Before ever getting pregnant, women hear hundreds of things about what the experience will be like, what to expect, problems, things you can’t do, etc. So I already had so many ideas in my head on what to expect, and many of those things turned out to not even be true in my situation. These are just some basic things I had heard from various people before I got pregnant that, through my own personal experience, I labeled “myths.” While these may not have been true to me, every woman’s experience is unique to her.
Myth #1 Pregnant women can’t workout.
I’ve had so many people look at me with a puzzled expression when I’m working out and ask, “are you allowed to be working out??”
Reality: When a pregnant woman exercises, the baby, in a sense, gets a beneficial workout too. Research has shown that the babies of pregnant women who are physically active have heart rates that show signs of cardiovascular health.
Yes, you need to modify your workouts. But if you were active before pregnancy, then continuing your workouts shouldn’t be a problem. Of course consult your doctor first.
I’ve seen pregnant women accomplish some pretty incredible things, such as run marathons and even compete in the olympics. Throughout my pregnancy I’ve been able to continue running, doing HIIT workouts, and yoga 3-5 times a week.
Actually, many docs say that in most cases, low-impact workouts can be a great way to control your weight and prep for baby. Just avoid contact sports or exercises that involve a lot of lying on your back (which reduces blood flow to you brain and uterus). Talk to your OB or midwife.
Myth #2 You’ll crave pickles and ice cream, or other weird food combos.
Another frequently asked question I get is “what are you craving.”
Reality: You might. In fact, if you’ve craved this particular combo I want to know about it! But you could have totally unexpected yearnings, too. I have yet to experience the desire for anything absurd. The extent of my “cravings” was just that I wanted bread (usually sourdough) all the time in my first and second trimester. I probably ate my weight in bread every week, not a joke. And while this was completely unusual for me, I never had a moment of “oh my gosh I have to have this right now or someones going to get hurt.” I never had the “wake up in the middle of the night and make your husband fetch you food” experience. Though I will admit I’ve totally thought of faking this one night just for fun to see if he’ll actually go get it. So mean, I know.
Truthfully I was a little disappointed I never had any crazy cravings. I was really hoping to get some good stories out or this! Ha. What about you? Did you have any funky preggo cravings?
Myth #3: You’re Eating for Two
I expected to be ravenous all the time while pregnant, but that wasn’t the case.
Reality: Sorry to tell you this but pregnancy is not the time to pig out. You certainly have more leniency when it comes to that second helping, but on average women really only need about 300 extra calories a day.
In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was fighting through too much exhaustion and nausea to really be hungry. It wasn’t until my second trimester that my appetite started to pick back up, but even then it wasn’t much more than normal. What really surprised me was when I got into my third trimester and I found my appetite decreasing. I really thought that when my belly grew, I would become hungrier, when in fact the opposite happened. It was like all the sudden there wasn’t enough room in there for more food. I found myself having to eat much smaller meals throughout the day. I couldn’t even just sit and eat a whole sandwich (ok and a half) in one sitting anymore.
Myth #4: You can’t fly.
People: Ummm are you sure you should be flying right now?
Me: I do what I want.
Reality: I think a lot of people are under the impression that pregnant woman can’t fly because of some idea that the air pressure in flight will send them into labor. When I got pregnant, I started working on my private pilots licenses. I was flying this little two seater plane for an hour at a time. The only problem I had was getting nauseous after 30 minutes so I eventually had to put a pause on that. But when I talked to my doctor about it, he simply said “Oh cool. That sounds like so much fun. Just don’t crash and everything will be good.” Ha, my doctor is awesome.
Even if you’re not flying your own plane, you can still fly. My doctor told me that the only real concern with pregnant woman flying (especially late in pregnancy) is that if something does happen, then they are either in the air, or far away from their doctor and home. i.e. If you are from Texas and fly to California and you start having contractions there, welp, then I hope you’re ok having your baby in Cali!
While pregnant I have flown to Denver (at 10 weeks), Atlanta (at 18/19 weeks), Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (24 weeks), Rome and France (31-33 weeks). When talking to my doctor about flying all the way to Europe he basically said, “You’re one of my healthiest patients. I don’t expect anything to happen. Go have fun.” So I did. You can read about that trip here and here.
Myth #5 Decaf only
You’re pregnant you can’t drink that.
Reality: According to many researches I’ve read, and trust me I searched this out because I love my coffee, one small cup of coffee a day is perfectly fine. I have read though that having caffeine in two to three cups of coffee a day may increase the risk of miscarriage, more so in the first trimester.
I was surprised when body naturally weened itself off coffee. I used to drink 1-2 cups of black day, and then when I started feeling nauseous in my first trimester, the very last thing I wanted was to drink any coffee. After a couple of weeks of feeling that way, my desire to drink any coffee at all practically disappeared. Now days, I maybe have one cup a week, if that, and even then I can’t even finish the whole cup. This would have been unfathomable just a few months ago. Crazy how much our bodies can change.
It seems to be a controversial subject, but the gist (that I’ve found) is that moderate caffeine intake isn’t likely to harm you or your baby. Again, I am not a doctor and am only telling you from my experience and what I have found to be true, so if you have any questions or concerns, please consult your doctor or midwife.
What are some things you heard about pregnancy that proved to not be true to you?
While I have had my own struggles with pregnancy, such as being exhausted in my first trimester and dealing with a week of painful round ligament pain, I have truly had a wonderful experience and have come to truly appreciate and enjoy this season of my life.