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Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months and that you continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years or longer along with complementary foods.

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Home / Pregnant / Food myths / Pregnancy nutrition myths around the world

Pregnancy nutrition myths around the world

It’s not just in Canada that moms-to-be get all kinds of pregnancy nutrition advice. The world over, pregnant women are overwhelmed with opinions about what they should or should not eat.

Check the article Eating fish during pregnancy for more info!

Your best source to debunk these myths is your health care or nutrition professional.

While lots of healthy common sense gets handed down (eating green leafy vegetables is recommended by traditional cultures all over the world), there is also plenty of questionable advice that leaves you wondering.

A pregnant woman in China may drink milk to make her baby’s skin fairer (No. That doesn’t work.) or avoid crab so that her baby doesn’t become a “hell-raiser” or be born with an extra finger (of course not).

In parts of rural Africa, it's thought that eating snails can make your baby slow.

Pregnant women in Japan may take a pass on eating spicy foods in order to avoid having a bad-tempered baby.

Even in North America, unlikely myths endure. In the U.S., birthmarks are said to be the result of strawberry cravings, while in Mexico, they say that eating too many eggs can make a baby smell bad. All these, of course, are not true.

Fortunately, not all old wives’ tales are scary. In Finland, it is said that eating chocolate while pregnant will result in a happy baby. (Hmmm…maybe because of a happy mommy?) While this is almost certainly inaccurate, it wouldn’t be difficult to get most moms to have a couple of pieces of chocolate from time to time to test out this theory.