When you first find out you’re pregnant, there is so much information to take in! It can be overwhelming to say the least and conflicting information can muddy the waters making it so confusing to know what exactly to believe. So, we wanted to make it easy for you and break down some of the biggest 1st Trimester Myths.
True or false? Let’s separate fact from fiction and get to the bottom of these 1st Trimester Pregnancy Myths.
Myth 1 – you can’t drink coffee when pregnant
False! You can have caffeine, but no more than 200mg per day. Remember caffeine can be in other drinks and goods outside of coffee and tea.
- 100mg in a mug of instant coffee
- 140mg in a mug of filter coffee
- 75mg in a mug of tea (green tea can have the same amount of caffeine as regular tea)
- 40mg in a can of cola
- 80mg in a 250ml can of energy drink
- less than 25mg in a 50g bar of plain dark chocolate
- less than 10mg in a 50g bar of plain milk chocolate
Myth 2 – You can drink a small amount of alcohol safely
False! There is no known safe alcohol intake in pregnancy, so it’s best to avoid it completely.
Drinking alcohol in pregnancy may affect your babies growth and development in the womb, leading to an increased risk of miscarriage, growth restriction or premature labour. Drinking heavily in pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a condition that causes physical and mental disabilities.
Myth 3 – Having sex throughout your pregnancy is safe for your baby
True! You can safely have sex throughout your pregnancy unless your doctor or midwife states otherwise.
Penetrative sex cannot harm your baby. You may find some positions more uncomfortable when pregnant and need to explore what feels best for you. IIf your placenta is low lying and you have had bleeding; you might be advised to avoid sex. You should avoid sex if your waters have broken or if you have an issue with your cervix that put’s you at higher risk of miscarriage.
Myth 4 – You should avoid hot baths, Jacuzzis or saunas
True! In situations where you are unable to sweat effectively like hot baths, steam rooms or saunas, you are at risk of overheating. This can lead to dehydration or fainting. The NHS suggests that activities that rise the core temperature should be avoided in the first 12 weeks. There is however limited research on this and mixed findings from studies.
Myth 5 – You can’t fly when pregnant
False! If you have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, air travel is generally safe.
If you have got an medical conditions or had complications in your pregnancy, speak to your doctor or midwife about what is safe for you. Most airlines will ask you to bring a letter of fitness to fly from 28 weeks and will let you travel until 36 weeks pregnant or 32 weeks pregnant if having twins. Be mindful of how you might feel when planning a trip – in the first trimester fatigue and nausea and vomiting may mean travelling is more challenging. Similarly, the last few weeks of pregnancy can be tiring and you may wish to avoid anything to challenging.
Make sure you are prepared – have good travel insurance and know where local healthcare facilities are in case you have any issues abroad. Avoid areas with Zika virus and think about Malaria risks and any travel vaccinations you may need.
Long haul flights (more than 4 hours) carry a risk of clot or deep vein thrombosis. Ensure you stay hydrated, mobilise regularly and consider wearing compression stockings.
Myth 6 – You should be eating for two.
False! Although you are likely to experience an increased appetite, you do not eat to eat for two when pregnant.
You may need about 200 calories more than normal. Ensure your diet remains healthy with good balance of all the food groups and try and avoid excessive amounts of sugary foods as this can increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
So that’s our round up of our 1st trimester myths. Check our other resources on pregnancy, or if you have further specific questions, speak to your midwife or GP for further advice.
Related content: Do I need extra vitamins when I am pregnant?
“Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. For The Creators has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.”