We know, there are a lot of pregnancy myths out there, and you should not believe everything that you hear—get the facts as we bust these five myths.
The myths in part one of this two-part blog post have been debunked; but do you know about the truth behind the following pregnancy myths? Take a look and see if you know the facts about pregnancy and your health! Then, if you have questions about pregnancy, contact your OB/GYN in Little Rock for informed answers and medical advice. Now, here are the last five pregnancy myths and facts in our series.
Myth 6: Having sexual intercourse will injure your fetus.
If you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, having sex while you are pregnant doesn’t physically hurt your fetus. The amniotic sac and uterine muscles protect the fetus very well. And, a thick membrane of mucus seals off the cervix. Some women are concerned that orgasm can cause a miscarriage. But the contractions from an orgasm are not at all similar to contractions during labor. Ask your doctor to confirm that your pregnancy is at low risk of pre-term labor or other issues prior to having sex during pregnancy.
Myth 7: Pregnant women should not eat fish.
Eating fish is healthy during pregnancy (two servings per week). Omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish are especially recommended for healthy development of fetal brain and vision. Avoid fish with high mercury content, like shark, mackerel, or swordfish. Eat shrimp, salmon, or light tuna instead. Avoid raw fish (sushi or sashimi, etc.), as cooked fish are less likely to contain harmful bacteria or parasites.
Myth 8: You cannot have a flu shot while pregnant.
There is no evidence that a flu vaccination is harmful to a fetus. A flu vaccine also does not necessarily give a woman the flu. On the contrary, a flu shot can be a critical necessity for you and for your baby. A woman’s heart, lungs, and immune system are altered during pregnancy. Consequently, having severe flu while pregnant puts you at significantly increased risk of extreme illness or death from flu, compared to the rest of the population. Get the flu vaccine that contains “killed virus”, instead of the nasal spray vaccine that contains the weakened “live virus”. Also, ask for a flu vaccine without thimerosal, in order to avoid any concern you may have about preservatives.
Myth 9: If you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), your baby will have it.
Some STDs only present a threat to your baby by direct contact. This kind of infection can be transmitted to your baby during vaginal delivery. Therefore, your doctor may recommend delivery by C-section in order to avoid infection. But, other STDs infect and travel through the blood; these infections can penetrate through the placenta and contact the fetus. However, there is no guarantee that your baby will contract your sexually transmitted disease.
Myth 10: Flying increases your risks of fetal complications.
Exposure in airport X-ray machines, or by body scanners, and high-altitude flight do not present risks of deep penetration by radiation into the body. So, significant fetal radiation exposure is unlikely. But, some pregnant women may prefer to be patted down for the airport’s security purposes. If you are healthy, your pregnancy should not be at risk from flying. However, if you have certain complicating health ailments, you should consult your doctor before flying.
For More Information
The board-certified physicians at The Woman’s Clinic in Little Rock have been providing state-of-the-art women’s health care in a private, comfortable setting, since the 1930s. Contact the Woman’s Clinic by calling 501-664-4131 if you have questions about pregnancy, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation with a Little Rock OB/GYN. Our obstetrics and gynecology practice includes routine and high-risk obstetrics, infertility testing and treatment, gynecological surgery, and treatment of urinary conditions.