From the moment the news of your pregnancy goes public, everyone from your grandmother to the woman in line behind you at the grocery store magically transforms into a medical expert. And whether you like it or not, they will not be shy about telling you what they think you should be doing to help your unborn child. But how do you know what advice is actually worth listening to? If sorting through all of the advice being thrown your way is giving you grief, you need to know what outdated pregnancy advice you should ignore.
Don't get me wrong, it can be nice to be the center of attention during your pregnancy, which experts say lasts 10 months, according to the website for The Today Show. And what better excuse than pregnancy to delegate some of your daily duties? But when the advice of others is misinformed and outdated, it can be annoying and even harmful at times. Your advisors may think they're being helpful, but if they're telling you to pack on the pounds, limit your activity, and avoid important vaccines, they may be doing more harm than good.
So the next time Dr. Next Door Neighbor tells you to put down your coffee mug, you can smile and politely tell her to jump in the lake. And if you're ever in doubt, it's always best to consult with your doctor or midwife.
1. You're Eating For Two
There was a time when pregnant women were advised to eat as much as possible for the benefit of their babies. But as BabyGaga mentioned, pregnant women only need to add an additional 200 to 300 calories to their daily consumption during pregnancy. Although it's totally OK to indulge in the occasional milkshake, your pregnancy diet should be filled with lean protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
2. Stay Away From Seafood
What you should and should not eat will often be the topic of the unsolicited advice you receive when you're pregnant. It was thought that seafood was harmful to expectant mothers. However, the omega-3 fatty acids in certain seafood can be good for your baby. In a study referenced by Parents, moms who had a weekly consumption of 12 ounces of seafood during pregnancy gave birth to children with higher verbal IQ and other intellectual advantages,. Just be sure to look for seafood that is low in mercury.
3. Stay Off Of Your Feet
Unless your doctor recommends bed rest or limited activity, there's no harm in moving while you're waiting for your baby to arrive. According to Baby Center, safe exercise during pregnancy can help improve your mood and even help make labor easier.
4. Epidurals Make Breastfeeding Difficult
You may have been cautioned against pain medication because it was once thought to inhibit a mother's ability to nurse. But you can give this advice the side eye. As Fit Pregnancy mentioned, epidurals have not been proven to impact a mother's ability to breastfeed.
5. Flu Shot Is Bad For Baby
You may be hesitant to get your flu shot for fear that it will be harmful to your baby. But the exact opposite is true. As WebMD noted, there is no evidence that the flu vaccine is harmful to fetuses. Additionally, contracting the flu while pregnant can be harmful to mother and baby.
6. Just Say No To Coffee
You may have to say goodbye to your triple espresso for a few months, but it doesn't mean you can't have an occasional cup of coffee. Caffeine, in moderation (200 milligrams or less), is not harmful to your baby, according to The Bump. And don't worry, you'll more than make up for all of the missed cups when your baby arrives.
7. Don't Dye Your Hair
Don't worry, you won't have to spend the next nine months with two-toned hair. As WebMD mentioned, the chemicals found in your hair dye are absorbed in your skin only in minimal amounts, and aren't harmful to your baby. If you're still concerned, you can hold off on visiting your salon until you've reached the end of your first trimester.