You Don't Have to Avoid Seafood And 8 other pregnancy myths we're breaking down.

By Babe | Photo by Stocksy

At Babe, we’re all about busting myths. It’s like, what we do. So many assumptions exist around pregnancy and postpartum – and most of them center around women having as little fun as possible (shocking) – whether that means forgoing cosmetic rituals, a good orgasm, a sip of wine, or even a cup of coffee (because these are literally the only things that matter). So we thought we’d take on a few key pregnancy myths and explain how to go about them safely.

At the end of the day, “you do you” as our mantra. So if you’re nervous about having caffeine or getting on a plane, we get it. But if you’re curious as to what can actually do safely, read on…..

Myth: You can’t exercise during pregnancy.
Fact: Exercise is safe and beneficial during pregnancy. There’s numerous benefits of exercise during pregnancy, including:

Improved cardiovascular health: Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health and help maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.

Reduced risk of gestational diabetes: Exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Reduced risk of preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can occur during pregnancy. Exercise can help reduce the risk of developing this condition.

Easier labor and delivery: Women who exercise regularly during pregnancy may experience an easier labor and delivery.

Reduced risk of postpartum depression: Exercise can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression by boosting mood and reducing stress.

Improved sleep: Exercise can help improve sleep during pregnancy by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.

Stronger muscles: Exercise can help strengthen the muscles that are used during labor and delivery.

Improved overall health: Exercise can help improve overall health and wellbeing during pregnancy, which can lead to a healthier pregnancy and baby.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what types of exercise are safe for you and your baby, depending on your pregnancy.

Myth: You shouldn’t eat seafood during pregnancy.
Fact: Seafood can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating seafood during pregnancy can provide many benefits, including:

Nutrient-rich: Seafood is a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes.

Improved brain development: Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood, particularly DHA, are important for the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system.

Reduced risk of preterm delivery: Some studies suggest that consuming seafood during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preterm delivery.

Lower risk of allergies: Eating seafood during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of allergies in the baby.

Improved heart health: Eating seafood can improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Reduced risk of depression: Some studies suggest that consuming seafood during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of depression in both the mother and baby.

Lower mercury levels: While it is important to be cautious about consuming certain types of seafood that may contain high levels of mercury, many types of seafood are low in mercury and safe to consume during pregnancy.

As far as sushi goes, we’re not going to tell you what to do there. US health experts (including the Food and Drug Association (FDA) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend pregnant women avoid raw foods, including sushi made with raw fish. That’s all we’re going to say on that.

It is important to choose seafood that is low in mercury and avoid raw or undercooked seafood during pregnancy to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Pregnant women should also consult with their healthcare provider to determine how much seafood is appropriate for them to consume during pregnancy.

Myth: You can’t dye your hair during pregnancy.
Fact: Dyeing your hair during pregnancy is a personal choice.

Some women prefer to avoid it as there is limited research on the safety of hair dye during pregnancy. If you choose to dye your hair, there here’s how to minimize potential risks:

Wait until after the first trimester: Many healthcare providers recommend waiting until after the first trimester, as this is a crucial period of development for the baby.

Use a semi-permanent or vegetable-based dye: These types of dyes are less likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream and have fewer chemicals that may harm the baby.

Apply the dye in a well-ventilated area: It is important to apply the dye in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.

Wear gloves: Wearing gloves will help prevent skin absorption of the chemicals in the dye.

Avoid leaving the dye on for too long: Leaving the dye on for too long can increase the amount of chemicals that are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Rinse your scalp thoroughly after dyeing: Rinsing your scalp thoroughly after dyeing can help remove any remaining chemicals.

Avoid dyeing your eyebrows or eyelashes: Dyeing your eyebrows or eyelashes can increase the risk of the dye getting into your eyes and causing irritation.

As always, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before dyeing your hair during pregnancy, particularly if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions.

Myth: You should eat for two during pregnancy.
Fact: If you want to eat for two, go for it. But you don’t have to. In fact, pregnant women only need to consume about 300 extra calories per day during the second and third trimesters.

The amount of additional calories needed during pregnancy depends on several factors, including the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight, activity level, and stage of pregnancy. Generally, women in their first trimester do not need to consume additional calories (but by all means, go for it), and in the second and third trimesters, increase in calorie intake can hover around 300-500 calories per day.

Instead of focusing on eating more, you can eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats that provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy and baby without the need for excessive calorie consumption. (But we fully endorse a Ben & Jerry’s binge at any time.)

Myth: You shouldn’t travel during pregnancy.
Fact: Traveling during pregnancy is totally safe.

Many women are able to travel during pregnancy without any problems. However, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before traveling, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy or any complications. Here are some factors to consider when traveling during pregnancy:

Timing: The best time to travel during pregnancy is usually during the second trimester, between 14-28 weeks. During this time, most pregnancy symptoms have subsided, and the risk of miscarriage and preterm labor is low.

Mode of transportation: The mode of transportation can affect the safety of travel during pregnancy. Generally, traveling by car or train is safer than flying, as there is less risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and exposure to radiation. If you’re traveling by plane, make sure to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch your legs, and wear compression stockings to reduce the risk of DVT.

Destination: Consider the destination when planning a trip during pregnancy. Some destinations may have higher risks of certain infections or diseases (remember Zika?). Make sure to research the location and any potential health risks beforehand.

Medical care: It is important to research the availability of medical care at your destination in case of any unexpected complications. Make sure to bring your medical records and contact information for your healthcare provider.

Comfort: Traveling during pregnancy can be uncomfortable, so make sure to plan for breaks and bring comfortable clothing and footwear.

Myth: You should avoid all caffeine during pregnancy.
Fact: Caffeine is generally considered safe during pregnancy when consumed in moderate amounts.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day, which is equivalent to about one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Moderate caffeine intake during pregnancy is not associated with an increased risk of miscarriage or premature birth, according to several studies. However, high levels of caffeine consumption have been linked to a slightly increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight.

Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the fetus, so it is important to be mindful of caffeine intake during pregnancy. High caffeine intake has been associated with increased heart rate, irritability, and sleep disturbances in infants, so it is recommended to limit caffeine consumption during pregnancy.

It is important to note that caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in other beverages and foods such as tea, soda, chocolate, and some medications. It is recommended to read labels and be mindful of caffeine content when consuming these products.

As with any dietary or lifestyle choice during pregnancy, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine what is best for you and your baby.

Myth: You can’t have sex during pregnancy.
Fact: Sex is usually safe during pregnancy and a welcome way to connect during pregnancy.

In fact, many women report an increased libido and sexual pleasure during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow to the pelvic region. Woo-hoo!

Here are some reasons why sex during pregnancy is generally considered safe:

Protection from infection: The cervix, mucus plug, and amniotic sac provide a protective barrier that helps prevent infections from reaching the baby.

Zero harm to the baby: The baby is well protected by the amniotic fluid, uterus, and strong pelvic muscles, so sexual activity does not typically harm the baby.

Relieves stress and promotes relaxation: Sexual activity and orgasm can help relieve stress and promote relaxation, which can be beneficial for both the mother and baby. Hey now.

It may help prepare the body for childbirth: Some experts believe that orgasms may help strengthen the pelvic muscles and prepare the body for childbirth.

However, there are certain circumstances when sex during pregnancy may not be safe, such as if you have a high-risk pregnancy, vaginal bleeding, or a history of preterm labor. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about sex during pregnancy.

Additionally, some positions or activities may be uncomfortable or cause pain during pregnancy, so it is important to communicate with your partner and try different positions to find what works best for you.

Myth: You can determine the baby’s sex based on the shape of your belly or other physical symptoms.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence to support this, and you know it.