Pregnancy Myths Part 1
There are numerous myths surrounding pregnancy. Here are some of the most popular and most common pregnancy myths.
Myth 1: A woman can’t get pregnant if penetration only happens for a few seconds.
Any time you have intercourse there is a risk of pregnancy. Of course, there’s a greater chance of getting pregnant if ejaculation occurs, but there is a risk of pregnancy even prior to ejaculation, and you should always be concerned about the potential transmission of STDs.
Myth 2: Once sperm comes into contact with air, it dies.
Actually, sperm can live in the open air for three to five days. Sperm only dies when it is completely dry.
Myth 3: A woman cannot get pregnant from pre-ejaculation.
Although pre-ejaculate is only the fluid that is released before ejaculation, it still contains sperm. And yes, if it comes into contact with the vaginal area, a woman can still get pregnant. This is one of the main reasons why the withdrawal method does not always work.
Myth 4: A woman cannot get pregnant if she’s having intercourse in water.
Water doesn’t actually interfere with conception.
Myth 5: A woman can get pregnant if ejaculation occurs in water.
This is actually not true. It’s unlikely that sperm could find its way from the penis, through the water, and into the vagina, especially if in a bathtub, pool or hot tub. Chemicals and other substances in the water, as well as the temperature of the water, make it incredibly hard for sperm to survive more than a couple of minutes. Chances are pregnancy won’t occur under these circumstances.
Myth 6: A woman has to have an orgasm in order to get pregnant.
This is completely false; a woman’s orgasm has zero to do with an egg being ready and available for fertilization.
Myth 7: Pregnancy cannot occur when there is no penetration.
Even with so-called “dry sex,” there is still a chance of pregnancy occurring if there is skin on skin contact. Anytime a penis comes into contact with the vaginal area, there is a slight risk of conception. There is also a chance of communicating an STD during dry sex.
Myth 8: Pregnancy can occur from anal sex.
Pregnancy cannot result from anal sex, although proximity of the anus and the vaginal opening means it is hypothetically possible for pregnancy to occur if the sperm somehow travels from the anus and makes its way into the vagina.
Myth 9: Sperm can travel through material such as clothing.
No conclusive studies have been done to prove or disprove this.
Myth 10: You can tell your baby’s gender by the way you are carrying.
There is no way to tell your baby’s gender simply by the way you are carrying. An ultrasound, sonogram, or an amniocentesis are the only ways to determine your baby’s sex.
Myth 11: All women experience morning sickness.
Not true. Also, the term morning seems to fool people into thinking that the nausea and vomiting only occurs in the morning hours, when in fact it can and does happen at all hours of the day and night.
Myth 12: Pregnant women should not take baths.
Many people think that if a pregnant mother takes a bath, bacteria will make its way into the vagina and harm the baby. But water does not enter the vagina during a bath. In fact, a bath can benefit the pregnant mother by relaxing her, and it is encouraged as a way to relieve stress.
Myth 13: Pregnant women should eat for two. You have to remember that early in pregnancy the baby is only the size of a seed, so there’s no reason for you to consume extra meals. A mere 300 extra calories a day will ensure that you’re giving your baby all the nutrients it needs, even toward the end of the pregnancy.
Myth 14: Sleeping positions can and will affect the delivery.
It’s hard enough for most pregnant women to find a comfortable sleeping position, so if you do find one, sleep that way. Even sleeping on the belly is okay for the first trimester, although it is recommended that later in the pregnancy you try to sleep with a slight rotation to your left side to relieve pressure on the large veins that return blood to your heart.
Myth 15: You can’t get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding.
Most women wish this myth were true, but in fact you can get pregnant if you’re still breastfeeding. Moreover, your chances of getting pregnant increase once your menstrual cycle returns.
Myth 16: Sex induces labor
Sorry, but it doesn’t. Nor will sex cause deformities to your baby. A woman can participate in sexual intercourse up until the day she delivers as long as she is comfortable, healthy, and the doctor gives the okay.
Myth 17: Doing headstands can help a woman get pregnant.
The travel of sperm through the fallopian tubes and toward the egg has nothing to do with gravity or the way a woman is standing or lying—although some experts believe that lying down for 20–30 minutes after sex, can slightly increase the chances of conception.
Myth 18: Computers can be harmful to the baby. There is no proof that this myth is true. Sitting for hours in front of the computer can cause other problems (such as vision changes), but it cannot harm your baby.
Myth 19: Small-breasted woman cannot breastfeed.
As with other things, when it comes to breastfeeding, size doesn’t matter. As long as the mother has the proper nutrients, liquids, rest, and relaxation, there is no reason she can’t produce enough milk when the time comes.
Myth 20: Mom shouldn’t put her arms above her head because the umbilical cord can wrap around the baby’s neck.
This is a very widespread myth. But the truth is that the mother’s movements don’t affect the umbilical cord at all. The cord sometimes wraps itself around the baby’s neck because when a baby is in the proper head-down position, it’s the most natural place for the cord to settle.
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