Fact or myth

Fact or myth?

Myth: You need to eat for two when you're pregnant.

In the past, it was thought that you need to eat for you and your baby during pregnancy, but we now know that you only need to eat healthily for yourself. It's only in the final three months of your pregnancy that you’ll need an extra 200 calories a day, which is only the equivalent of two slices of wholemeal or wholegrain toast with low fat spread. So if your mum tells you to eat for two, say no thanks. You only need to eat for you!

Myth: You shouldn't exercise while pregnant, it's too risky for the baby.

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – in fact, there's plenty of evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour. Whether it's yoga, dancing or just walking to the shops, it's best to keep active for as long as you feel comfortable. Some sports are also fine, as long as there's no risk of being hit or falling over.

Fact: You're OK to eat peanuts.

The government previously advised women to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever or food allergy) in the immediate family. This advice has now changed because the latest research shows that there is no clear evidence to say whether eating peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing an allergy. So unless you're allergic to them yourself or a health professional advises you not to, feel free to smother your toast with peanut butter!

Myth: You should have a glass of Guinness every day because it's full of iron.

It's not the iron that's the issue, it's the alcohol. The NHS recommends that you avoid alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) reaffirmed this advice in January 2016 saying women should avoid alcohol altogether if pregnant. If you're short of iron, you're likely to lack energy and may be anaemic, but you'd be better off getting it from lean meat, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, and fortified breakfast cereals instead.