I'm a midwife and these 7 pregnancy ‘facts’ just aren't true

I'm a midwife and these 7 pregnancy ‘facts’ just aren't true

February 9, 2022

A MIDWIFE has busted some myths about pregnancy – picking apart some of the topics that mums-to-be agonise over.

Sarah Pringle regularly posts about all things gynaecological on her TikTok account.

The certified nurse-midwife has revealed truths about birth, exams and contraception.

There are all sorts of things pregnant women worry about as they await the birth of their little one.

Mums want to do everything they can to stay safe and healthy, and avoid anything that might cause problems.

But there are so many different topics and theories, making it a minefield to wade through.

Luckily Sarah has jumped right in to tackle some of these old wives tales.

Some women avoid taking baths while pregnant, fearing the heat will rise their temperature and be stressful for the baby.

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There is a small link between high temperatures and risk of neural tube defects in early pregnancy.

But this is more to do with extreme heat like saunas, steam baths and hot tubs, with Sarah saying "baths are ok".

It has been claimed for years cocoa butter prevents stretch marks, as the baby bump grows.

While it could help you feel better and keep your skin healthy, Sarah slammed the myth.

She said simply: "Cocoa butter won't prevent stretch marks."

Another myth is that it's important to sleep on your left side, as it helps the baby.

The theory is that by doing so it keeps the uterus off your liver, and improves circulation to the heart which keeps blood flow strong to the foetus.

This leads to women worrying they can't sleep on their right side, as it might hurt their child.

But Sarah has also busted this one, saying: "You don't always have to lay on your left side."


Pregnant women who regularly dye their hair can find themselves wondering if they should keep doing it.

Fears have swirled around the chemicals in the dyes could be harmful to the baby, with some doctors recommending waiting until you are beyond 12 weeks.

But the NHS has said most research, although limited, has shown it is safe to dye your hair while pregnant.

Sarah also takes this view, chiming in too with: "You can colour your hair".

Many pregnant women decide not to have caffeine at all, just in case.

Having too much coffee and tea while pregnant can cause problems for the baby, but it doesn't mean you have to cut it out entirely.

Experts recommend no more than 200mg a day, which is about 2 cups of coffee.

Sarah told mums-to-be they don't have to miss out on their favourite cup of comfort, saying: "You can drink small amounts of caffeine."


Massages are another cause of concern for pregnant mums – with many unsure if it's ok to have one.

Fears of pressure points being triggered and clot risks heightened can put off women, when in fact a nice massage could be just what they need.

Sarah said "you can get a massage" – but it's worth bearing in mind that some spas won't take women during their first trimester, with deep tissue work avoided.

Skin tanning lotion contains various chemicals – which can cause concern this could be absorbed and harm the baby.

But these only go into the first few layers of skin and doesn't reach your bloodstream, so it's very unlikely it would affect the growing foetus.

Sarah confirmed "you can use self tanning lotion", while pregnant – but be careful to wash it from your hands so you don't accidentally get any in your mouth later on.

You must avoid tanning beds though – which are harmful even if not pregnant – as these can cause skin cancer.

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