Deciphering Fact from Fiction
You’re going to have a baby! One of the most exciting experiences of your life. You’ve shopped for the layette, prepared the nursery, prepped your suitcase and did a test run to the hospital just in case your little bundle of joy decides to arrive early. Plus, you’ve listened to every pregnancy myth from both well-intentioned family members along with well-meaning friends who swear by everything from reading tea leaves to determine your baby’s gender to insisting that morning sickness subsides after the first trimester. So, while your hormones are racing and your feet are swelling to the point that the only thing that fits you are flip-flops in February, how do you determine what is fact and what is fiction?
The truth of the matter is, while pregnancy myths can be fun, more often than not, they’re just that- myths. Here are the top six pregnancy myths explained (or debunked).
#1: Neither Tea Leaves nor Madame Lola Can Tell if Your Baby is a Boy or Girl
Regardless of how many cups of tea you drink, or how the tea leaves arrange themselves in your teacup, your baby’s gender isn’t determined by tea leaves. (or psychics, a threaded needle that circles clockwise, or any other hundreds of “sure fire ways” to tell if it’s a boy or girl.) It’s all in the genetic makeup and purely scientific-based vs. that of superstition. So save yourself from countless trips to the bathroom and use the money you’ll save from buying the entire stock of loose tea leaves at the gourmet café to purchase a cute pair of sandals once your feet return to normal once your baby is born.
#2: No Matter How Positive, a Nine Month Journey is Bound to have Road Bumps
Your pregnancy will be a fulfilling, joyful, life-affirming experience from conception to birth. While there are women who tend to sail through their pregnancies and love every minute of it, the truth is, most women experience pregnancy highs and lows or “baby blues.” Some more and some less depending on family history and other biological, psychological and social factors. So don’t feel abnormal if you’re not “walking on air” for the entire nine months. Every woman experiences pregnancy at different levels, so don’t put pressure on yourself. Enjoy the highs and ride through the lows, knowing that the one constant thing in life is change, and your mood will fluctuate and eventually return to normal.
#3: Your “Craving Menu” Won’t Necessarily be for Pickles and Ice Cream
You won’t be able to get enough pickles and ice cream. Cravings (which are legitimate) vary with each individual. Some women crave foods that are completely alien to what they normally eat, while others crave more of what is in their in their daily diet. Some even crave pickles and ice cream, however don’t worry if you don’t. It’s just that your body would rather have salted caramel chocolate chunk cookies with a side of mashed potatoes over a jar of sweet gherkins and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. There is no right or wrong craving, so just indulge.
#4: Morning Sickness Disappears after Twelve Weeks
Nausea disappears after the first trimester. While this would be nice if you do experience morning sickness during the first trimester, the fact is, all women experience this on a different level. Some women don’t experience nausea or morning sickness at all, while some experience it throughout their entire pregnancy.
#5: Your Skin Will be Luminous and Glowing
Your skin will have an eternal glow. This is true for some women, yet others experience dark spots or blotchiness during their pregnancies. Most of this depends on the type of skin you have and your hormone level. So if you’re not walking around with a dewy complexion all the time, don’t worry or run out to the store and purchase special skincare products or vitamins that promise to give you “glowing, plumped up skin.” Your skin will return to its normal condition once your hormone level has returned to normal after the baby is born.
#6: Heightened Sensitivity to Smell
If you didn’t like the smell of liver cooking before you became pregnant, you’re certainly not going to like it during your pregnancy. The fact is: because you didn’t like it to begin with, it will probably make you turn your nose up, and even turn your stomach. The myth of heightened sensitivity to odors is just that; if the smell bothered you before, it will certainly aggravate you even more whilst you’re easily irritable during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a time when your body goes through many changes and there is not a steadfast set of guidelines to follow with regard to what you will personally experience. While there may be a bit of truth woven into some pregnancy myths based on people who had a baby girl after reading tea-leaves (after 50 tries with the tea-leaves, let’s face it, the odds start to increase), most are merely myths or old wives’ tales. Each woman experiences pregnancy differently, which depends on a number of factors including everything from genetics and family history to hormone balance. The key is to make the most out of this time and find out what works for you. Take this time to pamper yourself and enjoy it because once your baby arrives, the word “pamper” takes on an entirely new meaning!