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12 Pregnancy Myths Worth Ignoring

It's not surprising that a large number of myths have arisen regarding the unique challenges associated with pregnancy.
Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, a physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, has unearthed the following sample of 12 pregnancy myths that he says can be safely ignored. I've never heard of any of these myths; but then, I've never been pregnant.
1.The worse your morning sickness, the more likely you are to have a girl. (Dr. Shmerling does point out, however, that several studies have shown that women who are hospitalized for morning sickness are slightly more likely to deliver a girl.)
2. If you raise your arms above your head while pregnant (as when hanging up clothes on a clothesline), the baby will get the cord wrapped around its neck.
3. If you get a lot of heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will have a thick head of hair.
4. Avoid sleeping on your back; or, always sleep on your left side.
5. To keep your unborn child safe, avoid sex and exercise during pregnancy.
6. You should not touch a cat while pregnant. Women are indeed advised not to handle their cat's litter while pregnant because a cat's stool may carry a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis, a serious infection in the mother and a possible cause of deformities in the fetus. However, other activities, such as petting your cat or allowing it to sit on your lap, are not prohibited. If you want complete peace of mind about this, you can have your cat tested for toxoplasmosis.
7. If you are pregnant, you cannot have x-rays and should avoid microwaves and computer terminals. Excessive or needless radiation should always be avoided, pregnant or not, but you should follow your doctor's recommendations for x-rays that are necessary. Modern microwave ovens and computer terminals do not expose the fetus to harmful radiation.
8. Don't take a bath if you are pregnant.
9. If the weather is stormy or the moon is full, you are more likely to go into labor, even if you are weeks away from your due date.
10. Avoid spicy foods — they can trigger labor before you are ready.
11. Avoid bumpy car rides — they can trigger labor; or, labor can be triggered by being bumped in the abdomen or by lifting groceries.
12. You can determine your baby's gender by the position of sexual intercourse when the baby was conceived, and by how your baby is situated in the womb.


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