Facts and Myths of Pregnancy


Every woman is thrilled when she learns that she is pregnant; however, this happiness is mixed with some anxiety, especially if this is her first pregnancy. Her little experience with pregnancy, and what she hears from the people around her, in addition to the information she reads on the Internet, all together can help anxiety sneak into her, and it may develop into fear.

Sometimes, this anxiety is due to common misconceptions that have spread and are wrongfully considered facts though they are nothing but a myth. In this article, we will list some of the most famous myths and important facts to know about pregnancy.

Facts of Pregnancy

  • A pregnant woman's blood pressure rises at a rate ranging 40%–50%, which is normal so that the oxygen sufficiently reaches all parts of the body including the fetus. It is important to monitor the blood pressure regularly so that it does not reach a level that may lead to pre-eclampsia.
  • A pregnant woman's voice may change, or there might be some slight changes in the features of her face, which are due to the change in hormone levels in her body; however, these changes disappear after giving birth.
  • The chances of getting pregnant in the thirties can reach up to 20%, while it is only 5% in the forties, which means it is possible to get pregnant in the fifth decade of life, but at a low rate. Moreover, pregnancy can occur in the sixth decade of age, but this is very rare.
  • The fetus can feel whether the mother is happy or sad; some studies have also proven that the fetus may cry in the mother’s womb. Even after birth, the baby's behavior is also affected by the mother’s behavior during pregnancy; most women who are extremely irritable and nervous during pregnancy tend to give birth to babies with the same temper.
  • The fetus can recognize the mother's voice during the last trimester of pregnancy, and can also interact with the distinct sounds around the mother.

Myths about Pregnancy

Some of the common myths about pregnancy have some validity, among which is that having heartburn during pregnancy indicates the density of the child's hair at birth. Researchers attributed the matter to the fact that the increase in the hormone levels in pregnant women affects both the density of the child's hair and the relaxation of the esophageal muscles, which leads to heartburn.

However, there are completely pure myths and erroneous information, including:

A pregnant woman should eat for two”.

  • This wrong advice, which spreads among women, most often leads to an increase in the weight of pregnant women, which can hinder their movement and make the process of giving birth more difficult. In fact, adhering to a balanced diet without excessive carbohydrate intake avoids weight gain and any related problems. It is possible to increase the mother's daily calorie intake to 340 calories in the second trimester, and 450 calories in the last trimester.

A pregnant woman should refrain from moving and exercising”.

  • This is a false piece of information too; exercising, especially in the last months of pregnancy, facilitates the delivery process, but it must be carried out under the supervision of a professional trainer. The pregnant mother should never refrain from moving completely unless she suffers from health problems that force her to rest upon the doctor's instructions.

Eating certain foods during pregnancy can cause an allergic reaction to the baby in the future”.

  • In fact, a pregnant woman can eat any type of food as long as it does not cause her any allergy, and that does not make the child allergic to certain foods. However, at the same time, you should avoid eating undercooked foods, certain types of cheese, and salted fish because they are not safe during pregnancy.

“It is impossible for a mother to give birth naturally if she had a previous C-section delivery”.

  • This is also a common misconception that spreads among pregnant women, but it is incorrect, as the reason that had prevented the mother from natural delivery in the first pregnancy—such as weak labor, or the wrong positioning of the fetus that may hinder the natural delivery—may not be the case again.


Not all that we hear or read is true, and we should not deal with it as a fact, even if everyone around us is convinced about it. We must verify every information and refer to specialized doctors, especially in the case of pregnancy.


This article was first published in print in SCIplanet, Autumn 2020 issue.

Cover image: Shutterstock

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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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