So when I found out I was pregnant, I was bombarded with all sorts of dos and don’ts that I needed to take care of for the impending gestation period. Not just people, the books and the websites and every little material I read and saw tried to put me off certain things more than anything. And being the natural ‘chill’er in life, I paid little or no attention to most advice that was doled out to me.
It was then that my husband pointed out a general flaw in my personality that I characteristically emote disapproval through my face more often than I need to and that hit home! Even though my intention was not such, my face emoted my detachment from the advise as soon as it was given to me. I decided to be a little more accepting of things that were said to me, especially by family, because of course they mean well and ‘all they want is good health for you and the baby’, I told myself.
So with time, I adopted a more tolerant attitude toward said things but I did not completely shed my disapproving behaviour. I transformed into a more logical self, analysing things I was told to do and adjusting them to suit the needs of the baby and me. It was in the course of these meticulous 5 months of analysing, over analysing, incessantly reading and personal experiences that I came to realise that some pregnancy related advice are essentially myths.
1. The Great ‘Khatta khaane ka mann’ logic
No, you do not suddenly want to eat all the achaar and the khatta imli when you conceive. Some have the hankering for sweet food and some for savoury. I, for one, oscillated between the two. You feel like eating a lot of sour things to basically ease the first trimester nausea but that too, for some women, is a temp thing which last a couple of weeks.
2. Sleeping on your right is a strict NO-NO
Yes, the doctors will advise you to avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back compromises the blood flow to the uterus and the baby. Also, towards the end of the third trimester, your lungs will feel burdened if you sleep on your back and so your cuddle up on your side. But one of the scariest things I have heard is that sleeping on your right results in the birth of a still-born. I have met with a fair few doctors and practitioners in my present term and there is no medical proof backing this claim.
3. The many many legends of guessing the baby’s gender
The silver chain and ring test, the sweet-savoury craving test, the shape of the tummy test. There are all kinds of small little legends that people have to determine the gender of the baby. Personally, my husband and I never really put a lot of thought into it. When someone tries to predict the gender of the baby, I laugh it off by saying that there is at least a 50% chance they are right. Either way.
4. You have got to eat for two!
No! You have got to eat healthy, being an expecting mum. And the doctor will advise you of the same after taking into consideration your medical history. And when they tell you to eat for two, pile on the nutrition, not the portion size!
5. Pile on the kilos
Not all mommys-to-be need to put on anywhere between 10 to 15 kilos while preparing themselves for the baby. You can put on anywhere between 5 to 18 kilos but the range is decided upon by your doctor after taking your BMI into account. Since I am an overweight woman, I have been advised to gain weight in the 5-8 kilo bracket. With the right food, exercise and activity, the less than needed gain weight does not affect the baby at all.
6. Do not drive!
Agreed that the first couple of months, you are on tenterhooks about the whole driving thing. You want to but you are too scared to and so you completely do not. But personally, driving is something which is a lot more convenient than riding a bike (which you should avoid because of increased accident risks) Take a couple of months off in the beginning if you are unsure, but you can resume driving if your back feels fine. Plus the kick from driving is more soothing than anything else.
7. The third trimester will only make you look and feel unattractive.
Maybe. But not always. Pregnancy glow is not a thing abundantly found among women. In that case, use makeup to your rescue. And yes, you will feel tired most of the time but lean on your husband to lift up your spirits when you are feeling unattractive (read troll-like)
Before you take my word for it entirely, these are the things I have generally found to be non-applicable in my case. But if you do try to google their authenticity, you will find at least one hit on the first page that will debunk my claim as well. So, like me, do venture out to make your pregnancy your own personal experience than being chained to some age-old things you are forced to comply by. And do this whilst being accepting of all opinions.