Local News

WRAL Health Team Debunks Pregnancy Myths

Posted February 17, 2006

— What can you do to make sure it's a healthy and happy birthday? The WRAL Health Team found that it does not begin with a positive pregnancy test, but before.

"We would love for people to come in and talk about being on prenatal vitamins and having folic acid in their system before they got pregnant," said OB/GYN Dr. Anita Hudson-Fraley.

Like most first-time pregnancies, Katherine Bekke had plenty of questions for Hudson-Fraley.

"Being diabetic, diet sodas were a big thing for me and those are actually things to still worry about," Bekke said.

Most diabetics should avoid sugary sodas. Hudson-Fraley steers expectant mothers away from nutrasweet.

"We don't have any studies that say that it's any harm for the baby, but we're just using common sense reasoning," she said.

Hudson-Fraley said the artificial sweetener, SPLENDA, is safe. It's the first trimester when the fetus develops its organs, so some chemicals that could get into the blood stream are a concern.

"When it comes to hair dying, hair coloring, getting your nails done, theoretically, we worry," she said.

Bekke was worried about getting a salon manicure. Again, the concern is over chemicals getting into the bloodstream.

"One of my good friends got married at the end of my first trimester, and I snuck it in and I figured once would be a safe bet," she said.

Some question whether getting in a pool with chlorine is safe.

"Swimming is great exercise for women. It takes a lot of pressure and relieves a lot of stress, so we love for women to go swimming," Hudson-Fraley said.

The best advice is when in doubt, ask your doctor.

Plenty of people warn pregnant women away from electric blankets and tooth whiteners. WRAL Health Team Dr. Allen Mask said those are fine.

Plus, a number of expectant mothers worry about mercury in tooth fillings and flu vaccines. Hudson-Fraley said both are safe and that the unborn baby faces greater risk from the flu itself.


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