Pregnancy Myths & Facts
Did you know that sound vitamin nutrition during the first thousand days of a child’s life, starting at conception through the second birthday, provides a critical opportunity to permanently change children’s lives for the better? It’s true. Studies show that vital nutrient support during this window of rapid brain growth sets the stage for improved health, cognition and learning throughout a child’s life.
Here are more surprising facts and the truth about some common pregnancy myths:
7 Common Pregnancy Myths
- 1. You must “eat for two” now!
- Fact: Only about 300 extra calories per day (about ¼ cup almonds + one serving plain yogurt) are needed in the second trimester, increasing to 500 calories in the third trimester.
- 2. Only women need to take supplements before pregnancy.
- Fact: Folic acid is now thought to be an important supplement in male fertility. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that men had a higher rate of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm when their diet was low in folic acid.
- 3. Pregnant women and children in the U.S. are not at risk of under-nutrition.
- Fact: One in six Americans does not have access to enough food. A lack of adequate nutrition negatively affects children’s physical and cognitive health.
- 4. Pregnant women should avoid exercise.
- Fact: Regular, moderate exercise is good for you and your baby. Of course, you should check with your health care provider before starting any exercise regimen.
- 5. Pregnant women should avoid eating fish.
- Fact: Omega-3 fatty acids, which are concentrated in fish, are good for your baby’s developing brain (and your brain too)! If you’re worried about mercury and other contaminants, try an omega-3 supplement that’s high in DHA or limit your servings of low mercury fish to 2 per week.
- 6. Women over 35 have a significantly increased risk of having a baby with birth defects.
- Fact: If you are 35, you have a 99.7 percent chance of not having a baby with Down syndrome; if you are 45, you have a 97 percent chance of not having a baby with Down syndrome.
- 7. You can’t get pregnant while you are breastfeeding.
- Fact: Yes, you can.
7 Surprising Pregnancy Facts
- 1. Studies show that 70 percent of neural tube birth defects could be prevented with folic acid supplementation.
- 2. Baby’s spinal cord forms in the first 28 days of pregnancy, when many women don’t yet know they are pregnant. You should start taking a daily prenatal multivitamin that delivers 800 micrograms of folic acid before or as soon as you begin trying to conceive.
- 3. 90 percent of fetal growth happens in the last half of your pregnancy.
- 4. New nursing mothers require 500 extra calories per day to support milk production.
- 5. When calcium levels in mom's blood are not adequate for her needs and those of her child, calcium deposited in her bones is withdrawn for milk production.
- 6. In the past 20 years, the number of first-time mothers over the age of 35 increased by 64 percent, accounting for 675,000 babies born each year.
- 7. According to the CDC, young moms are more likely to have postpartum depression than older moms.