10 myths about pregnancy

Myth 1: Eating eggs make labour more difficult and make baby too big.

Fact: Eating eggs during pregnancy does not influence labour or make the baby bigger. Eggs contribute to dietary variety, and are a very important source of protein, micronutrients and minerals essential for pregnant women (and children over the age of 6 months). Eggs are rich in vitamin E, vitamin A (found in egg yolk) and B12, folate, iron and zinc. Pregnant women who have concerns about a possible difficult labour should speak to their health care provider about what to expect and how to prepare for labour.


Myth 2: Eating oranges and bananas cause jaundice to baby.

Fact: Oranges and bananas will not cause jaundice to your baby. All fruits are nutritious and good for pregnant women. Including two different fruits in daily meals is recommended for pregnant women.

Jaundice is common in newborns, and is usually harmless. It is caused by a yellow substance in the blood called bilirubin. Bilirubin is made when red blood cells are broken down. We all have some bilirubin in our blood. Jaundice is common in newborn babies because they have a lot of red blood cells which are always being broken down and replaced.

Myth 3: My baby will be covered by semen at birth if I have sex during the third trimester. It’s not safe to have sex when you are pregnant.

Fact: If your health care provider has not raised any concerns, you can have sex as long as you are comfortable to do so. Having sex during pregnancy can make you feel good and sleep better. Semen cannot get through the placenta to your baby. It’s always advised to use a condom when you have sex to protect against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV or syphilis as these infections can be transmitted to your baby.

Myth 4: It’s fine to eat non-food substances such as soil or stones during pregnancy.

Fact: Some pregnant women experience unusual cravings of non-food substances such as soil, during pregnancy. This condition is called pica. There can be a number of reasons why some pregnant women have pica. One possible reason is that mom’s body is not getting enough nutrients. It is not safe to eat soil or any non-food substances. Please speak to your healthcare provider if you are craving non-food substances so that a full health assessment can be done.

Myth 5: It’s safe to drink traditional beer, umqombothi, during pregnancy because it’s home-made.

Fact: Traditional beer is made with fermented ingredients, which makes it alcoholic. Drinking traditional beer or any other alcoholic drink is not safe for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Babies exposed to alcohol during pregnancy may be born with a condition called foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS causes children to have learning and behaviour problems. Children with FAS need lots of special care and attention.





Myth 6: It’s good to drink traditional medicine such as isihlambezo during pregnancy.

Fact: Some medicines (traditional and western) are harmful during pregnancy and can be dangerous to the health and life of the mother and unborn baby. The safest thing for mom and baby is to only take medicine that has been prescribed by their healthcare provider (nurse or doctor).


Myth 7: I need to have sex during pregnancy to prepare my vagina for labour

(I’m not sure about this one- does it help?) – I cant find any info from a reputable website on this matter…Kopano?


Myth 8: If you have heartburn, it means your baby has too much hair.

Fact: While this is a fun myth, it is just that; a myth. Heartburn during pregnancy is common and caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pushing against mom’s stomach. Speak to your healthcare provider for advice on how to manage heartburn if it is something that bothers you.

Myth 9: Pregnancy supplements make your baby too big.

Fact: Pregnant women need extra nutrients to support their body and the growth of their unborn baby. In addition to eating a balanced diet, pregnant women also need to take pregnancy supplements. The three basic pregnancy supplements are iron, folic acid and calcium. Not taking pregnancy supplements can result in poor development of the baby in the womb, e.g. soft bones, incomplete spinal cord, low birth weight, and it also increases mom’s risk of high blood pressure, early labour.

Myth 10: You can’t breastfeed if you are pregnant.

Fact: There is no harm in a pregnant woman breastfeeding an older child. Breastfeeding will not take away nutrients from the unborn baby, nor is the breastmilk weak or ‘bad’ for the breastfeeding child.