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Demystified - Pregnancy myths related to food

Pregnant woman should eat a well-balanced diet to foster normal growth and development of the foetus. In India, nutrition of pregnant women is strongly influenced by food fads, taboos, customs, cultural and religious beliefs with an element of uncertainty between myth and reality. This itself might pose a challenge to food choice in pregnancy where every trimester is different, but significant. These nine months may be the most interestingly challenging months in a woman’s life.

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MYTH: Drinking coconut water will result in the baby having a lot of hair and the mother getting acidity.


Baby generally lays head-down in the third trimester and the acidity that the mother suffers from is a result of her growing belly. As the mother progresses into her pregnancy the uterus stretches out and pushes the intestine upward which makes the process of digestion sluggish and is responsible for all the acidity, constipation, BLAME NOT THE COCONUT WATER!

MYTH: Cut out the cheese


Cheese is a good source of Calcium, Zinc, Vitamin B 12, Phosphorus, Protein, Vitamin A. Some kinds, like Cheddar and Swiss, are innocuous because they have been pasteurized. It's the soft, unpasteurized products like Brie, Feta, and goat cheese that might trigger food-borne illnesses.


MYTH: Consumption of ghee during childbearing phase eases delivery & in the postpartum period, quickens the healing of the uterus


These are the most outrageous food misconceptions associated with pregnancy. Ghee neither eases parturition nor helps in swift healing of uterus. Ghee is saturated fat, it aids in the absorption of EFA’s. Intake in moderation is certainly a recommendation in pregnancy.

MYTH: Drinking coconut water after the seventh month of pregnancy makes the baby’s head as large as the coconut.


  • This is completely false. Coconut water is a good source of potassium and should be consumed in moderation for optimum gut health. It will have no impact on the size of the baby’s head.

MYTH: Deep sea fish 0r big fishes – An absolute NO


  • Seafood is a great source of many baby-friendly nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and protein, apart from being low in fat and high in zinc, calcium .Salmon, Sardine, Shrimp, Pollock, Catfish, and Cod are usually safe choices for pregnant women. Make sure you pick them up from standard outlets with a clear check on the expiry dates, details on the processing. Big fish such as Shark, Mackerel are a NO due to their Mercury content.

MYTH: Peanuts are considered to be an allergin


  • But relax! If one does not have a family history of these allergies, chances are baby won’t develop one either. Besides, nuts are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. You need to stay away from Peanuts only if you are allergic to Peanuts.

MYTH: Spicy food will induce labor



It is a myth that eating spicy food during pregnancy actually brings on labor. There is no known food that brings on labor. The exact cause of labor is scientific, it's believed that the foetus sends a signal which may make the uterus contract and go into labor. Hence none of the food that we commonly eat can trigger labor.

Know more - Foods To Be Included/Excluded During Pregnancy.

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MYTH: Eating something white first thing in the morning will result in a fair-skinned baby


  • Then all that milk and bread would have turned anyone white by now. This is sheer myth. The colour of the food a pregnant lady eats has no bearing on the complexion of the new-born. It purely depends on your genetics.

MYTH: Eating a lot of dairy products, baby will be born with cradle cap


  • Dairy products are a healthy and necessary food group as they provide the calcium required for baby's growth. Cradle cap is caused by the pushing effect of the mother or bearing down effect. It's harmless and very common, regardless of the varieties of the dairy products consumed. Cradle cap goes away on its own.

MYTH: Craving for salty foods means you're having a boy. Craving for sweet foods indicate a girl


  • Hormone levels in pregnancy are subject to a lot of change and can have a potent impact, altering a woman’s sense of taste and smell quite dramatically. The rise in the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and HCG and the central effects these have on the brain – are a more likely cause for cravings rather than their stake in the baby’s gender.

The bottom line is, eat well and have a healthy lifestyle, intelligently and there will be absolutely no reason to worry.

Must read - What Are The Myths & Facts About Pregnancy?


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