How Much of a Pregnancy Expert Are You?

HEALTH

Maria Trimarchi

7 Min Quiz

Is it true morning sickness only happens in the morning?

Although it's called morning sickness, it can hit at any time of the day. Between half to three-quarters of women report some level of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Its high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the placenta, that's to blame. HCG peaks between 8 and 12 weeks, which is why many women get a reprieve once the second trimester begins -- although that's no guarantee.

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Is it true if you see something ugly while you're pregnant, you will have an ugly baby?

This is a real concern among some women, but it's definitely not true. Your baby's looks are determined by the genes he or she inherits.

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About 1 in 3 babies are born with the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck. Why does this happen?

Although a commonly-believed old wives' tale, lifting your hands over your head will not cause the umbilical cord to strangle the fetus. Practicing yoga and having sex aren't to blame, either. What is? Usually it's the baby's own movements that cause this to happen (and during delivery, your doctor takes it off).

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Is it true because you're eating for two you don't need to pay attention to calories?

You are eating for you and your baby-on-board, but he or she doesn't need as many calories as you, a full-grown adult. Although recommended weight gain varies depending on your weight before you became pregnant, typically you're aiming for an extra 300 calories per day.

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Which is a good way to control your weight and stay in shape while pregnant?

Low-impact workouts can be a great way to stay in shape during pregnancy, prepare yourself for the marathon-pace of labor and stay within your pregnancy weight gain goals. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend 30 minutes most days a week.

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Before pregnancy, a uterus is the size of an orange. When the baby is full-term, the uterus has grown to roughly the size of which fruit?

At the end of the first trimester, the uterus has grown from the size of an orange to the size of a grapefruit. By week 24, the uterus has expanded to the size of a papaya. And when the baby is full-term, the uterus is the size of a watermelon.

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Is it true you can't take any meds while you're pregnant?

No, it's not true. Although you should always check with your doctor, many over-the-counter and prescription meds can be taken safely.

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Can you prevent a first trimester pregnancy loss with bed rest?

Between half and three-quarters of first trimester miscarriages are caused by abnormalities in the baby's chromosomes, which bed rest, while harmless, can't help.

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Which should you avoid because they may make your body too hot?

Although you may want to soak in a hot, steamy bath to soothe your pregnancy aches, it's a no-no. And that goes for anything else that can raise your body temperature to 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

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If you decide to eat a hot dog during pregnancy, how should you cook it?

When you cook that hot dog, heat it through until steaming. Eating ready-to-eat meats, poultry, seafood and dairy products puts you at risk for a listeria infection. And according to the FDA, pregnant women are 10 times more likely to become infected.

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When it comes to newborns, is bigger always better?

On average, babies weight about 7.5 pounds when they're born. But babies born much larger, such as the 1.5 percent born over 10 pounds, have a greater risk of developing diabetes or becoming obese later in life.

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Which is not a common side effect of pregnancy hormones in a woman's body?

Expectant moms can expect some side effects from pregnancy hormones, some good and some not so great. Some women find their hair, nails and skin are better than ever. But pregnancy can also cause acne, skin tags, chloasma (known as the mask of pregnancy) and linea nigra (which is a dark line across the belly).

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How much alcohol can you drink safely during pregnancy?

While some experts recommend avoiding all alcohol because we don't know what the limit is, others believe an occasional glass of wine won't cause problems.

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Does cocoa butter prevent stretch marks?

Because stretch marks happen when your skin stretches, no cream, lotion or potion can prevent them from happening. Cocoa butter, or any other lotion, isn't absorbed deeply enough in your skin to make a difference.

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What oral health problems are women at greater risk of developing during pregnancy?

An expectant mother with untreated gum disease may put her baby at risk of being pre-term or low-birth weight. There's no risk in keeping up with your oral health while you're pregnant, so don't skip your dental check-ups.

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What protects the fetus from being hurt during sex?

While there may be special cases where it's not advised, there's no need to worry about hurting the baby by having sex. Several things protect the baby, including the birth canal, the cervix, the uterus and the amniotic fluid sac. It is, however, possible to bump the cervix, which could gently jostle the amniotic fluid (and the baby in it).

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Can you predict the sex of your baby by how fast or slow the fetal heart rate is?

Because the fetal heart rate changes based on fetal age and level of activity, it will change throughout your pregnancy. And while some may believe that a faster heartbeat means a girl, there's no evidence the beats per minute can indicate the baby's gender.

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It's recommended women gain how much weight during pregnancy?

For women of a healthy weight, experts recommend 25 to 35 pounds of weight gain during pregnancy. Women who are underweight or overweight will have different goals.

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What does it mean if you have a full, round face during pregnancy?

People have a 50 percent chance of being right when they guess you're having a girl based on nothing more than your round face and glowing skin. There's nothing the shape and fullness of your face can predict.

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Which of these vaccinations is considered safe to have during your pregnancy?

Certain vaccinations, including mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) and varicella, do pose some risk during pregnancy. But tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and the flu shot are all OK -- and the flu vaccine is recommended.

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Why do you need to get rid of your cat when you get pregnant?

You don't have to get rid of your cat when you get pregnant. But, because cat feces can carry toxoplasmosis (a parasite that, if you're infected, can cause birth defects), you should avoid cleaning the litterbox. Impossible? Wear gloves, wash your hands well and scoop every day.

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Is it true or false that you should stop drinking coffee during your pregnancy?

Coffee lovers will love this: it's typically okay to indulge your daily caffeine fix while you're pregnant. But! While there's no clear evidence caffeine will increase the risk of a low birth weight baby, or a pregnancy loss, it's recommended you have no more than one 12-ounce cup of coffee, which amounts to less than 200 milligrams of caffeine.

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Do you have to give up sushi when you're pregnant?

Eating sushi is fine during pregnancy, but you need to be picky about what you select. Skip the raw fish rolls, and stick with cooked fish or vegetables in your sushi.

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Is it true labor is faster with your second baby?

Waiting to be fully dilated and effaced is no picnic, but -- sorry, ladies -- the pushing stage may not be as quick and easy as you'd like to believe, no matter if you're a new or seasoned mom. If you're a new mom, you can expect to push between one and three hours. Moms who've been through labor before often find the pushing stage to be faster than during their first pregnancy, and usually push for no more than an hour.

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Which is a common cause of pregnancy loss before 20 weeks?

Chromosomal abnormalities are the No. 1 cause of first-trimester loss (during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy), although hormonal problems, infection and other conditions may also be factors for some women.

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Among these, which cheese carries the lowest risk for food-borne illness?

Any soft, unpasteurized cheeses, like Brie, feta and goat cheeses, carry a risk of contamination -- meaning you may get a food-borne illness. Cheeses like Cheddar and Swiss are safe because they've been pasteurized.

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What common craving can be a sign of anemia?

Ice cream delivers on a fat craving. And the crunch, tang and saltiness of pickles aren't too much to worry about. But when you crave strange things like dirt, soap or wood, it's a condition called pica, which is a red flag for anemia. (Chewing on ice, too, is a warning sign.)

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What's the correct way to complete this old wives' tale? "Carry ____, it's a girl. Carry ____, it's a boy."

Carry high, it's a girl. Carry low, it's a boy. This is an old and still popular belief. But it's false. The position you carry has more to do with your muscle tone, your height and weight, the position the baby happens to be in at the time and how close you are to the end of your pregnancy.

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How does this old wives' tale end? If a pregnant woman goes outside during an eclipse, her baby will be born with a _____.

Your palate is formed between the sixth and 10th week of pregnancy, when the bones and tissues that make up the roof of the mouth and upper lip fuse together. If they don't fuse together completely, the result is a cleft palate. But going outside during an eclipse won't cause any babies to be born with this common birth defect.

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Experts used to believe pregnancy protected women against which mental health condition?

Although experts used to believe pregnancy protected women against developing or worsening mood disorders, today we know that's not how it works. It's estimated 1 in 13 women will have a depressive episode during pregnancy. And as many as 1 in 7 women will develop postpartum depression, depression that occurs in the first few weeks after delivery.

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Pregnancies are considered full term at how many weeks?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine considers a pregnancy to be full-term at 39-40 weeks -- a bit longer than the 9 months so many of us believe it to be. (Early term is considered 37-38 weeks, and 41-42 weeks is late term.) A full-term pregnancy is broken into three trimesters, each approximately 13 weeks long.

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About three percent of babies are born with a birth defect. What's the most common risk factor?

Although conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy and obesity are associated with birth defects, as many as 70 percent of birth defects are from unknown causes.

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Does a woman's hip width matter when it comes to giving birth?

A width of a woman's hips doesn't matter, positively or negatively, when she's giving birth. The width of her pelvis, though can make a difference.

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Is it safe to color your hair while you're pregnant?

Hair treatment products are absorbed through your skin but only in very small amounts. There is no evidence that hair dyes, perms or relaxers pose a risk to expecting moms. (Although strong fumes from some hair treatment products may make you feel nauseated.)

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Which statement about pregnancy and flying is true?

Most women can fly through their entire pregnancy without any problems. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, or you are very close to your due date, your doctor may prefer if you stay on the ground, but each pregnancy is different.

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About This Quiz

Is it true that the more severe a woman's heartburn is during her pregnancy, the more hair her baby will be born with? It sounds like an old wives' tale, and it is, but it turns out it really is true. See how much you know about pregnancy is true and how much is superstition.

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