For whatever reason, pregnancy has fueled a huge number of myths over the years. So much so that it's easy to imagine pregnancy is all these so-called "old wives" had time to talk about!
Should you avoid changing the cat litter when you're pregnant?
Yes, but the risk is probably pretty small. Toxoplasmosis, a virus that can damage a developing fetus, may be present in your cat's litter box, on his paws and fur, and even in your carpeting, but it's rare in indoor cats.
Should pregnant women avoid carrying anything heavy?
Yes. The body of a pregnant woman is adapting to lots of internal changes, including increased weight. This puts her at risk for dizziness, inadvertent clumsiness and potential spills, which can be very serious. To play it safe, avoid lifting anything weighing more than 25 pounds.
Should a pregnant woman stop eating fish?
It depends. Although mercury does pose a risk to the developing fetus, eating fish has potential benefits that shouldn't be overlooked, such as lots of Omega 3 fatty acids that help the baby's brain develop and work to control the mother's blood pressure during pregnancy. Smaller, younger fish contain less mercury and are a safer bet. Swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel should be avoided during pregnancy, and consumption of Albacore tuna should be kept to 6 ounces per week or less.
Is carrying the baby low an indication that it will be a boy?
No. The way a woman carries her pregnancy has to do with her body type, height and whether or not she's had other children. Gender has nothing to do with it.
Should a woman gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy?
There's no standard amount of weight a woman should gain during pregnancy, although in her final trimester the baby will gain around a half a pound each week.
Is it easier to get pregnant the second time?
Yes. You're more likely to get pregnant faster the second time around. Couples with kids conceive about twice as fast as those without children -- around six months as opposed to a year or more.
If your male partner has brothers, are you more likely to have a boy?
No. Although the sperm contribution determines the sex of the baby, the process is pretty random. The number of boys (or girls) in the family isn't a useful clue.
Are people becoming less fertile?
No. There's no reason to believe people are becoming less fertile. Many couples are starting their families later in life and pushing the envelope on what has traditionally been considered a woman's reproductive years.
Does sexual position influence gender?
No. Different sexual positions have no impact on a baby's gender.
Should pregnant women avoid hot baths?
Kind of. Bathing in water warmer than 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 degrees Celsius) can be harmful, but temperatures below that can reduce swelling, increase amniotic fluid and even prevent early contractions.
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!
Get smarter every day! Subscribe & get 1 quiz every week.
Playing quizzes is free! We send trivia questions and personality tests every week to your inbox. By clicking "Sign Up" you are agreeing to our
and confirming that you are 13 years old or over.