Pregnancy myths

From books and magazines, to relatives and friends, parents can be inundated with advice about the things you can and can’t do when you’re pregnant. Here’s a selection of common pregnancy myths debunked to help you.




You should avoid exercise

When you’re pregnant you can still exercise for as long as you’re comfortable, particularly if you’ve always been active. While strenuous exercise might not be ideal, there are lots of ways you can keep moving while pregnant – swimming and yoga can be great for both mum and baby. Always seek advice from your GP or midwife before starting any new exercise.

You can’t dye your hair

Although there’s limited research around this, you would need to use seriously high doses of chemicals (much more than required to colour hair) to cause any harm. So, don’t worry, you don’t need to prepare yourself for nine months of bad hair days (there will be plenty of them once baby arrives!).

You need to eat for two

This is a myth that most people pay no attention to these days. Only during the later stages of pregnancy would most women potentially need to increase their daily calorie intake – and even then only 200 extra on top of the recommended 2,000.

You can’t touch cats

Cats themselves are fine for you to be around and pet while you’re pregnant. The truth behind this myth lies in cat poop, not the feline itself. If you have cats you should avoid changing or dealing with a litter tray as this can increase the risk of toxoplasmosis, which can affect unborn babies.

You can’t fly

This very much depends on the individual and the health of the pregnancy. Again, you should speak to your midwife or GP before making any plans to travel by air. After 28 weeks, most airlines will want you to carry a letter from your GP or midwife stating you’re in good health, that there are no complications with your pregnancy, the number of babies you’re expecting and your due date.