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5 pregnancy myths unfurled

Unsolicited pregnancy advice inundates you when you are going the family way. At the end it seems like there is ample to worry about with no consistency in the advices coming your way. Here are some popular myths about pregnancy that need to be revisited. 

 

Myth 1: Caffeine is banned

Incorrect

A lot of data available on the net, books and journals have a different opinion on this subject. While some say a moderate amount is fine, others say no caffeine at all. A big risk with caffeine, especially during early pregnancy could lead to a miscarriage. However, actual studies show there is no evidence of that risk from consuming less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, which amounts to about two cups of coffee a day, roughly. 

 

Myth 2: The type of prenatal testing you do should differ if you are over or under 35

Incorrect

A common belief is that women over 35 must undergo more pervasive testing, typically an amniocentesis or CVS test to look for genetic abnormalities. On the other hand, women under 35 are told to undergo screening tests that carries little risk but less information. The reason for this cutoff age has to be based on the fact that the chromosomal problem increases with the age of the mother. The probability of chromosomal problem at 35 is almost equal to the risk of miscarriage from the amniocentesis. 

 

The above logic may be flawed as the decision should be more about choices and values of the pregnant woman and her spouse than a deciding age limit. A woman needs to consider their personal assessment of the risks of a miscarriage versus a developmentally delayed child when making this choice, a thought which is in accordance with American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

 

Myth 3: Having sex can jump-start labour

Incorrect

 

There is a chemical reason to think this might work albeit randomized trial data doesn’t back it. When doctors randomly encouraged couples to have sex late in pregnancy, women didn't go into labour any faster than couples who weren't encouraged to do so.

 

Myth 4: Having an epidural lengthens your labour

Partly correct

 

According to a study an epidural can increase the pushing stage of labour by 15 minutes. But the point is that one may not care about it as much since there is pain relief always accessible. 

 

Myth 5: Unpasteurized soft cheese are off limits

Correct

 

A food-related risk in pregnancy comes in the form of listeria, present in soft cheeses, which must be off the menu for pregnant women. It is a high risk bacteria to which pregnant women are predisposed that can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. These cheeses are also unpasteurized and must be kept at bay due to the above present bacteria.