Myths in pregnancy

Pregnancy is a phase where the woman’s complete family travels through an emotional phase. At such delicate times, caring for the mother to be is what every family member tries to do.

In this process of caring and protecting, we tend to listen to every possible source and follow the instructions without questioning. Even if someone questions, ‘what’s the harm? It’s not harmful, so why not?’ is what we settle on.


Let us try to debug some of the popular myths and try to convince you otherwise.


1. A pregnant woman should eat for two


All the loving elderly ladies often ask a pregnant woman to eat more as she must provide nutrition to two lives. With all their love and concerns considered, pregnancy is not about eating more but eating right. Right in the context of amount, right in the context of nutrition, and right in the context of timings.

On average a woman needs only 300 extra calories per day when she is pregnant, so avoid doubling the quantity of every meal. Instead, focus on quality. If the urge of hunger is more, eat more. To summarize, eat according to hunger, eat according to your comfort, eat in moderation, and choose healthy whenever you eat.


2. Eating papaya will cause miscarriage


Raw papaya contains a milky liquid called latex which contains the enzyme papain and chymopapain. Enzyme papain may stimulate contractions which can cause abortion. Also, it hinders the production of progesterone hormone which is significant for a healthy pregnancy. Latex acts like oxytocin and prostaglandin which are the hormones that start labor. Latex is found in unripe and semi-ripe papaya and papaya leaves. Hence, it is better to avoid it in pregnancy.

As the fruit ripens the proportion of latex decreases so ripe papaya can be eaten in pregnancy.  It is a rich source of antioxidants, Beta carotene, minerals like potassium, iron, folic acid, vitamin A, C, etc. so ripe papaya when eaten in moderation provides a lot of nutrition to the pregnant woman.


3. The shape of the belly can reveal the baby’s gender


Predicting the gender of a fetus depending on the shape of the abdomen of an expectant mother is an age-old practice. If the stomach of a pregnant woman is carrying the baby low, then it’s a baby boy and if she is carrying it high then it will be a girl. This practice has no scientific base and is total faux.

The shape of the growing abdomen depends on several factors like the original shape of the mother’s abdomen, the uterine muscle tone, the strength of abdominal muscles, the number of babies conceived, the position of the baby, etc.


Also, in the last month, the baby starts dropping down near the pelvis making you look like you are carrying a baby low.

4. Heart rate of fetus indicates gender

People have associated the heart rate of the fetus with gender and believe that if the heart rate of the fetus is faster, it would be a girl, and if the heart rate is lower then it will be a boy.

The fact being the heart rate of the fetus varies along the period of pregnancy, it depends on the age and health of the fetus.

5. Exercises will harm the baby

A pregnant woman is advised to limit vigorous activities as it will harm the baby in the womb, while this is true but it does not necessarily mean that she needs to take rest all the time.

Specific activities should be avoided, but not complete exercise regime. Exercises are very important during pregnancy. Experts advise at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activities throughout the week. A brisk walk, swimming, pelvic floor exercises, lightweight training, etc will help to build up stamina and prepare the body for the process of childbirth.

Ayurveda focuses on yoga and pranayama i.e. breathing exercises as breathing needs to be very controlled during the process of labor. So, exercises done properly and under experts’ supervision will not harm the baby at all.


Our beloved ones sometimes speak from their experiences while sometimes just pass on the information. While the intention is pure and understandable, every pregnancy is different, hence advice given to someone cannot be followed by other ladies without Doctor’s advice. Listen to every person, but do your analysis of scientific reasoning or connect with your doc

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