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6 pregnancy myths everyone believes
Do these old wives' tales have any truth to them? - photo by Emily Brady
When my mom was pregnant with her fourth and last child, everyone told her she would be having a girl. Based on her cravings, the shape of her belly, and a ton of other signs, some people just knew she was pregnant with a girl.

But my mom knew she was having a boy.

It came as no surprise to my mother when she found out that she was, in fact, having a son. She couldnt explain how she knew; it was just a mothers instinct.

Everyone grows up believing a host of pregnancy "rules" and "standards". While some beliefs are valid, others are completely false. Here are six pregnancy myths that everyone believes:

1. A pregnant mommy should eat for two

While it is true that pregnancy can often strike up cravings, you shouldnt be eating that much more than you would if you weren't pregnant. In fact, during your first trimester, you shouldnt be eating (or feeling the urge to eat) more than you normally do.

During your second trimester, youll want to start eating 300-350 more calories a day. During the third trimester, youll want about 500 extra calories a day. If youre carrying more than one baby, youll want to include about 300 extra calories per baby, so an extra 600 for your twins.

Its perfectly normal (and expected) to gain weight during your pregnancy, but sticking to this regime will prevent you from gaining unnecessary weight.

2. You can tell the sex of the baby by the shape of the bump

Some people believe that if a pregnant woman is carrying the baby up high (closer to her ribs), it means shes having a boy. If the woman is carrying the baby low (closer to the hips), it means shes having a boy.

Every womans body is different, so the shape of the bump depends completely on the mothers shape, size and muscle tone, not the sex of your baby.

3. Morning sickness means youre having a girl

Morning sickness is common in most pregnancies, regardless of the babys sex. Its typically the first sign of pregnancy, and its most common during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Morning sickness can be attributed to a wide variety of hormonal changes a womans body is processing through. Reduced blood sugar is another common cause of morning sickness. Other factors such as emotional stress, excessive fatigue and frequent traveling can exacerbate your morning sickness.

To help treat your morning sickness, be sure to drink lots of water, take naps and avoid fatty and spicy food.

4. If you crave sweet foods, youre having a girl. If you crave savory foods, youre having a boy

Cravings are the bodys response to mineral deficiencies, not your babys gender. Theres nothing wrong with indulging yourself a little bit during your pregnancy (youre growing a little human inside you its OK to treat yourself!), just be sure to avoid the things that can be harmful to your baby, like raw meat and unpasteurized milk.

5. Pregnant mommies should skip the gym

Working out during your pregnancy actually has many benefits, including a quicker recovery after childbirth, fewer aches and pains during your pregnancy and fewer pounds of baby weight.

6. Theres an ideal pregnancy body type

Its normal for women to feel self-conscious when their jeans stop fitting and they start seeing stretch marks across the hips and belly. Remember that every single body is different, whether you're pregnant or not. Youre perfect the way you are, and your body is doing a great job creating new life.

No matter what body type youve got, you always wish it was somehow different. You baby loves you, your husband loves you, and its time to love yourself.

How many of these myths did you believe? What are some other wives tales that youve heard about pregnancies?
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