Forming a new human being is the most complicated thing a person can do without really having to think about it. But that doesn’t mean women don’t fret over it.
So three Californian OB/GYNs — tired of getting called at 3 a.m. by frantic pregnant women who had woken up to find themselves sleeping on their backs or who had eaten raw meat and wanted to get their stomachs pumped (yes, those are two real examples) — decided to write a book: The Mommy Docs Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth.
Drs. Yvonne Bohn, Allison Hill and Alane Park also host a TV show called “Deliver Me” on Discovery, and they’ve all gestated children — which gives them at least one advantage over Dr. Spock. We asked them to deconstruct the most common myths about pregnancy, some of which are propagated in extremely popular and well-regarded pregnancy books.
Myth #1: Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks. False. In fact using cocoa butter makes women’s skin more sensitive, and some women have allergic reactions to it. Dr. Park treated one woman who came in with bright pink circles on her breasts. She couldn’t figure out why, until the patient copped to using cocoa butter to try to keep her breasts perky.
Myth #2: You can’t fly during your first or last trimester. Nope. False again. You can fly whenever you want. Some airlines won’t let you on the plane in your last trimester, but that has more to do with fears that you’ll go into labor and force the plane to land or spoil the upholstery.
Myth #3: You can’t pet your cat during pregnancy. False. However, you shouldn’t change your cat’s litter box during pregnancy because of the risk of toxoplasmosis from the dookies. And also, because, dammit, you’re growing a human being, and do you have to everything?
Myth #5: You can’t eat sushi. False. Sushi is permissible except for mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish. And don’t eat too much tuna — no more than 12. oz (about two maki, or rolls) per week.
Myth #6: No hot dogs either? False. Hot dogs are also fine to eat, as long as they’re well-cooked.
Myth #7: Pregnant women should keep away from polished furniture. So false. Dr. Bohn once treated a woman who was nervous about sitting on her couch, because of the furniture polish fumes. Sheesh.
Myth #8: Dying your hair is harmful for Baby. Wrong again. False. (Damn, I fell for that one too.)