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We’ve all heard them. Old Wives Tales go with pregnancy even if you’re young and single. While we know there are lots of myths that no one believes anymore. (No, eating delicious food will not ensure that you have a beautiful child.)

There is a lot that persists even today, especially about food. While you may be what you eat, food just doesn’t affect your baby or your pregnancy the way some myths say. Joy of Life® wants to make sure that you have the tools to separate fact from fiction.

Myth 1: Morning Sickness Ends at 10:00 a.m.

Your hormones don’t own a watch. Even calling it “morning sickness” is wrong. Some women experience nausea or even vomiting first thing in the morning. But some feel sick in the afternoon or evening. Some may even feel ill round the clock, at least for a day or two. The odd thing is no one is exactly sure what causes morning sickness. While hormones play a role, they are not the only triggers. Smells, heat, taste, even too much saliva can all cause pregnant women to feel queasy at any time of the day or night. Women who tend to get sick in the car or on an airplane, or those who feel nauseous during a migraine are a little more likely to suffer from morning sickness.

If your morning sickness is so bad that you cannot keep food down, or you feel dizzy when you stand up, you need to talk to your doctor. The same holds true if you can’t hold down fluids or if you can’t urinate or if your urine is dark. But these are fairly rare, and most women get through morning sickness by listening to their bodies.

Myth 2: You Should Be Eating for Two

It’s tempting to think that pregnancy is a chance to eat everything you have ever wanted. After all, you have a baby depending on every mouthful. But that baby starts as a single cell. The number of calories your body needs to grow a baby and a placenta isn’t as many as you need to just function on a daily basis. Eating twice as much as usual causes weight gain. While you will gain weight throughout the pregnancy, you should monitor your gains carefully. You want your gains to be made by the baby, not by your hips and thighs. Gaining too much weight not only will make you more uncomfortable in the late stages of your pregnancy but can also contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure.

Having said that, it is important to understand that your body will be drawing on certain nutrients in different ways, Folic acid, protein and other vitamins and minerals are vital to the baby’s healthy development. At Joy of Life®, we want to make sure that you are eating everything necessary for you and the baby. It’s important to eat a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as lean proteins.

Myth 3: Spicy Foods or Citrus Fruit Will Hurt the Baby

Chuck this myth out the window. There is absolutely no evidence that common fruits such as pineapple, oranges or papaya will cause you to miscarry or hurt your baby. The same is true with spicy foods. One common myth is that eating food s with pepper or curry will “burn” the baby’s eyes and cause the child to be born blind. That is absolutely false. Some spices do make it through the placenta. It can “flavor” the amniotic fluid. It is true that babies who are born to women who have a diet rich in spicy foods often prefer spicy foods when they grow up. They may learn to like the spices in the womb.

While spicy and acidic foods won’t hurt your baby, they may hurt the mother. There is one thing to remember while pregnant: heartburn is real. Hormones and a baby pushing against your stomach can cause acid reflux or heartburn after eating spicy or acidic foods. If you find yourself troubled with frequent heartburn, especially after binging on pineapple rings or Buffalo hot wings, you may want to make a few changes to your diet. If diet changes don’t help, bring the matter up with your doctor.

Myth 4: Eating Peanut Butter or Shellfish During Pregnancy Will Cause Allergies in the Baby

Peanut and shellfish allergies are common, and the reactions can be serious. It’s reasonable to wonder if Mom’s diet can cause the problem. Rest easy, however. Researchers are still looking at the causes of allergies. But what a woman eats during pregnancy doesn’t determine if a child has allergies. This is because the proteins that go through the placenta are already broken down by the mother’s digestive system.

In fact, shellfish, in fact all fish, can be great choices during pregnancy. They’re loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron, and zinc. But stay away from raw or undercooked seafood such as sushi or raw oysters. You should also steer clear of larger, predatory fish, as they can be high in mercury. In a similar way, peanut butter is a great thing to keep handy during pregnancy. It’s high in antioxidants that can help boost your immune system naturally while you are carrying baby. It’s also loaded with protein and low in sugar.  This makes it a good choice for women at risk for gestational diabetes. The spread is loaded with fiber that can help combat constipation, a common pregnancy complaint. Finally, peanut butter doesn’t have to be refrigerated and even comes in handy single-serve containers, making it an easy snack on the go.

Myth 5: You Can Never Have Caffeine/You Can Have as Much Caffeine as You Want

Both of these are myths. Caffeine is a stimulant found in a wide range of foods and beverages. It can go through the placenta and affect the baby. Because it’s a stimulant, it can cause problems with the baby’s sleep cycle, making it harder for the fetus to put on weight. There are some studies that suggest that babies born to mothers that have a lot of caffeine have a lower birth weight than mothers who have less. Caffeine also affects the mother. It can make it harder for her to fall asleep, raise her blood pressure and cause heartburn.

So, doesn’t that mean caffeine should be forbidden?

Not necessarily. Caffeine is found in more than just coffee. Sodas, energy drinks, tea, and even chocolate are all natural sources of caffeine. Suddenly stopping caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms that range from headaches and irritability to flu-like symptoms and can last up to seven days. This can be hard on a body that is already adjusting to carrying a new life. It can also be a natural aid. Tea, for example, can help relieve stuffiness and coughing from colds and flu without the risks of OTC medications.

Most experts agree that a minimal amount of caffeine is fine for most expectant mothers. But talk with your doctor about your body’s needs.

At Joy of Life®, we want this time to be special. We want you to understand what is happening in your body, without fears or confusion. If you have any questions, or have heard other myths, be sure to talk about them with your doctor.

Joy of Life

Author Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a compassionate surrogacy agency committed to creating life, fostering joy and nurturing dreams. We are experts in our field, with team members boasting extensive experience in the clinical, psychological and legal aspects of surrogacy. But more than that, we are a family — a community bound by the shared purpose of helping others realize the joy of parenthood.

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