10 Pregnancy Myths
Glowing skin. Bad sex. Cravings for pickles and ice cream. You may expect these changes - but here’s why they may not happen to you
Myth: No matter how much he tries, your partner can't "feel your pain"
If Laurie Russo's pregnancy was disappointing, the closeness she gained with her husband was its reward. A former editor of a women's sports magazine, Russo, of Louisville, CO, kept up her rigorous exercise regimen of running, cycling, hiking, and swimming. But several months of intermittent spotting, followed by a pinched nerve in her back, caused her to forfeit her active lifestyle - and peace of mind. "By the end of the pregnancy I felt like a failure," she recalls. "I couldn't work well, couldn't be a good wife, couldn't be the active pregnant woman I thought I'd be."
Enter husband Ken: "He was very understanding and took over the cleaning and cooking. He was always ready to listen." Still, Russo was shocked when Ken asked her to give herself a break by leaving her job. "He knew what I needed more than I did," she says. She quit - for good - the next day.
Some ways to encourage your partner to understand what you're going through, and share in the pregnancy: Ask him to give up alcohol and eat just as nutritiously as you; shop for the baby with him; do a prenatal exercise routine together; give him books to read about pregnancy and birth.
Myth: Your prenatal checkups will be high points in your pregnancy
Of course it's exciting to see your baby's image for the first time on the ultrasound screen. But not every visit to the obstetrician is a benchmark. In fact, most are quite routine: a check of urine, measurement of your weight, blood pressure, and uterine size, and - after about 12 weeks - a quick listen to the baby's heartbeat.
The upside: It's a good sign when checkups are uneventful. Since they're designed to detect problems, no news is good news.
But if feeling shuffled in and out of exams seems dull, read up on the changes happening to you and your baby beforehand so you can ask your doctor specific questions. Most obstetricians welcome dialogue and the opportunity to establish an open, comfortable relationship, says Dr. Henderson. After all, he says, "this is a partnership that lasts nine months and ends with doctors participating in one of the most momentous occasions in our patients' lives."