The Top 7 Pregnancy Myths
Can you color your hair? Get a flu shot? Have sex? Experts clear up your biggest concerns.
Myth: Flying Can Increase Your Risk of Complications continued...
If you're planning to fly in your last trimester, check with your airline about any restrictions. "Most airlines get a little anxious if you look like you might deliver en route," Chescheir says.
Some pregnant women should never fly without a medical clearance first. "Women who have coexisting lung or cardiac problems when they're pregnant might find they don't do well flying at 30,000 feet," Chescheir says. "They should ask their doctor before they get on a plane, but an otherwise normal, healthy woman should be able to fly very safely."
Myth: Keep Fish Off Your Plate
Eating two servings of fish per week can be healthy for mom and baby. Coldwater fish in particular contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with your baby's brain development and vision.
You should try to avoid fish high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel, Chescheir says. Salmon, shrimp, and canned light tuna are better choices.
Skip raw fish too, including sushi or sashimi, according to ACOG. Raw fish is more likely than cooked fish to contain parasites and bacteria. It's fine, however, to eat cooked sushi.
Myth: Say No to Sex
You can still have sex when you're pregnant. Sex doesn't physically hurt the baby, who is fully protected by the amniotic sac and strong uterine muscles. A thick mucus plug also seals the cervix. But you still need to watch out for sexually transmitted infections -- pregnancy doesn't protect against that. If you get herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, or HIV, the disease could be transmitted to your baby too.
Some women wonder if an orgasm can cause a miscarriage. If you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, don't concern yourself: Contractions from orgasm are completely different from the type that's associated with labor.
Check with your doctor to make sure your pregnancy is indeed low-risk. Your doctor may advise against intercourse if there's any threat of miscarriage or preterm labor or if there's unexplained vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.