Pregnancy is an exciting time. It’s also one of dramatic changes, both physically and mentally. When you start reading a pregnancy guide, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by what you should and shouldn’t do to have a healthy pregnancy.
It seems like everyone has their own tips and tricks to help you care for yourself and your growing baby. Whether it’s your well-meaning family members or friends sharing advice, all too often you get incorrect information, and you’re left to sort fact from fiction.
A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our team offer comprehensive obstetrics services for pregnant women, including those who are considered high-risk. Today, we’re debunking a few of the most common misconceptions around pregnancy.
Myth: Morning sickness wears off by lunchtime
Morning sickness gets its name because symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and vomiting may be more likely to occur early in the day. You might think that because this early pregnancy condition is called morning sickness, you won’t experience the unpleasant symptoms after midday.
Fact: It’s common to feel nauseous throughout the day
During at least the first few weeks of pregnancy, morning sickness can strike at any time of the day, and many of our patients report that morning sickness lasts all day long.
It’s not exactly clear what causes morning sickness, but it’s most likely related to fluctuating hormone levels. Morning sickness often develops around week six, and typically goes away around weeks 12-14, when you enter the second trimester of pregnancy.
Myth: It’s not safe to exercise while you’re pregnant
Are you concerned that exercising will harm your unborn baby? This common myth says that once you get pregnant, you need to avoid activities like jogging, stretching, and more. But the myth that you can hurt your baby while you exercise is mostly unfounded.
Fact: Doctor-approved exercise is helpful during pregnancy
While it’s true that you need to avoid high-contact sports and strenuous exercise during pregnancy, low to moderate activity has an abundance of health benefits. From helping you manage pregnancy weight gain to contributing to a healthier labor and delivery, staying active is good for you and your baby.
Women who lived active lifestyles before becoming pregnant can generally continue their normal exercise routines, with modifications for a growing belly. If you weren’t active before, walking is a great option to get moving. Depending on your activity level and your health, Dr. Coppa can recommend ways to make your exercise routine safe.
Myth: You have to give up caffeine for nine months
Friends and family are often quick to point out all the foods and drinks that you need to avoid once you announce that you’re pregnant. Pregnant women should avoid raw fish and meat, alcohol, and tobacco products, because all of these can pose dangerous complications for pregnant mothers and unborn children.
But many people assume that caffeine is dangerous, too. While you do have to give up that glass of wine with dinner, do you really have to give up your morning cup of coffee?
Fact: Pregnant women can enjoy caffeine in moderation
Most studies report that low amounts of caffeine don’t have a negative effect on growing fetuses. If you drink coffee or soda in moderation, it’s usually OK to continue enjoying those beverages while you’re pregnant.
Just keep caffeine consumption to 12 ounces or under per day, which is about 1.5 cups of coffee. Every pregnancy is different, so talk to Dr. Coppa about the risks associated with consuming caffeine during pregnancy.
Dr. Coppa and our team are here to help you have your healthiest possible pregnancy. Call us for an appointment at one of our three locations. Our offices are in Cranston, Smithfield, and Providence, Rhode Island.