Why expectant mothers trust the advice of their doctors and moms the most

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Conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Monistat, a recent study looked into the pregnancy advice given to expectant mothers.

Eighty-four percent of expectant mothers doubted the health choices they made during pregnancy, according to a new survey.

In fact, despite many making modifications such as changing what they ate (49 percent), what household cleaning supplies they used (27 percent) and which skin care products they used (22 percent), pregnant mothers were still regularly unsure of themselves.

The study of 2,000 mothers found that the “rules” of pregnancy have changed over time, which leaves soon-to-be moms having to decode the latest news and advice to determine how to best manage their health.

Conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Monistat, the study looked into the pregnancy advice given to expectant mothers and how that’s evolved over generations.

Results showed that three in five think that they handled their own pregnancy very differently to how their mothers actually handled their pregnancies.

“With new advancements in medical research each year, health guidelines for pregnancy are often changing and that can lead to confusion for mom, especially when decades of great moms before her likely weren’t privy to the latest guidance,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB-GYN, author, women’s health expert and MONISTAT spokeswoman.

“Of course, there are core guidelines that have stood the test of decades, but as the years progress, there are discernible generational shifts in pregnancy practices given the new information available,” added Dr. Dweck.

With so much to worry about during pregnancy, it is not surprising that women are concerned about the choices they have to make about their health.

More than a quarter admitted that they received differing advice from other women and 38 percent noted that the information provided by their doctors was significantly different from what their mothers were told when pregnant.

When it comes to advice, the study also found that women are more open to taking advice from strangers, with over 66 percent of women aged 18–24 getting information from online pregnancy forums.

That being said, there is plenty of unsolicited advice that pregnant women face regularly. In fact, more than a third (36 percent) of expectant mothers felt there was an overabundance of information shared during pregnancy.

A further 84 percent of expectant mothers admit to getting unsolicited advice from family and friends.

The number one nugget of advice that surprised older mothers that modern expectant women get is to avoid cutting your hair — with 42 percent of those surveyed revealing this was advice they were given while pregnant.

While 33 percent were told to eliminate cold cuts from their diets another 33 percent were told to avoid eating a new vegetable that they’ve never tried.

Other things that pregnant women were told to avoid include touching cats (32 percent), laying flat on their backs (29 percent), dying their hair (25 percent) and eating sweets (23 percent).

One health decision that many pregnant women had to face was how to treat a yeast infection, which is as much as 10 times more likely to occur during pregnancy.

Shockingly, the survey revealed that 54 percent of women were not aware that there was a potential health risk when taking the leading prescription pill (fluconazole) to treat yeast infections during pregnancy, and nearly half of these women actually took the pill to treat their yeast infections while pregnant.

“Seven-day topical treatments are the CDC’s only recommended form of yeast infection treatment in pregnant women, and MONISTAT relieves symptoms four times faster than the prescription oral pill. If you are pregnant, you should consult your health care professional prior to using any medication,” says Dr. Dweck.


  1. Don’t cut your hair 42 percent
  2. Eliminate cold cuts from your diet 33 percent
  3. Avoid eating a new vegetable you’ve never tried 33 percent
  4. Avoid touching cats 32 percent
  5. Don’t lay flat on your back 29 percent
  6. Don’t dye your hair 25 percent
  7. Avoid eating sweets 23 percent
  8. Avoid changing cat litter 21 percent
  9. Avoid unpasteurized dairy 20 percent
  10. Don’t use ibuprofen 17 percent
  11. Keep a food diary to ensure you are keeping up with daily requirements 17 percent
  12. Avoid uncooked eggs 16 percent
  13. Limit coffee intake 15 percent
  14. Avoid saunas 15 percent
  15. Add 300–500 calories to your diet a day 15 percent
  16. Avoid seafood that is high in mercury 15 percent
  17. Avoid raw fish 14 percent
  18. Don’t drink alcohol 12 percent
  19. Avoid flying on an airplane during third trimester 12 percent
  20. Join a prenatal yoga or exercise class 12 percent


  1. Take a prenatal vitamin 64 percent
  2. Don’t drink alcohol 59 percent
  3. Don’t smoke 57 percent
  4. Rest when you can/nap 51 percent
  5. Minimize stress 46 percent
  6. Exercise 41 percent
  7. Have a car seat prepared for when baby arrives 37 percent
  8. Avoid saunas 27 percent
  9. Don’t use ibuprofen 27 percent
  10. Stop changing cat litter 25 percent


  1. The health of my baby 62 percent
  2. Preparing for the pain of childbirth 46 percent
  3. Finances 43 percent
  4. Being prepared to care for a baby 45 percent
  5. My own health 43 percent
  6. Not getting sick while pregnant 36 percent
  7. Making it to the hospital in time 34 percent
  8. Making sure I was eating enough 31 percent
  9. Following the “rules” of pregnancy from doctor 30 percent
  10. Baby proofing my home 28 percent


  1. Food cravings 34 percent
  2. My feet swelling 33 percent
  3. Morning sickness 33 percent
  4. Stretch marks 32 percent
  5. Unexpected emotions 32 percent
  6. Heartburn 32 percent
  7. Sore breasts 31 percent
  8. Frequent urination 31 percent
  9. Difficulty sleeping 31 percent
  10. Frequent discomforts 25 percent


  1. Doctors 60 percent
  2. My mom 48 percent
  3. Nurses 33 percent
  4. My friends who have gone through a pregnancy 30 percent
  5. Other female relatives 20 percent

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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