Common Pregnancy Myths & Truths

By: Jacqueline Bodnar

Myth: The baby’s sex can be determined by the shape of the belly, the way it is being carried or the fetal heart rate.

Truth: Although a lot of people swear by the belief that women usually carry a boy low and a girl high there isn’t evidence to support that. The way your belly looks and how the baby is being carried has to do with the muscle tone. When it comes to heart rate there is no medical evidence to support the myth that girls have faster heart beats than boys. If you really want to know your baby’s sex before delivery discuss getting an ultrasound with doctor. Although they aren’t always accurate you have a better chance of being correct using that method of determining the sex.

Myth: You can increase your chances of conceiving if you stand on your head after sex.

Truth: There is no proven evidence that doing something like this can increase your chances of getting pregnant. Some experts do recommend that if you stay lying down for up to a half an hour after having sex that it may increase the chances of conceiving because it keeps the sperm inside.

Myth: Excessive heartburn during pregnancy means that your baby will be born with a lot of hair.

Truth: Having heartburn during pregnancy is very common but it has nothing to do with the amount of hair your baby has or will have at birth. Heartburn during late pregnancy is usually caused by the pressure that the fetus is putting on the intestines and organs, which sometimes pushes contents up into the esophagus.

Myth: Stress will keep you from getting pregnant.

Truth: There is very little evidence that shows that stress would cause infertility. Only in very rare cases does it change hormonal levels and cause irregular ovulation.

Myth: You can increase the chances determining the sex of the baby by timing intercourse.

Truth: Many people long for the ability to choose the sex of their baby, but there is not scientific evidence to show that the timing of conception has anything to do with determining the sex of the baby.

Myth: You need to have sex everyday to get pregnant.

Truth: Most experts recommend that having sex every other day is fine. You only minimally increase your chances of conceiving by having sex every day.

Myth: You can’t get pregnant if it’s your first time having sex.

Truth: This is a common myth among youngsters but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is no protection against pregnancy simply because it’s the first time.

Take the test – Are you at risk for infertility?

Do you believe that you can easily have children past the age of 40?

Have you ever had unprotected sex with someone or didn’t know their sexual history?

Do you smoke or use drugs?

Are you too thin or overweight?

Do you drink alcohol more than moderately?

Do you have painful, absent or irregular menstrual periods?

Do you work around high levels of pesticides?

If you answered yes to any of these questions read FAMILY’s May article “Myths and Truths of Getting Pregnant” to find out what can have an affect on your fertility and what you steps you can take about infertility. Speak to your doctor about any questions you may have or for further information.


References

Stephanie Green – registered dietician at Nutrition Studio

2737 E Greenway Rd Phoenix, AZ 85032-4391Phone: (602) 569-3509  

Alyssa Mandel, LCSW and Director of Horizon Counseling of Phoenix

13180 E. Lupine Ave. Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Phone: (480) 734-1199

American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Frequently Asked Questions about Infertility. < http://www.asrm.org/Patients/faqs.html>

American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Fact Sheet: In Vetro Fertilization.

American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Fact Sheet: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). August 2001. < http://www.asrm.org/Patients/FactSheets/ICSI-Fact.pdf#search=’Intracytoplasmic%20sperm%20injection’>

American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Fact Sheet: Stress and Infertility. September 1996.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Folic Acid Now Fact Sheet. September 2003.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Infertility statistics. 1995. < http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/fertile.htm>

Center for Male Reproductive Medicine. Frequently Asked Questions.

Resolve: The National Infertility Association. Secondary Infertility. < http://www.resolve.org/main/national/treatment/diagnosis/2ndinfertility.jsp?name=treatment&tag=diagnosis>

Scottsdale Tribune. Baby Making: the rules of the game. June 2004.

Women’s Health Resource Center. Infertility Treatment. March 2002. < http://www.healthywomen.org/content.cfm?L1=3&L2=47&L3=2>

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