Get the facts about common pregnancy nutrition misconceptions

During pregnancy, your mother, your grandmother and most definitely your mother in law will tell you what you can and cannot eat. Old lady tales aside, understanding pregnancy nutrition boils down to the ones that you need the most and the ones that are most important. Here are a couple of most commonly believed myths newly pregnant moms would have had offered to them as advice.

 

Nutrition matters during and after pregnancy

MYTH: The thinking that you should not worry, your child will feed off of what you have left, so don’t mind what you eat!

TRUTH: Not necessarily. What you eat during pregnancy makes a difference in the quality of nutrition your baby receives and establishes the foundation for your baby’s health for the rest of his life. Give your child a head start to a strong healthy life by taking care of your own.

 

When you should start eating healthy

MYTH: If you were not healthy before, trying to be healthy because you want to be pregnant won’t help.

TRUTH: While you may want to try your best to be healthy because you are expecting, trying to be healthy in general is good for any situation. Like mentioned above, a good start is a healthy start, so start and choose healthier habits for you and your baby.

 

Eating fish during your pregnancy

MYTH: Don’t eat fish! Fish has mercury! It is not safe to eat during your pregnancy!

TRUTH: Technically all seafoods contain a small amount of mercury because of the body of water it lived in. Many popular types of fishes like salmon, canned tuna, cod and tilapia are very low in mercury. Fish is actually good for pregnancy because of its low fat and contains high-quality protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. The Omega-3 fatty acid is what will help your child’s brain and eye development in the womb. And obviously the mercury scare doesn’t come from nowhere. Certain fishes, such as shark, swordfish, parrot fish, and king mackerel can contain high levels of mercury. You can safely consume up to 340 grams of seafood low in mercury (shrimp, salmon, catfish, canned tuna, etc.) per week while pregnant according to ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) Nutrition During Pregnancy recommendations.

 

Smart eating vs. empty-calories

MYTH: I can eat anything I want! Food is food! As long as I don’t eat too much!

TRUTH: Most people would consider eating sugary or oily foods that do not have much nutritional value more than for their desirable taste, is not that much of an issue when pregnant. The thing is most people, including expecting mothers, do not know that they are eating way more than they think they are or even healthy. Try your best, even garner the help of your loved ones to help you plan, to limit your empty-calorie foods and swap out for healthy options when cravings occur.

 

Reference(s):

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/nutrition/myths-truths#
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-fish/art-20044185