Dr. Brandi Alt, an obstetrician-gynecologist with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System’s Upstate Ob/Gyn Group, spoke about common pregnancy myths, separating fact from fiction.
Some women report experiencing “baby brain,” describing forgetfulness or absent mindedness during pregnancy. When asked if baby brain is real, Dr. Alt said, “There really isn’t a true baby brain.” She continued, “I think it’s just the added brain activity: thinking about and starting to prepare for just motherhood and the responsibility of being a parent.”
Dr. Alt addressed another misconception that some women have. “I will see people very early in their pregnancy; they will be very cautious about exercise and activity,” she said. However, she said regular exercise is important during pregnancy. “Women should have 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, and I think that helps with maternal wellbeing. I think that helps with hormonal control. I think that helps with weight gain, and I think it helps with labor and transition afterwards,” she said.
Dr. Alt spoke about how much extra food women should eat when pregnant. She said that is “a huge, crazy myth too. People will say, ‘I’m eating for two,’ but you’re really eating for one. If you had a really great nutritious diet that’s 2200 to 2500 calories a day, that’s more than optimal for making a small human inside of you.”
When asked about ways to know the gender of an unborn baby, without an ultrasound or genetic test, Dr. Alt said, “There really aren’t any sort of ways that you’re carrying or how you gain weight or what you look like that really spells a certain gender,” she said.
Finally, she addressed the pressure that some pregnant women feel to be cautious and never feel stressed out. “Making a baby is very adaptable and being a mom isn’t perfect, so you’re going to have times with increased stress or sleep deprivation. It’s just so hard to create this perfect microcosm.” Dr. Alt also said unborn babies are very resilient. “Forty to sixty percent of pregnancies are unintended. So, at the end of the day, I see people who have done tremendous things to their body, and they still have healthy babies. I’m not advocating that in any way, shape or form, but we aren’t perfect.”
For more information about how to stay healthy, tune in to hear the experts of Bon Secours on Saturday at 10 a.m. on 106.3 WORD radio.
To submit a question to the Ask the Expert series, visit: https://www.wspa.com/ask-the-expert.