You have just announced the great news of your pregnancy. Everyone is guessing whether it will be a boy or a girl. People are telling myths about the nine months that await you. You receive calls, messages and visits, in which everyone asks how you are doing, how is your belly… if you have a pointed belly it will be a boy, if you have bad morning sickness it will be twins, if you dye your hair it may affect the baby. In short, there are countless myths that no one has actually corroborated, but that everyone continues to repeat.
The truth is that there are many myths surrounding pregnancy and it’s process. It is better to avoid these myths because it is simply unreliable popular knowledge. Therefore, we suggest that you review some of the most common myths and see what science has to say about it.
If your belly is round it is a girl, if it is pointed it is a boy: FALSE
There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. The shape of a pregnant woman’s belly is due to two factors:
- Size of the baby (boys usually weigh more, so sometimes the bellies are big).
- Position of the fetus in the womb. If you have your back to the front, the stomach will look more pointed. If the back is parallel with the mother’s, the abdomen will be more flattened. The most common way to know the sex of your baby is through an ultrasound test. This is usually done at 22 weeks of gestation.
If you have heartburn during pregnancy, then you will have a hairy baby: ALMOST TRUE
Experts from Johns Hopkins University followed 64 pregnant women during 2006. Of all of them, 28 indicated that they suffered from moderate or severe heartburn. At birth, the babies of 23 of those mothers had hair similar to the average or even more abundant. Additionally, 10 of the 12 who did not feel any heartburn had babies with less hair than average. However, science still fails to determine if the relationship between these two factors is necessarily that one is the cause of the other. Heartburn and the amount of hair were due to the pregnancy hormones, which are the same ones that regulate hair growth in the fetus and those that relax the muscles that hold the acid inside the stomach.
If you dye your hair, you can harm the baby in pregnancy: FALSE
This myth is due to the possibility that the chemical agents of dyes can be absorbed by the scalp and reach the baby. A study by the Ministry of Health and Social Policy Murciana, ensures that the application of dyes during pregnancy seems safe for fetal development. They recommend using gloves, keeping the dye as little as possible, doing it in a ventilated place and rinsing the scalp well.
Certain medications can harm the baby during pregnancy: TRUE
Experts claim there are some antibiotics that don’t harm the baby: 86% of pregnant women take some during their pregnancy. But the most important is that it must always be prescribed by their doctor. However, certain medications are recommended to avoid during pregnancy. Some of these include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), from week 30 due to the risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus (small vessel that connects the aorta with the pulmonary artery) and persistent pulmonary hypertension. The same applies to antiepileptic drugs, since, at high doses, some can cause long-term damage. Do not forget to check with your doctor if you take any medication and expect to get pregnant. You should not interrupt any treatment on your own or take any without your doctor or midwife advising you.
Having sex can cause childbirth: NEEDS MORE EVIDENCE
It is one of the most widespread beliefs, especially if you have sex during the last trimester of pregnancy. The evidence shows that there is no difference in delivery time between women who had sex or did not. However, a study by the University of Cadiz revealed that the movements generated by an orgasm, together with semen, can favor uterine contractility, the shortening of the cervix and cervical dilation, which are typical clinical manifestations that occur before the birth. Although, having sex during pregnancy cannot be considered a trigger of childbirth.
There are many more myths about pregnancy, but if you have doubts it is best to consult your doctor.
*Content validated by the mediQuo medical team.