11 Things You Probably Believe About Pregnancy That Are Totally False

Pregnancy is full of questions and people have all sorts of answers, some of which are less than reliable. To have the best experience possible, it’s important to decipher the true from the false. Here are 11 busted myths to help you on the path of getting the right information.

You can’t get pregnant while you’re on your period. 

If you believe you can’t get pregnant during your period, please change that view. As a recent Elite Daily article explained, “The chances that a woman will get pregnant one to two days after she starts bleeding are pretty close to zero, but the trouble comes with assuming that every woman’s cycle is exactly the same.” Women’s cycles can be irregular and unpredictable. Plus, sperm can survive in the uterus for up to five days, leaving an opportunity to get pregnant.

There’s an ideal pregnancy that should be strived for.

Pregnancy is absolutely not a cookie-cutter experience. There are about as many experiences as there are women. It’s easy to compare yourself to others thinking that you should be doing something similar, but everyone’s needs are so different. Drop the perfectionism and just let yourself have the pregnancy that works for you.

Pulling out isn’t a reliable form of birth control.

You and your partner aren’t using condoms and you aren’t on birth control, so you figure a quick pullout will work. Well, according to Planned Parenthood, “When used 100 percent perfectly—meaning no ejaculation comes in contact with the vagina—the pullout method is 96 percent effective.” The important thing to highlight here is “when used perfectly.” Being human beings and all it’s very hard to do that.

Pregnancy always lasts nine months exactly.

Of course, you don’t want the baby to come too early or too late, but there’s a pretty significant window of time that they can arrive. Studies show that the length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks. So, there is some wiggle room for when your little one arrives. Don’t be alarmed!

Sex can hurt the baby. 

You and your partner may want to have some sexy time while you’re pregnant. Don’t fear, you can definitely do this still. According to Baby Center: “During intercourse, the penis doesn’t go beyond the vagina, so it won’t reach the baby.” There are some rarer cases where you aren’t able to, but you’d work that out with a doctor or midwife.

Spicy foods make you go into labor pre-term. 

If you’re bummed about giving up your favorite spicy Indian dish, think again. There’s been no scientific evidence to prove that spicy foods affect labor in any way. Just like anything else, though, stop eating something if your body doesn’t agree with it. Regardless, if you choose to eat that spicy dish you will almost certainly not go into labor pre-term because of it.

No flying in a plane for you.

What if there’s a holiday and you just want to see your family? I’m sure you’re bummed if you’re thinking you aren’t allowed to hop on an airplane. The good news is that this is actually false. You can totally fly on an airplane. This myth comes from the fact that some airlines don’t allow you to fly when you’re in the last trimester, though this is more about a fear you’ll go into labor than anything else.

You can’t have coffee. 

It may be devastating to many women to find out that they can’t have coffee during pregnancy. While I’m sure you’re willing to adapt, you don’t have to! Turns out it’s safe to have one cup of coffee a day. Make sure you’re not going over 200mg a day because then you might be at risk for miscarriage or preterm labor. Otherwise, enjoy your cup of coffee.

No petting the cat.

Don’t worry, you’re not condemned to watching cat videos to replace the time spent with your furry friend. You can definitely pat, cuddle, and all those good things. What you can’t do is change the litter box. I know this is a huge disappointment, but it can’t be done. Toxoplasmosis cysts live in the litter box. To prevent the baby from being exposed to this, it’s good to steer clear of cat poop and where they do it.

Dyeing your hair will hurt the baby.

If you’re a regular in your hair salon you may feel upset that you’re going to have to give that up. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to! Turns out it won’t hurt your baby. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Most research indicates the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy.” Go ahead and dye that hair.

Walking makes labor come faster. 

If you’re hoping to make your little one make an appearance sooner than they plan to then you’re out of luck. While walking may definitely feel like you’re accomplishing something, you’re not bringing your labor closer.

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