Pregnancy myths busted!
Monday 14 September 2009
A pregnancy poll -carried out by charity Tommy’s and Johnson’s Baby – shows that pregnancy myths and old wives tales are still perceived as truth – even though we’re in an age where information is widely accessible. Eek!
The survey found almost 20% of women believe spicy curries induce labour. But there is NO scientific evidence to suggest curry brings on the birth of a baby.
In fact, if the expecting mother suffers from heartburn or an irritable bowel - having a curry is not the cleverest thing to eat!
A whopping 62% of women were unsure what types of cheese they were allowed to eat when pregnant.
The Food Standards Agency advise pregnant ladies to avoid cheeses such as Camembert, Brie or Chevre (a type of goats' cheese), soft blue cheeses or others that have a similar rind.
They are made with mould and can contain listeria, a type of bacteria that could harm your unborn baby.
Common cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan, feta, mozzarella and spreads are sited as fine to eat.
56% were unaware which types of fish are sanctioned as safe.
Shark, Sword fish and Marlin are to be avoided whilst pregnant as they have high levels of Mercury which can be detrimental to a babies developing nervous system.
No more than two portions of oily fish (mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and trout) and four tinned cans of Tuna are to be consumed weekly.
However, pregnant women should not be put off eating fish, as it is good for their health and the development of their baby.
New research carried out by the University of Bristol shows eating omega-3-rich seafood may be a mood-lifter for women who are feeling depressed during pregnancy.
Half the women in the survey were unsure about eating mayonnaise - but it is safe if made with pasteurised egg.
It is best to avoid home made mayonnaise as it may contain raw egg which can lead to food poisoning.
A fifth of surveyed women didn’t know if they could eat pate whilst pregnant.
Liver products such as Pate should be avoided as they contain vitamin A.
Too much vitamin A can cause damage to unborn babies so taking supplements or fish liver oils is not advised.
47% were confused over how much caffeine they could drink.
The FDA promote having less than 200mg of caffeine a day when pregnant. This is equivalent to one of the following; two mugs of instant coffee (100mg each), one mug of filter coffee (140mg each), two mugs of tea (75mg each), five cans of cola (up to 40mg each), two cans of 'energy' drink (up to 80mg each) or four (50g) bars of plain chocolate (up to 50 mg each).
Caffeine in milk chocolate is about half that of plain chocolate.
A healthy diet for pregnant women should include an array of fruit and vegetables - aiming for the usual recommended five portions of a variety a day.
Starchy foods such as pasta, bread, rice, potatoes and whole grain varieties should also be consumed if possible.
Meats rich in protein; lean meat, chicken and fish are good, as are fibre rich foods such as pasta, rice and pulses.
New research presented at the National Osteoporosis Society Conference shows Women who maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet during pregnancy have children with bigger and stronger bones than women with poorer quality diets.
Exercise was another misunderstood matter in the study - with 39% of women believing they couldn’t begin exercising while pregnant.
A Tommy’s charity midwife however, stated that: “Pregnancy can be an excellent reason to start exercising.
“Although it's important to start off slowly, exercise will help your body to be in the best possible shape to cope with labour and giving birth.’
A staggering 70% thought women who have exercised previously to being pregnant could carry on with knee bends and lunges.
Tommy’s midwife advises that: “Deep lunges and knee bends would not be appropriate; neither would cycling in later pregnancy as your centre of gravity can change your sense of balance.”
If you have any questions about eating, exercising and taking care of your self whilst pregnant please seek advice from your GP or your family planning clinic.
By Rosie Paynton