Dr Terry Sheahan, Obstetrician, Gynaecologist, Fertility Specialist

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Pregnancy Myths - Busted


The Myth

The Facts

Putting my arms above my head while hanging out the washing will wrap the baby’s cord around its neck
One in four babies have the cord around their neck. Putting out the washing does not cause this.  You do not need to buy a new dryer.
If you prefer sweet food during pregnancy, it’s a girl
There is no evidence to support these claims but they make great stories.

The ring test can predict a baby’s sex accurately
It can, half the time.
Underwater births are better for the baby
We encourage you to use water in the bath or shower early in labour.  Once the baby’s head is delivered it requires air to survive, not water.  If you deliver underwater your baby will have a lower apgar score.  Judicious use of water is encouraged early on in labour. 
You are more likely to be having a girl if your left breast is bigger than right
There is no evidence to support these claims but they make great stories.
You shouldn’t have a bath if you are pregnant because the bacteria in the water may infect you
If you have ruptured your membranes we advise having a shower rather than a bath, otherwise taking a bath is ok and encouraged.
You are more likely to have a girl if your previous child’s first words were mama
There is no evidence to support these claims but they make great stories.
People say you are carrying high
You are carrying high, you are carrying low, you are carrying nicely. These descriptions are often made from the other side of the road and they don’t tell us very much about your pregnancy, about when the labour will start, or whether it will be a quick or a slow birth.  
If you have a dream about having a baby boy, you will probably have a girl. If you dream about having a baby girl, you will have a baby boy
There is no evidence to support this. Sounds like a nightmare to me.
If you prefer salty food, it’s a boy
There is no evidence to support these claims but they make great stories.
If your nose gets bigger, you are having a boy
There is no evidence to support these claims but they make great stories.
If the baby’s heart rate is fast over 140, it's a boy  
This is right half the time, girls can have fast heart rates also if they are moving around.
If I have heartburn, it is a hairy baby
Even bald babies can cause heartburn.  
Brown birth marked babies are due to their mothers drinking coffee
Babies can have birth marks whether you drink tea, coffee, or coca cola. There is no evidence drinking any of these beverages can cause birth marks.  
Doctors do routine episiotomies and Caesarean sections
I prefer nature to take its course. Your recovery is much quicker after a normal birth, but both these surgical procedures have their place.   Caesars and episiotomies are done for reasons of safety for both the mother and the baby.  

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