Myth 1: Pineapples will cause miscarriages and induce labour!
Fact: Pineapples DO NOT induce miscarriages, labour or even uterine contractions. Although pineapple extracts (extracts mean only the active components are present) do cause contractions when directly exposed to uterine cells in a test tube, the effect on the female reproductive system is insignificant even if you eat or drink loads of pineapple juice. The myths about oxytocin content in pineapples are also not true. Although pineapples are fine, there are other foods pregnant ladies should avoid. And oh, DO take your folic acid.
Myth 2: You can tell the gender of the child through the shape of the pregnant lady’s tummy
Fact: Sorry for being a spoilsport, but this is absolutely NOT true! There are no scientific studies that find any correlation between the shape of the pregnant abdomen and the gender of the baby. It is still fun guessing though, you will have 50% chance of getting it right. If you really cannot wait to find out, then a simple ultrasound by your doctor at 12th week of pregnancy will have a 94.8% accuracy and 98.3% by the 13th week of pregnancy.
Myth 3: Prenatal exposure to classical music increases intelligence of the baby
Fact: Well, this is a yes and no. No, because there are no long-term studies to confirm that the child who was exposed to music prenatally is actually smarter (e.g. high IQ) than other kids who weren’t exposed. It’s also a yes because there are studies that show that babies who were exposed to music prenatally can recognise the music after birth and music seems to help with neural development for up to 4 months after birth. There are no adverse effects demonstrated in these studies, so why not? Go get that Mozart CD now!
Myth 4: Pregnant ladies should avoid exercise
Fact: There are ample studies to show that moderate exercises (e.g. yoga, low-impact aerobics, walking, cycling) are beneficial to both mother and child.
Myth 5: Sexual intercourse is a no-no!
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, sexual activity during pregnancy is perfectly normal and does not have any adverse effects on both mother and child nor does it induce labour. Just don’t overdo (such as being too rough or vigorous) and it will be fine. However, in certain patients with high risk of preterm labour, such as those with placenta previa (a placenta the lies near/on the opening of the cervix) then avoidance of sexual intercourse may be necessary.
- Arya, R., Chansoria, M., Konanki, R. and Tiwari, D. (2012). Maternal Music Exposure during Pregnancy Influences Neonatal Behaviour: An Open-Label Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Pediatrics, 2012, pp.1-6.
- Downs, D., Chasan-Taber, L., Evenson, K., Leiferman, J. and Yeo, S. (2012). Physical Activity and Pregnancy. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 83(4), pp.485-502.
- Hsiao, C., Wang, H., Hsieh, C. and Hsu, J. (2008). Fetal gender screening by ultrasound at 11 to 13+6weeks. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 87(1), pp.8-13.
- Jones, C., Chan, C. and Farine, D. (2011). Sex in pregnancy. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 183(7), pp.815-818.
- Monji, F., Adaikan, P., Lau, L., Bin Said, B., Gong, Y., Tan, H. and Choolani, M. (2016). Investigation of uterotonic properties of Ananas comosus extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 193, pp.21-29.
- Nwankudu, N., Ndibe, N. and Ijioma, S. (2018). Oxytocic Effect of Ananas comosus fruit Juice on isolated Pregnant Rats Uteri. NIGERIAN VETERINARY JOURNAL, 36(4), pp.1318-1326.
- Partanen, E., Kujala, T., Tervaniemi, M. and Huotilainen, M. (2013). Prenatal Music Exposure Induces Long-Term Neural Effects. PLoS ONE, 8(10), p.e78946.