope. You won’t find it there. There was barely any food left in the house for my poor husband. But my second pregnancy was a world apart from my first. I could hardly eat. I hated the mere smell of food. I didn’t even want to say the word. All I could manage was water, juice and salad for 7 whole months. Anxiety started to seep in. Am I not supposed to be eating for two? How is my baby going to survive this? Is he getting enough nutrients?
The truth is that your baby is well taken care of. Rest assured, she isn’t missing out on any of the good stuff. Go easy on yourself. Eat what you can, when you can. Because one minute on the lips isn’t worth a whole afternoon bending over the john. Keep yourself hydrated and munch on literally anything you can stomach. And whatever you do, don’t skip your prenatal vitamins. They keep you and your baby going steady and strong whether it was a good day at the dining table, or a solo party locked in the bathroom hurling out aunt Ruth’s chicken pot pie.
The gender guessing game
This has to be one of the most enjoyed pastimes of Asian aunties. “oh, you’re feeling extra sick? Must be a girl”. “Round tummy noh? Definitely a boy” and my favourite one of all “oh you’ve gone dark. Better paint the nursery blue”. Every single sign during my second pregnancy pointed towards it being a girl. It took two gender reveal scans for the doctor to convince my family that the baby was in fact sporting quite the package. (which was a hard thing to miss smack in the middle of the screen, saying hello to an entire team of nursing staff.)
That brings me to my obviously melon like tummy in my second pregnancy, which had strangers pointing at it exclaiming “it’s a girl. “Having had a very different tummy shape for my first, who was a boy, it had me wondering if I should go for everything pink and purple. If that had been true, little James would have had a very different wardrobe, one of the many pointers he will later have to discuss with his therapist. So hear me out. The only sure way to tell, is a gender scan or to wait for the actual birth itself. You can brush everything else off with a polite nod and smile.
Another famous myth seems to have stemmed from that famous nursery rhyme “sugar, spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of“ Not that you crave frogs, snails and puppy dog’s tails for little boys but the saying goes that an expectant mother craves sweets for a baby girl and sour food for a baby boy. But here’s the ultimate truth of it. Your tummy might be the shape a melon or a basketball, you might be visiting chuck town five times a day or you might just get off with the occasional case of nausea, you may crave sweets or you may be hooked on the lime pickle but none of those are determining facts of the baby’s gender. So, keep an open mind and know that a healthy baby is the ultimate goal, be it pink or blue.
No fly zone – Air Travel during pregnancy
If you haven’t taken that baby moon and are positively freaking out about staying house bound for the next 9 months, worry no more. Flight travel is safe for most pregnant women through 36 weeks, especially those who are enjoying a low risk pregnancy. And trust me, you will want to make the most out of the few months for which you’re actually mobile. Once you reach your third trimester it’s more likely that you’d swear your allegiance to the sofa and start calling Netflix by a more human name like Robert because it’s now you’re closest companion, After 36 weeks, most airlines limit flight travel to reduce complication risks for pregnant women. But by that time the only frequent traveling you will be doing is from your bed to the loo.
Colouring hair is a no-no.
This is probably one of the most sought out questions with regard to pregnancy that’s been asked time and time again. And if you’re one of them, take comfort in the fact that new research shows that it’s absolutely safe to do so. As long as your salons are well ventilated, it should be fine. When in doubt, you can always wear a mask to cut out any unpleasant smells.
When you get your hair done, there’s a very small chance your skin will absorb a large amount of the dye. It's such a small amount that it likely wouldn't reach the fetus, so many OBGYNs will give you permission to colour while pregnant. You’re most likely to get the green light once you’re past your first trimester. So sit back, relax and get the pampering you very well deserve.
Bumpy Car Rides
I remember entirely avoiding travel during the first trimester of my first pregnancy due to the fear of a bumpy ride. Let’s face it. When you behold the fantastic display of potholes from your house to the main road, you’d feel much safer taking a pony ride at the amusement park. But there’s nothing to fear. Your baby is in the safest place he can be; cushioned between layers of muscle and bopping around in a warm, comfy shock-absorbent water bag. So, go on and sit with your audio books (or audio slave) on your iPod because your little bean will enjoy the outing as much as you will.
All in all, it’s good news all around for baby mamas to be. But if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult your OBGYN for advice.
Here’s to a stress-free pregnancy.
This article strives to present you with accurate and useful pregnancy information from the point of view of a mother. This article may contain information and ideas that are not necessarily the views of Velona Cuddles. It does not constitute medical advice. If you have any questions, please contact your healthcare professional.