During your pregnancy your friends, family and coworkers are bound to share their thoughts with you regarding what you should, and shouldn’t do during pregnancy and childbirth. Differentiating between good and bad advice, especially during the first pregnancy, can be very frustrating. Here we offer some TRUTH behind some common MYTHS…

You are eating for two.

False! Women who “eat for two” during pregnancy tend to gain an excessive amount of weight, putting their health and the baby’s health at risk. If you are a normal weight pre-pregnancy then you should plan to gain 25-35 pounds during your entire pregnancy. If you are underweight you should gain a little more, and if overweight you should gain a little less. Gaining too little weight is also a concern. It can lead to low birth weight, premature delivery, developmental delays, and chronic health problems. Typically the average expectant mother should add 300 healthy calories per day to her diet. It is very important that calories consumed during pregnancy consist of a good balance of proteins, fats, dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Talk to your provider about a healthy diet plan at your next visit.

Pregnant women should avoid exercise.

False! Exercise during pregnancy can help you stay in shape, provide for an easier delivery and recovery, and get you back to pre-pregnancy weight sooner. Regular exercise may also help prevent gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, and reduce the risk of delivering a larger than normal baby.

Always get the ok from your provider before starting an exercise program and be sure to discuss which exercises are considered unsafe during pregnancy.

Having sex will hurt the baby.

False! As long as your pregnancy is proceeding normally you can engage in sex as often as you like. If you have questions or concerns about sex during pregnancy, feel free to discuss with your provider at your next office visit.

Pregnant women should avoid all seafood.

False! Seafood is a good source of protein, iron and zinc. The omega-3 fatty acids in many fish can help promote baby brain development. Some types of large, predatory fish such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish can contain high levels of mercury. Typically mercury is not a concern for most adults. However, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant you should avoid fish containing high levels of mercury. By accumulating in your blood over time, too much mercury can damage the baby’s developing brain.

Our providers recommend 8-12 ounces of seafood per week for a pregnant woman. Low mercury fish such as salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, trout, Atlantic and Pacific mackerel, shrimp, pollock and catfish are considered safe to eat in larger quantities.