The minute a woman becomes pregnant, people start throwing all sort of advice – some accurate, some not – her way from not being able to have sex to coffee being strictly off limits. Not only is it overwhelming, but you also start to lose sight of what’s true and what’s not true. With the help of Dr. Bola Oyeyipo, a family physician in San Antonio, Texas and co-founder of Healthgist.com, we’re dispelling five of the most common pregnancy myths just for you.
Myth #1: Cocoa butter is the key to preventing stretch marks.
Whether a woman will develop stretch marks during pregnancy largely depends on genetics. Stretch marks are formed deep below the layers of the skin. So, all the cocoa butter is doing is hydrating your skin, which may help reduce the appearance stretch marks, but it won’t actually prevent them from forming. Sorry! The best way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy? “Keep the pregnancy weight gain gradual and avoid excessive weight gain,” Dr. Oyeyipo recommends. “Gaining a lot of weight within a short period of time will cause stretch marks.”
Myth #2: Pregnant women cannot be around cats.
If you’re a pregnant woman who also loves cats, the good news is that you don’t have to suddenly get rid of him or her or stop visiting your best friend’s cat named Whiskers.
“Pregnant women can be around cats, but they should not empty the cat litter,” Dr. Oyeyipo confirms. “Cats are carriers of a parasite called toxoplasma gondii, which causes the disease toxoplasmosis. This parasite could cause fetal malformation and blindness when transmitted from a pregnant women to the unborn child.”
If you do not have anyone to empty out your cat’s litter box on a daily basis, consider having a close friend or family member take care of your cat throughout your pregnancy.