Myths About Pregnancy

There are bushels of pregnancy myths. But the most annoying ones are probably those that have to do with normal physical activity and body positions, as these have more to do with general comfort than with hedonistic preferences. Expectant mothers and significant others alike will breathe easier after learning that perceived major restrictions on body positioning have been proven to only be myth.

This pregnancy myth may seem counter intuitive, and some may continue to abstain regardless of the science behind it, merely because they couldn’t imagine any “accidents” happening. However, the final verdict on sex while pregnant is that it is completely permissible. Some even initiate sex in hopes of inducing labor during the end of a woman’s final trimester. However, among healthy women, and unless specified by your personal doctor, sex bears no potential harm for the mother or child. If anything, breaking the restrictions set by this myth may help alleviate stress.

Sleeping on Your Left Side
This is probably the most commonly believe pregnancy myth. We are told that during pregnancy, women must sleep on their left side to avoid adding too much pressure to the heart, or to ensure enough nutrients reach their baby. While it’s not a myth that sleeping on your back is unwise for expectant mothers because it causes too much applied pressure to the vena cava, there is nothing wrong with sleeping on your right side.

Specific Positions
There are some very specific myths about pregnancy, such as the warning against women lifting their hands over her head or touching her toes. The first myth comes from a fear of causing the umbilical cord to wrap around the fetus’ neck, causing a life threatening complication. The second myth also threatens to cause complications during pregnancy, though those are less specified by pop culture.

During a pregnancy, a woman is allowed any of the activity she would have been able to do regularly. While pregnancy might not be the best initiator of new and stressful exercise, keeping up a regular routine is fine. Therefore, if a woman could lift her hands over her head or could touch her toes before, pregnancy is no reason for these things to stop. In fact, toes tend to swell and become painful during pregnancy, and self administered massages are definitely something a pregnant woman may try out. Touching toes and other exercises, such as squats, are also thought to help relieve pregnancy induced back pain.

Graves, Ginny. Pregnancy Fitness . New York: Three Rivers, 1999. Print.

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