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pregnancy myths
Pregnancy Jan 27, 2021
6 Minutes

9 pregnancy myths bust!

These days there is SO much information. The trouble is, its not always based on anything concrete. So, we turn (as always) to the latest science based research to bust some of the most common pregnancy myths we hear. 

ONE: Group B Streptoccocus is rare therefore there is no need to test for it during pregnancy: 

Group B Strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is actually quite common in the gut of a healthy adult. If you have it, you’re very unlikely to know as a healthy immune system keeps it in check. However, a new baby has no antibodies against it and it can cause very serious complications. Unfortunately the UK is one of the few nations not to test for it as standard. Despite NHS data showing that 1 in 45 babies will get it.

The good news however is that if you do test positive for it, its really easy to treat. The key is knowing you have it. All a positive test will do is lead your doctor administer antibiotics during labour. This ensures it is not passed to your baby during birth. Know your enemy! 

Don’t be fobbed off by someone telling you the risks are small. It’s your baby’s health and its a simple swab. 

Click here to read much more. 

TWO: if you’re not enjoying your pregnancy you’re not grateful:  

The truth is it is not always easy to get pregnant. It is an absolute gift.  Therefore many women feel immense guilt or a reluctance to share the very real struggles of pregnancy.

However, hormonal fluctuations are enormous.. Enough to impact your mood in a very meaningful way. Did you know that the hormone progesterone (which can be a depressant) goes up as much as 10x up into the third trimester? Not to mention the potent form of estrogen (estradiol) which goes up as much as 50x! This is before we even talk about the physical toll it takes on your body. The changes, the constipation, sickness and everything else. Everyone reacts differently to pregnancy but just because you don’t love it at all times does not mean you’re not grateful. It’s actually normal not to feel ecstatic given the huge physical changes taking place. Don’t be ashamed. It’s ok not to feel ok! 

Click here for more. 

THREE: Alcohol and caffeine: this is not going to be popular, but…

Alas not all research is created equally. Horrifying as it is, one of the reasons why there has been such conflicting advice around pregnancy and alcohol is because it was discovered that some research was funded by alcohol companies! 

Most of the recent credible research suggests that risks around brain development, low birth weight and miscarriage do increase with even small amounts of alcohol. Therefore the best bet – avoid it right from the start. Even better is to avoid it while ttc. 

*** IMPORTANT: this does not mean if you’ve had a drink during pregnancy a disaster is about to unfold. All it means is that risks are increased the more you do it. ***

Very similar applies to caffeine. The previous guidance has been anything from 1-3 cups of coffee a day is ok. However, more recently research points to even a cup a day increasing risks. Just ask for decaf. 

Click here for much more. 

FOUR: don’t fall for misleading labelling when it comes to your skin during pregnancy:

The beauty and personal goods space has surprisingly light regulation. Particularly when it comes to how a product is labelled or marketed. That’s why you see more and more labels like ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘vegan’ being put on skin care. It is designed to make the consumer feel like these products are ‘safe’. For pregnancy, research shows that one thing to avoid as much as possible is added fragrance which is often cleverly hidden. The reason why? Added fragrance = Phthalates. 

Phthalates have been shown (when in high enough concentration) to impact hormones and potentially a baby’s development. Easy solution: don’t fall for the marketing claims, read the ingredients and just go fragrance free! Simple. 

Click here for much more. 

FIVE: there is nothing we can do about allergies developing in babies: 

Unfortunately allergy and autoimmune conditions are on the rise in a dramatic way. Much of it is genetic, however, by no means does it account for all of it. 

Whilst there is much we still don’t understand about the causes, there are some factors that we do have control over that research is indicating can reduce the risks of a baby developing these conditions. They appear to be important during pregnancy. 

Vitamin D: getting enough. The recommendation is at least 400iu/day, but the ideal is to get your levels tested to ascertain what you need. Everyone is different. Getting enough has been shown to support healthy immune development and even reduce risks of developing asthma. Click here for more. 

Next, there is very real evidence to suggest that eating enough fibre (ideally insoluble prebiotic fibre) can reduce the risk of a child developing things like Celiac disease. The aim is for 25g/day. Click here for more. 

Finally – weight gain during pregnancy: research shows that many of us are gaining too much. This can also contribute to risk of allergy development. Click here for more. 

On that note… 

SIX: one of the most dangerous myths, pregnancy is a time to ‘eat for two’: 

Good nutrition is essential for growing a whole new person. No doubt. However stats show that the majority of people are putting on too much weight during pregnancy. This can cause a whole host of issues for mother and child. The guidelines recommend no more than 200 additional calories per day if you are a normal BMI. Certainly not ‘eating for two’. If in doubt speak to your doctor to ensure you’re hitting the right note. 

Click here for more. 

SEVEN: a good prenatal will contain everything we need:  

Unfortunately, just like the beauty industry the supplement industry is not well regulated. Even big brands can fall short. One of the most common downfalls in most of the big name prenatal is the fact they contain Folic Acid vs Folate. 

Why is this an issue? 

Folic Acid is the synthetic version of the crucial nutrient for pregnancy: Folate. Super important for neural tube/brain development. The issue is that some people cannot absorb this synthetic version due to the MTHFR mutation. Check the ingredients and look for Folate vs Folic Acid. 

Click here for more. 

The other ingredient that is growing in recognition as crucial for pregnancy is Choline. This is another ingredient that is often left out of most prenatal vitamins. Click here for more. 

For a list of ingredients you should look for in your prenatal: click here. 

EIGHT: birth plan vs after birth plan: what to focus on during pregnancy

Birth plans are great in many ways. Particularly when it comes to helping you prepare and feel good ahead of birth. However, the stats show that birth tends to be highly unpredictable. The trouble comes when birth does not go to plan and that can leave us with feelings of failure and sadness. 

Postnatal anxiety and depression is very real. It can certainly be more likely if we are beating ourselves up about the way in which a baby was born of if we have had trauma. Instead, research shows one way that can vastly decrease the chances we get it is by getting enough postnatal support.

Therefore having a post birth plan rather than a birth plan could be a better use of time. Principally as it is something we can control. Lining up a good support network and making your life easier for the transition to life with a baby has been shown to reduce risks we feel too overwhelmed. 

NINE: that doesn’t mean birth preparation is out: hypnobirthing has some very real science behind it:

Hypnobirthing is seen by some as a bit ‘woo woo’ and not based on science. However, that is incorrect. Research shows that it can significantly contribute to reducing anxiety and easing the pain and stress of delivery. Not for everyone but perhaps worth a look. Click here for more. 

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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

 

 

 

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