10 Common Myths About Pregnancy

By: Lauren Hartmann

There is just something about pregnancy that seems to intrigue people. Perhaps it is the factor of the unknown and our insatiable desire to make sense of it all, but people just LOVE to make predictions and sweeping statements about pregnancy. The amount of myths out there surrounding pregnancy are many and you could make a list much longer than this if you were to compile them, but these are a few of my favorites…

1. You’ll look uglier if you’re having a girl.

My Mexican grandmother used to tell me this, with the explanation that it was because “girls steal your beauty”. Such a terrible lie. When I was pregnant with my daughter my skin was glowing and my hair was long and shiny and perfect. With my son, I looked like a hot mess basically the entire nine months.

2. Subsequent labors and deliveries will be shorter and easier.

NOT. TRUE. My daughter’s birth was a straight forward 12 hours from start to finish. My son (my second child) was a 19 hour labor with four hours of pushing. It was longer andso much harder. While it is more likely that things will go more smoothly with each baby, it is definitely not a guarantee.

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3. Oils and creams can prevent stretch marks

Nope. Genetics wins every time with this one. I know women who gained as much weight as an average 5th grader while pregnant without a single stretch mark and ones who gained the bare minimum and had a bunch. Stretch marks are non-discriminatory.

4. Big boobs = easier breastfeeding

This myth does make sense as growing breasts are actually a good indication of a good future milk supply, but it isn’t always the case. A friend of mine is an A-cup and produces enough milk to feed at least four or five hungry babies. She pumps like nobody’s business and donates it to other mamas. I’ve also known plenty of large breasted women who struggled like mad to breastfeed.

I am sad to report that this is false. In actuality you only get 300 extra calories a day, which is not even half of one of those muffins from Costco.

5. You get to eat for two

I am sad to report that this is false. In actuality you only get 300 extra calories a day, which is not even half of one of those muffins from Costco. I know. It’s kind of (really) unfair.

6. Pregnancy is such a magical time in life

Ummm…no. I’ll admit that the miracle of life is pretty rad, but the process? Well, let’s just say that “magical” is not a word that many women would use to describe it. Of course it is a wonderful gift and of course it is worth it, but that doesn’t mean it always feels that way. Some women have a rough go of it and it’s OK to simply not love pregnancy. No judgement.

7. Morning sickness happens in the morning

This has been so false for so many women I know. I actually felt OK in the morning, but every single evening, the nausea was the worst. Morning sickness doesn’t care about what time of day it is unfortunately. It’ll strike whenever it pleases.

8. Pushing is the best part of labor

I have absolutely no idea where this comes from, but SO many women told me this when I was pregnant with my first. I remember them saying that it felt like they were being productive and that it went pretty quickly. Yeah… no. In my opinion (and the opinion of many other women I’ve surveyed since), pushing is the absolute worst. I pushed for three hours with my first and four hours with my second and it was absolute hell. I’m not trying to scare anyone, just saying I definitely would not call it “the best part.”

9. Breastfeeding will help you lose all that baby weight

While it is true that breastfeeding does burn extra calories, it doesn’t always turn out to be the miracle weight loss plan many women envision. For some, their bodies actually cling on to those last pounds until after they wean their babies.

10. If your mother has an easy pregnancy/delivery you will too

This myth couldn’t be more untrue. My mom had two c-sections and I gave birth to twobig babies (one was 10 pounds 8 ounces and 23 inches long!) with zero drugs. Your pregnancy and delivery will be unique to you.

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(Photo: Getty Images)