PREGNANCY MYTHS DEBUNKED
From exercising being not safe to doing pre-natal yoga for normal labour, we bust some myths about fitness routines for to-be mums
Experts usually recommend maintaining a regular and light exercise routine during pregnancy, but women like Australian nutritionist and fitness model Sophie Guidolin and American athlete Alysia Montano opted for a different approach during their three trimesters.
Guidolin actively advocated heavy exercise. Pictures of her lifting weights in her 26th week of pregnancy went viral on social media three weeks ago, drawing criticism. On a social networking site, she wrote, “A lot of people express concern over women exercising in pregnancy. There are so many myths, old wives tales and opinions out there; it is hard to understand what’s the truth and what is made up. In my opinion, listen to no one except a qualified and trusted medical staff (sic).”
Montano made headlines last year for completing an 800 metre race in less than three minutes, when she was eight months pregnant.
While one may or may not agree with their workout philosophies, gynecologists and fitness experts accept that many women tend to avoid exercising during pregnancy — a myth they would like to see busted. Deepali Jain, an aqua workout specialist, says, “I have trained with almost 13 pregnant women, and I feel that expecting mothers should exercise. It promotes flexibility of the joints and relaxes the muscles, thus promoting an easy delivery.” Taking note, we list a few more myths that can be done away with:
MYTH: Do pre-natal yoga for normal labour.
REALITY: There is no study to substantiate that pre-natal yoga results in normal labour.
MYTH: Abdominal workouts are unsafe.
REALITY: Not only are they safe, but they also strengthen your abdominal and pelvic muscles — a must during pregnancy.
MYTH: You should eat for two.
REALITY: You only need to increase your intake of iron, calcium, folic acid and essential vitamins. Avoid sugar, spices and deep-fried food. Weight gain during pregnancy should be 7-11kg.
MYTH: An occasional glass of beer or wine is allowed.
REALITY: Experts say consumption of alcohol is avoidable during pregnancy, even in moderation.
MYTH: Multiple ultrasonographies (USGs) harm the baby.
REALITY: USGs are safe and help in right diagnosis of the foetus.
MYTH: Passive smoking is acceptable.
REALITY: Passive smoking is equally dangerous and increases the risk of birth-related defects.
This picture, posted online by nutritionist and fitness model Sophie Guidolin, sparked a debate
about how far expectant mothers
should go when it comes to exercising without putting their
babies at risk
(With inputs from Kiran Coelho,
consultant gynecologist and obstetrician, and Bandita Sinha,
gynecologist and obstetrician)