Pregnancy has been around as long as, well, as there have been people! Throughout the ages people have tried to understand the mystery that is pregnancy. While we have come a very long way in understanding pregnancy, there are still many lingering myths and common misconceptions that surround pregnancy. Some of the most common misconceptions about pregnancy are based, to some degree or another, on fact, while other misconceptions really have no basis in reality at all.
Some of the most common misconceptions about pregnancy have to do with what you cannot do during pregnancy. For example, many people wrongly believe that exercise is dangerous during pregnancy. While it is true that overly strenuous exercise or exercise that could cause something to impact the abdomen can be slightly dangerous, the fact of the matter is that regular moderate exercise is not only not dangerous to the pregnant woman and her baby, but is actually beneficial in many ways to them both.
Another common misconception that has some basis in fact is the issue of X-rays and radiation. It is true that prolonged exposure to large amounts of radiation can cause problems, the fact of the matter is that it is extremely unlikely that exposure to a small amount of radiation would ever cause birth defects or any other damage. Having said that, it is still extremely important that if you are pregnant or think you might become pregnant that you inform your health care provider before having an X-ray.
Some misconceptions about pregnancy are caused by misunderstanding medical facts. For example, some people think that you can determine the gender of the baby by the way you are carrying it. In fact, the way you are carrying it only tells the size and position of the baby, nothing else. Another misconception, that you should not pet a cat while pregnant, is based on the fact that you can get certain infections if you come into contact with cat feces, rather than the cat itself.
Other common misconceptions about pregnancy fall into teh category of myths or "old wives’ tales." For example, the myth that morning sickness means you will have a girl, or that you are eating for two people, or that trouble sleeping means that you are having twins.