Are pregnancy myths real?

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Despite medical advances and rapid changes in technology, many Filipinos still cling to traditional beliefs about pregnancy.

While some of these beliefs can serve as fair warning for expectant mothers, some can cause more harm than good.

Here are just some of the more popular superstitions moms-to-be encounter pre-birth.

#1: Pregnancy cravings can affect what your child will look like.

The "paglilihi" or early conception phase is often a cause of concern among pregnant women. And it isn't just limited to what she wants to eat, it can strike all senses -- things she likes to see, hear, smell or even feel. To date, there is no scientific basis backing up these claims. Satisfying a craving, however, can help a great deal in making a pregnant women feel more comfortable, therefore easing physical and emotional stress.

#2: What a woman looks like during the course of her pregnancy will determine whether her baby will be a boy or girl.

A woman's body undergoes many changes in the course of her pregnancy, and many believe her physical appearance is a preview of the gender of her child. For instance, women who have that pregnancy "glow" is expected to give birth to a girl, while women who have hyperpigmentation or look a little less "radiant" will give birth to a boy. Despite the popularity of this claim, the only ways to determine a baby's sex would be through an ultrasound and other tests.

#3: Spicy food can help induce labor

Medical professionals say the only safe way to start labor is by taking medication given by health professionals. There is no scientific proof that eating spicy food will help push the baby out. Besides, doing anything without the approval and supervision of a doctor could harm both mom and baby.

These are some myths pregnant women hear during the course of their pregnancy. There are no hard and fast rules on whether they should be followed or ignored.

The best thing is to always consult with a doctor before doing anything drastic.

What is important is to ensure a mom-to-be gets proper nutrition to support the life growing inside her.

Anmum can help a woman meet 100 percent of her pregnancy nutritional needs compared to regular milk.

With just two glasses a day, a mom-to-be gets a higher chance of:

- a normal pregnancy leading to a normal delivery.

- lower chances of complications during pregnancy and incidence of of premature deliveries.

- higher chances of successful breastfeeding.

- increased chance for a normal growth and development - along with normal birth and weight.

- lower chance of stillbirths, congenital malformations, and neonatal deaths.

- lower incidence of illness and stronger resistance to infection.

While believing popular pregnancy myths may be a matter of choice, what is imperative is that the soon-to-be mom gets complete daily vitamins and nutrients from the milk she drinks during her term.