6 Common Pregnancy Claims Explained
When it comes to pregnancy, there are a lot of misconceptions.
We’re here to help you sort fact from fiction.
Claim: You should not dye your hair while pregnant.
False. Though some chemicals contained in hair dyes might cause harm, this is only so in very high concentrations which is not the case with current permanent and semi-permanent dyes (34,35,36).
Also, the dye is mostly in contact with your scalp and the small amount that your skin could absorb probably won’t ever reach your baby (35,36).
To be on the safer side, wait to be in your second trimester before dying your hair and try to decrease your usage frequency as much as possible (34,35,36).
Claim: Taking a warm bath or going into a hot tub can hurt the baby.
True. Staying in warm water for an extended period of time will raise your body temperature. At this point, your body might try to cool you down without success and leave you feeling faint (38).
A rise in your body’s temperature can also harm your baby, especially in the first trimester (38). Try to avoid sitting in water warmer than 35-40॰C or in a hot sauna for longer than 20 min (38,39).
Claim: You shouldn’t drink alcohol during pregnancy.
True. To date, there is no determined amount of alcohol or alcohol type that can be safely consumed during pregnancy. For this reason, it is advised to avoid consuming alcohol while pregnant or planning to become pregnant (10,12,13,14).
Claim: You can’t drink coffee during pregnancy.
False. You can safely drink coffee while pregnant. However, you need to limit your caffeine consumption to 200 to 300 mg per day (6,7,10). Keep in mind that other food such as cola, tea, energy drink and chocolate can contain caffeine as well (6).
Approximate amount of caffeine in (6,7):
Coffee = 95-140 mg per mug
Tea* = 47-75 mg per mug
Cola = 40 mg per can
Energy drink = 80 mg per can
Chocolate bar = 10-25 mg per 50g
*Some herbal teas are not safe to drink during pregnancy (i.e. chamomile tea). Make sure to check with your healthcare provider first (10).
Claim: More frequent heartburn means you will have a hairy baby.
True. Research has found a correlation between heartburn and the amount of hair a baby is born with (18,19,20).
However, heartburn itself is probably not the culprit.
Instead, scientists think that the hormones estrogen and progesterone might be at play. Both promote fetal hair growth, but can also cause heartburn during pregnancy (18,19).
Claim: You should avoid eating pineapple during pregnancy.
False. There is a misconception that pineapple juice causes miscarriages if consumed early during pregnancy and induces labour if consumed later on (24).
One study on rats found that drinking pineapple juice did not induce labor (25).
Another study, also made on rats, found that, when applied directly to the uterus, pineapple juice might stimulate uterine activity (26).
Another study found that pineapple juice did induce contraction in the lab, but once given to, you’ve guessed it, live rats it did not cause miscarriage and all rat babies were born at term (27).
So unless you plan on applying pineapple juice directly into your uterus, eating pineapple during your pregnancy is safe and a good source of nutrients and even folic acid (28,29). It might, however, cause heartburn as it is very acidic (28,30).