Congratulations! and welcome to the most beautiful prelude to motherhood. While you bask in your new-found happiness and enjoy being pampered by every single person you know, there are a couple of things I wish to share with you (and I hope you'll spare a few minutes to read).
The nine (or so) months ahead of you are going to be the most emotional roller coaster ride you will ever experience. Before you even know, well-meaning friends, relatives and people like me will flood (sometimes overwhelm) you with suggestions that can certainly leave you confused and bewildered. It's perfectly okay to listen to some (or none) of it and go with your own research or plan. Pregnancy, however, will bring with it a plethora of myths and that my dear is exactly what will leave you worried about whether you're doing the right thing or not. So I'm here to share my experience with the hope of giving you some much-needed assurance to deal with these so-called "food myths". I'll begin with the two most common ones that I experienced.
One of the many things I heard after announcing my pregnancy, apart from all the healthy food advice, was that I should be eating for two. My only worry with this piece of advice was "how do I know it's just two of us and not three (or more)!". I have no clue where this one originated but I was certainly in love with this idea that gave me the perfect excuse to eat more food. There were days I felt so desperately hungry, I wondered if this was the reason why people said I had to eat for two. A big myth indeed, it was my doctor who pointed out that focusing on the right amount of calories is more important than blindly believing that I should be eating as much as possible (just because I was pregnant). After talking to several friends, I began to concentrate on the big picture and altered my food habits accordingly. It definitely helped to have several small meals (including snacks) and I certainly felt better instead of just settling with the fact that I had to eat for two.
Moving on, another strange piece of advice I constantly received was not to eat too much seafood, particularly some forms of fish. I am not a huge fan of fish. In fact, I have never quite liked it at all. However, one of the many things I craved during those nine long months was, yes! fish, in all possible forms. I was blissfully unaware of this myth until someone quite literally stopped me from eating my delicious fish curry. So I assure you that I was quite unhappy and annoyed (with the person who stopped me) when I heard that 'eating too much seafood is bad' was indeed a big myth. While certain types of fish should be avoided, recent research proves that fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids and provides several nutrients to aid a baby's development. A brief discussion with my doctor (and a bit of help from Google) helped clear all my doubts on seafood consumption during my pregnancy. So, dear mom-to-be, I encourage you to talk to your doctor before believing any food related advice you might receive. It really goes a long way where 'peace of mind' is concerned.
There are several more strange and common myths you will hear about, stories that will surely seem quite true. Sweet or sour cravings will determine the gender of your baby, coconut water will ensure clear skin, ghee will make your delivery much easier and smooth etc. (Google has them all!). Some will swear that it worked for them and it very well might have (in their case) but several of these myths have been in existence even before our grandmother's were born. A well-balanced diet that covers all the major food groups is certain to yield better benefits rather than blindly following some of these myths. Talk to your Doctor, rely on your instinct and know that there are several books, online resources, and tools available to guide you.
Here's wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!