Pregnancy, as a feeling, is complex. At one end, you feel happy and powerful for growing a life inside you. On the other end of the spectrum, you feel scared because you are responsible for the life growing inside you. Many different feelings come in this spectrum, too, and that’s okay!
It’s a weird feeling because you realize that something so delicately tiny and innocent depends on you solely, without even meeting you. It feels tricky. It gets even more confusing because pregnancy attracts a lot of advice. Some of this advice is useful, while most others aren’t. Everyone feels obliged to give some or other suggestions to a pregnant lady. They are primarily well-meaning, but they do get into the woman’s nerves.
Darling, if you are already resonating with what I am saying here, I feel you, sister! Trust me; it gets easier after you conclude this blog.
A Funny Anecdote Regarding Pregnancy Food Myths
My mother told me that I had good skin because she ate many carrots while carrying her kids. So during my pregnancy, I made sure that I ate a LOTTTT of carrots. My obsession went to the point that we baked Carrot flatbreads at home.
We stuck to this myth for quite a while. And one fine day, I realized that my sister’s skin wasn’t quite like mine. I called my mother up with hopes of listening to her confession. She laughed and accepted that she lied. The intent behind the lie was to encourage me to eat carrots in general. She didn’t realize that I would choose to stick to one of the many convenient lies most mothers tell.
The lesson learned here is, some myths like these work in favor while some others could also lead to problems. The famous Indian myth “Eat for 2 while you are pregnant” is a seriously misinterpreted statement. It makes sure that women gorge on food, leading to weight gain in the later pregnancy phase.
What People Need To Understand About Food Myths Associated With Pregnancy?
What people need to understand is, a pregnant woman is already going through her share of struggles. She is dealing with morning sickness, a whole drama of hormones, and much more. A word of encouragement or a fact backed by science is something that she could use instead. That is the only way society can help an expecting mother by being kind and truthful.
Loading an expecting mother with suggestions like, “Eat for two.” “Eat ghee” is pointless at the end.
People fail to understand that the second human growing inside is extremely tiny to demand additional fuel or food. The baby needs you to eat nutritionally rich foods to grow within you. You will additionally need to add 200-300 extra calories to your diet to stay healthy. Understand that where this calorie comes from is essential. A slice of cake and two apples are both 250 calories. The cake will give you only carbs and sugar, while the apple will provide you with fiber and vitamins.
Popular Pregnancy Food Myths
“Don’t eat red meat because it will give your baby seizures.”
“Eat meat, because you need the strength and vitamins.”
“Avoid nuts to avoid allergies.”
“Eat nuts because you need the proteins and good fats.”
These discussions are equally confusing and irritating for an expectant mother. As a pregnant mother, you must be on edge already. You wouldn’t want to take chances with your baby, so you are willing to do things. I remember I had given up and followed many silly myths that didn’t make any sense. I did them because I didn’t want to take the slightest chances with the new life depending on me.
Eating for two:
Fact: You should be eating a balanced and nutritionally rich meal. Overeating will not make your child gain weight. However, you will end up gaining weight that will be hard to shed later. So, focus on having a diet that is high in fiber, proteins, and vitamins.
Eating light-coloured food will make the baby fair:
Fact: Skin color is genetic; you can not change it in any way known to humankind. Instead, you need to include the whole spectrum of colors in your diet. It will ensure that you cover all the food groups and nutrients available to you. Not only is this alluring to your eyes, but a colorful plate also makes you happy.
Certain foods causing miscarriage:
Fact: There is no documentation of foods like papaya, pineapple causing miscarriages. My mother used to say that pregnant women in the 80s ate a lot of papayas. While doctors today tell pregnant women to avoid a lot of papayas.
Miscarriages happen because of infections and complicated medical problems. Ensure that you are eating enough proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, and healthy fats. It will ensure that your body gets prepared to carry a child and nurture it.
Eating seafood will make the child develop rashes:
Fact: No evidence suggests the same. Seafood, when cooked well, can be a significant source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is known to develop the child’s brain and eyesight.
Consumption of Ghee or Indian clarified butter is best:
Fact: Consumption of Ghee is believed to ease delivery and helps the uterus to grow back later. The truth is Ghee is saturated fat that helps in the absorption of EFA’s. Moderate consumption can be beneficial, and excess could lead to serious health complications.
Eating spicy food encourages labor:
Fact: Labour is the baby’s way of telling your body that it’s prepared to come out. The uterus starts contracting, and the baby moves down. No foods that we eat can help in triggering labor.
All things said, I do understand that it is harder said than done. Pregnancy makes things uncertain and highly delicate. In times of extreme desperation, one ends up trying all the tricks in the books. At least I did! I knew eating spicy chicken wings was not helping me, but it helped keep my mind distracted for a while.
The Basic Pregnancy Food Mantra To Follow
“Moderation is key.”
Isn’t it the same, even in our lives in general? An excess of even a good thing can be detrimental to you.
Eat a wide platter of food. Ensure that the variety includes a little of everything, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fibers. Do not say complete NO to any food group unless you are confident that you are allergic to it, i.e., Lactose intolerance, etc. A varied spread will also help in keeping you interested in your food. The baby gets introduced to a little of everything that the mother feeds on during pregnancy. It will help the child to eat better in the years she is growing up.
When I say not to shut any food group entirely, I also mean the junk. Enjoy the occasional street food or a slice of cake too.
Limiting your food intake is a strict no-no. You can’t restrict your calories to a bare minimum. Understand that the baby is feeding off of you. Determining the overall intake is indirectly hampering her quota of the supply. You need to consume whole, nutritionally rich foods to help your baby grow big and strong.
Concluding Food Myths On A Happy Note
In the end, enjoy your pregnancy and everything surrounding it. Cherish the power within you and feel positive.
A happy mother raises a happy child. Eating a balanced meal without any restrictions will ensure that you are comfortable and content. Have fun with your food; this will ensure your child has a healthy relationship with food growing up. In the end, it’s all about you and your family, do whatever it takes to keep your sanity intact.