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Pregnancy Myths, Facts & Tips

Pregnancy Myths, Facts & Tips

It seems like the minute people find out you're expecting there's someone offering you a "little-known" fact or weird tale about motherhood. But what's true and what's not? We'll take some of the common pregnancy and motherhood myths — debunk them — and laugh at the ones that couldn't possibly be true.

1. Myth:

Fetal heart rate can indicate your baby's sex.      

Fact:

A normal fetal heart rate is between 120 and 160 beats per minute (bpm), although some people think if it's faster it's a girl and if it's slower it's a boy. But there have been no studies that conclusively show that heart rate is a predictor for a baby's gender. Your baby's heart rate will probably differ from prenatal visit to prenatal visit anyway - depending on baby’s age and activity level at the time of the visit.

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2. Myth:

The shape and fullness of your face during pregnancy can indicate your baby's sex.   

Fact:

Every woman gains weight differently during pregnancy and every woman experiences different skin changes. If people tell you that because your face is round and rosy you're having a girl, they might be right - but it's just as likely that they may be wrong.

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3. Myth:

The shape and height of your belly can indicate your baby's sex.          

Fact:

Although everyone’s sure you’re going to have a boy because you’re carrying low – and your best friend is certain she’s going to have a girl because she’s carrying high – this popular belief just isn’t true. The facts suggest that the shape and height of your belly is determined by lots of other things including: muscle tone, uterine tone (the strength, flexibility and muscular structure of the uterus), and baby’s position. In fact, carrying low may mean your baby has dropped lower into the pelvis to prepare for delivery. The only way to determine your baby's sex? Talk to your doctor about getting an ultrasound. Or if you prefer being surprised, just wait until he arrives.     

Pregnancy, birth, babies and motherhood. All incredible. Here are a few of the best “did you knows?”, that will confirm what you know already — that pregnancy, babies and motherhood are nothing less than truly spectacular.

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Did You Know?

The longest stage of labour is called stage 1

There are typically 4 stages of labour. Stage 1 begins with contractions that begin slowly and then become stronger over time. Your contractions will be different from contractions you’ve had in the past; they will become regular and predictable. Stage 1 of labour is made up of three phases, in the first phase you may not know you are in labour yet and many women spend most of this time at home. You move into the next phase when your cervix is dilates to 3-8 cm and when contractions begin to last longer and occur in more frequent intervals. The final phase of stage 1 may be slower as your body gets ready for Stage 2 of labour and your baby’s head begins to move into the pelvis.

(Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Healthy beginnings: Giving your baby the best start, from preconception to birth (4th ed.). 2009. Mississauga, ON: John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd.)

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Did You Know?

The ‘baby blues’ is a mild form of postpartum depression that many new moms experience.  

In fact, up to 80% of new moms will experience some form of baby blues in the postpartum period. It usually starts one to three days after the birth, and lasts for about 10 days to a few weeks. With baby blues, you can have extreme mood swings, — you may be happy one minute and crying the next. You may also feel anxious, confused, or have trouble eating or sleeping. No matter how you may feel, you’re not alone. Support is available through your doctor, your public health nurse, your partner  and friends. Don’t be afraid to say “I need help” and don’t worry if everything isn't “perfect”. These feelings and moods are not your fault. Before you know it, it should go away all on its own (the case for the majority of mothers), and you’ll forget all about this period, and start to relish this new chapter as an extraordinary mom. If, at any time, you’re worried about how you’re feeling, or the feelings of sadness, inadequacy, guilt, anxiety, irritability or fatigue persist, please talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

(Canadian Mental Health Association. Postpartum Depression. http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/postpartum-depression/ Accessed: February 28, 2014.)

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Did You Know:

Eating healthy is even more important now that you’re pregnant. Here are 6 great ways to make the "eating right" part of your pregnancy easier and ensure you and your baby get all the right nutrition, everyday.   

Variety is key - eat a balanced diet from Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating.

Protein. Protein. Protein. Prime sources include eggs, poultry, meats, fish and legumes.

Drink up with lots of water.

Add some colour - dark green, orange and red fruits and veggies contain the most vitamins.

Smart snacks are the best snacks - like fresh or dried fruits, yogurt and whole grain crackers.

Supplement support – choose a daily multi-vitamin with 0.4 – 1.0 mg of folic acid1.

(1Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Motherisk Program. J Obstet Gyneacol Can. 2007; 29(12): 1003-1013.)

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