Book challenges some conventional advice for pregnant women - Dallas News |

Book challenges some conventional advice for pregnant women

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A new book is challenging some serious medical advice routinely given to pregnant women, and the author isn't even a doctor. But she says her research may have you rethinking the dos and don'ts of pregnancy.

Having been pregnant three times myself, I am familiar with some of these pregnancy myths. But I decided to come to a playground in New York to see what other mommies avoided during their pregnancies. Here are some of the things New York moms said they were told to avoid:

  • Working out on your back and weight lifting
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Dying your hair and pedicures
  • Eating salami, shellfish, raw meat, raw fish
  • Stress
  • Certain acne products
  • Too much exercise
  • Wine and other alcohol

A new book called "Expecting Better" by economist Emily Oster attempts to bust the myths surrounding pregnancy by using a data-cruncher approach.

"The book is really about data, it's more of a compliment side to the data you get from your doctor," Oster said. "My goal is that when women read this, they will see something about the data and then go in to their doctor and have a more informed conversation with their doctor which incorporates what we see on the medical side with what we see on the decision making side."

Dr. Amos Gruenbaum, the director of obstetrics at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, debunk some of the myths our mommies believed.

"There's really not much evidence that dying your hair is really bad," he said.

However, he did say: "There are many studies out there that show that more than 2 cups of coffee can potentially be harmful."

As for sushi, the doctor said that while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises moms-to-be to avoid eating raw fish, he could not find evidence that sushi is bad.

What about very-talked-about alcohol?

"Alcohol should be a no no," Dr. Gruenbaum said because of the real risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.

How about sex? Dr. Gruenbaum said having sex during pregnancy does no harm.

So ladies, do your research, talk to your doctor, and follow your instincts.

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