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Busting the food myths during pregnancy

Busting the food myths during pregnancy
2m to 5m
Food & Nutrition

The most common dialogues a pregnant woman hears are: ‘’Do not eat papaya!’’ and ‘’Eat for two!’’ Hold on! It’s not limited to just these! Every person has their own version of do’s and don’ts that they want the expecting mommy to follow.

Relax, pretty lady! This is your time. What is most important during pregnancy is a good lifestyle and a balanced diet. Worried about what to eat and what not to? Here’s a set of food myths busted to help you sail through the whole journey of pregnancy. 

Myth #1 Since you now have a human inside you, you need to ‘Eat for two!’ 

‘’Eat more’’ This is absolutely false. An expecting mother needs only 300 extra calories per day during pregnancy, which along with a healthy well-rounded diet, will aid in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. So, do not force yourself to eat too much. It’s okay even if you eat small quantities. 

Myth #2 Say bye to sweets during pregnancy

There is another common myth that pregnant ladies should not eat sweets. But truth is, sweets need not be altogether avoided by pregnant ladies, obviously except for special cases where they have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It’s okay to gulp in some chocolates as well since they give the much-needed energy. 

Myth #3 Avoid fish 

Fish contains omega 3 acids, which is very good for the baby. So, fish should not be completely avoided. If you were consuming fish before pregnancy, continue to do so but have it in moderation as fish is high in mercury content, which might not be good for the baby. 12 ounces of seafood per week is absolutely fine. 

Myth #4 Consuming salt causes swelling during pregnancy 

This is absolutely false. Salt is essential for the body. Swelling up of body parts is normal during pregnancy and need not be entirely blamed on the consumption of salt. If you experience a lot of swelling during pregnancy, then you should perhaps take more rest and wait for the nine months to pass. Salt intake need not be cut down until otherwise advised by your doctor. 

Myth #5 Cocoa butter eliminates stretch marks 

This is not true. There is no cream, which can prevent stretch marks. The formation of stretch marks is related to a woman’s collagen and how well her skin stretches. This is normally linked to heredity. Cocoa butter is a great moisturizer, however, it is not absorbed deeply enough to control stretch mark formation. On the contrary, applying too much of the cream can make the mother’s skin increasingly sensitive and may cause rashes. 

Grandma’s Tip: Avoiding stretch marks during pregnancy or keeping it minimal depends a lot on the amount of weight you gain during this time. So dear, keep your weight in check and you will have the least amount of stretch marks to worry about. Sach mein!

Myth #6 No caffeine during pregnancy!

Always remember the word moderation. A cup of coffee in a day will not hurt your baby for sure. But make sure you don’t develop an avid craving for coffee since it’s hard to resist the craving. As a would-be mother, you also need to have fun and relax during pregnancy, so having coffee at times is absolutely fine. But remember that more than 200 mg of caffeine a day might put you at a risk of preterm labor or miscarriage.

So, have it in moderation. 

Myth #7 Spicy food causes miscarriage

This is another myth! Having spicy food doesn’t cause preterm labor. If this was the case, it would be hard to find food for pregnant mothers!

Myth #8 Consuming saffron means having a fair baby

This is totally untrue. The color of baby’s skin depends upon the content of melanin in the skin and this is purely genetic and does not depend upon the food that the mother eats. The consumption of saffron does not make the baby fair skinned. Saffron is a spice and can enhance the flavor of the food and thus, your palate, but not influence the color of the skin of your baby. It is important that one focuses on the health of the mom so that both the mom and baby are healthy and happy. 

Myth #9 Dates cause miscarriage

This is not true. Dates are a good source of iron, which is essential for an expecting mom. They aid the process of digestion and are also considered good for your nerve and muscle function. They are a natural form of sugar, low in cholesterol levels and help you maintain a healthy weight level. If a mom eats dates, it does not mean it will result in a miscarriage because there is no correlation between the two.

Myth #10 No papayas in pregnancy

It’s a myth that papaya should not be consumed during pregnancy. Papayas can safely be consumed as long as they are ripe. They are a good source of vitamins. Ripe Papayas are low on latex content, unlike the raw ones, which are high on latex that might cause uterine contractions leading to early labor, and hence, those must be avoided.

Myth #11 Coconut consumption leads to fair-skinned baby

In India, there are some myths related to coconut, which expectant mothers might come across. Like consuming coconut milk produces a fair baby or drinking coconut water means a hairy baby. It might be even as weird as another myth that drinking coconut water makes a baby’s head like a coconut. Relax! Be rest assured that coconut is very good for you and your baby. Coconut water is a rich source of potassium and fresh coconut contains vital nutrients. The white part in the coconut has got nothing to do with the baby being fair skinned. Also, a baby does not turn out hairy because of coconut water intake. That would be genetic in nature. And drinking coconut water does not increase the size of the baby’s head in any way.

Myth #12 Certain food cravings can indicate the gender of the baby 

This is again false. Your cravings have got nothing to do with the gender of the baby. Cravings vary from mother to mother and in some cases might indicate some sort of deficiency in the expecting mother, but never the gender of the unborn baby. 

So mommies, have that relaxing cup of coffee and eat your choice of food (in moderation) to have a healthy and happy pregnancy. Have an active lifestyle and look forward to holding your bundle of joy in your arms, soon! 

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