Expecting? 7 Pregnancy Myths Exposed

3. You can tangle the umbilical cord by raising your arms above your head.

Myth. About 20 to 25 percent of all babies are born with the cord around the neck, and many are born with cords around legs. Some cords are even tied into knots. There is nothing that a mother can do to cause this. Entanglements are caused by fetal activity during early gestation. Long umbilical cords, defined as longer than about 100 cm (most cords are 32 to 80 cm long), seem to contribute to entanglements. Excessively long cords are actually caused by excessive fetal movement.


In the case of this myth, there may have been some benefit for a pregnant mother. If pregnant women were advised not to lift their arms above their bodies, they may have been given less strenuous jobs. This could have resulted in a more rested mom, and possibly a healthier baby.

4. Having sex during pregnancy can hurt the baby.

Myth. While there are some valid medical reasons to avoid sexual activity during pregnancy, in most cases sex is not harmful to the baby and can be very enjoyable for the woman, who may now be noticing enhanced ability to orgasm due to an increase in blood flow to the pelvic floor.

5. You lose a tooth for every baby.

Myth. Today, with the availability of supplements and fortified foods, no woman should lose a tooth for every baby!

Preconception nutrition is critical for preserving maternal health. It is during the critical pre-adolescent and adolescent years that women build stores of iron and calcium that prepare them for childbearing. If a woman’s diet is deficient in these key minerals, the demands of the growing baby often take precedence. Calcium may be lost from the maternal bones and teeth. Women should take in 1500 mg of calcium each day, either from food sources or supplement. Teeth can be lost if stores are deficient or depleted due to malnutrition or close interconceptional periods.

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