The majority of pregnant women have been told by a family member or friend a pregnancy myth or an old wives' tale about pregnancy. Some friends and family members will tell these myths as happening to "friends." Others will phrase the myth as advice. Some of the myths are so ridiculous, they will make you laugh. But others can be confusing and you can't be certain whether or not they're true. The thing about myths is that they usually are based on a grain of truth. If you are uncertain whether a myth is real or not, there are some things you can do to demystify myths.
- Use your common sense. If your grandmother tells you that raising your arm above your head will create knots in your baby's cord, ask yourself if this is really possible. How on earth can raising your arm create a knot in your baby's cord?
- Talk to your care provider. Probably the best place to go to demystify pregnancy myths is your doctor or midwife. If you have any questions about things you should or shouldn't do, ask them. Don't be shy about presenting a pregnancy myth to them. Trust me, they have heard them all. Your care provider will let you know what should be avoided in pregnancy for the health of you and your baby.
- Check the Internet. Reputable sites are very helpful with pregnancy myths. However, pregnancy myths are being perpetuated because of the internet, too. Before reading an article about pregnancy, check to see who the author of the article is. If the author is a nurse, doctor, midwife, childbirth educator, lactation specialist or doula, the article is probably okay-though there are no guarantees.
- Check your local bookstore. There are a great many pregnancy books out there, many of which will help to demystify pregnancy myths. They will also help tell you what to avoid, what is safe and how your baby is developing.
- Talk to your childbirth educator. If you take a childbirth education class, your instructor may be able to answer your questions about typical pregnancy myths. If you are asking the question, there are probably others in the class with the same question; by asking you are helping other mothers demystify common myths.
- Check the research. There have been many studies done about pregnancy. Some of these studies may help demystify myths and answer your questions. Reading studies can be difficult, though, so unless you have a strong research background, this method should be saved until last.