This past weekend I got the privilege to be witness to the birth of a new child. No, I wasn’t in the delivery room because Lord knows I would have cried my tear glands dry, even more than the mother-to-be, terribly worried that something would go wrong, what with all the screaming and the pushing. So whilst I sat outside the delivery room hoping and praying for the best, I decided to task my worried mind with something else in an effort to stay sane and relaxed.
A member of staff at the hospital was seated next to me, going through his Instagram feed, so, putting off all my reservations and my mind-my-own-business attitude, I started a conversation with him. As luck would have it, he was a gynecologist, quite the expert in pregnancy and delivery. We discussed the topic at length, and he set the record straight about a couple of myths most women tend to believe.
Exercise is dangerous when you are pregnant
Regular moderate exercise during pregnancy is recommended. It not only keeps you healthy, it also improves your baby’s cardiovascular health. Stay active during your pregnancy, but avoid exercises and activities that are very strenuous that may cause harm to your abdomen and hence affect the foetus.
It is okay to drink/smoke during the early stages of pregnancy
No! It is NOT okay. Taking alcohol and smoking will affect the child in your womb, even if it is just in its early development stage. It could lead to your child being born with fetal alcohol syndrome,a disorder that causes problems with vision, hearing, memory, attention span, and abilities to learn and communicate. The severity of the disorder varies from person to person,but the damage is permanent. Smoking on the other hand, is not good for your health even if you are not pregnant. Avoid it at all costs.
You need to feed to two
Being pregnant does not mean you have to eat till you grow super fat in the name of eating for two. Sure, you can act on your cravings that become super weird when you are pregnant, but the doctor says you need an average of just 300 calories a day.
All pregnancies are the same
Every woman has her own experience in pregnancy. That your sister or friend did not experience extreme morning sickness does not mean you will not too. Some have a very smooth first trimester while others experience severe nausea and morning sickness. Others go into labour and stay for hours while others go into labour and give birth almost immediately. Every pregnancy journey is different, but all are beautiful all the same.
Delivery has to be dramatic
We have all seen how it goes in the movies; water breaks, heavy pants and heaving, screams, rushing to the hospital, more screams from the soon to be mother, doctor and nurses asking the mother to push out the baby, more screams…The truth is, child birth does not have to be dramatic. Most are pretty straight forward actually, says my conversation mate. It all depends with how the baby is positioned in the womb. Let not the scenes you see on your screen deceive you or cause you to fear. You will be just fine.