Spatone® lays to rest common pregnancy myths

Pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant parents but it can also be a daunting minefield of conflicting professional and personal opinions. As bump grows, mums and grannies (not to mention colleagues, neighbours and strangers at bus stops) impart their wisdom, asked for or otherwise, and often it is at odds with the midwife’s official guidance.

Spatone natural liquid iron supplement looks at some of these “In my day...” gems of advice to see if mum really does know best.

Myth #1: How you are ‘carrying’ the baby can tell you the sex.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The shape and height of your bump is determined by your muscle tone, uterine tone, and the position the baby is in, not by the sex. The only way to know is via an ultrasound scan or amniocentesis and even then it is not always possible to be completely sure.

Myth #2: You shouldn’t drink coffee while pregnant.

The case against caffeine isn't that strong. You don't have to give up caffeine completely while you're pregnant (ACOG 2010, FSA 2008, Jahanfar and Jaafar 2013). 200mg of caffeine a day is the recommended amount – this equates to drinking approximately two mugs of tea, two mugs of instant coffee or one mug of filer coffee a day (or five cans of coke!)[1]. If your habit exceeds these amounts try a de-caf version in the afternoons, it may help you sleep better too!

Myth #3: Heartburn means baby has lots of hair

Heartburn is a common discomfort during pregnancy because your stomach is pushed higher by the growing baby. It is no way an accurate predictor of baby being born with a full head of hair. Lots of women who experience heartburn give birth to bald babies!

Myth #4: You shouldn’t eat smoked salmon when pregnant

Smoked fish is considered safe during pregnancy by the NHS[2]. Fish is good for mothers-to-be because it is a good source of many vitamins and minerals, as well as essential omega-3 fatty acids like DHA. You should, however, limit your consumption of tuna and oily fish and completely avoid shark and swordfish.

Myth #5: You are eating for two

In the first six months of pregnancy our energy needs do not increase. The average woman of normal weight pre-pregnancy only needs about 200 extra calories per day in her third trimester to promote her baby's growth[3]. That's roughly the number of calories in a piece of buttered toast and a banana. Gaining too much weight can result in gestational diabetes and a struggle to lose the weight post birth so think twice before eating a double helping of dessert!

Myth #6 Lying or sleeping on your back will hurt the baby

While you won't harm your baby if you lie on your back for short periods of time, both of you will feel better if you sleep on your side. Doctors recommend sleeping on the left side as this increases the blood flow to the uterus and placenta.

Myth #7: Guinness is a good source of iron

Mums and nans are forever telling us about the daily dose of stout they consumed during pregnancy because it is a good source of iron and a lot of people still believe this old wives tale. In fact Guinness and similar stouts contains no more iron than standard beer and you would need to drink a whopping 49.3 pints to get your daily RDA[4]. Iron nutrition presents a real challenge as iron is one of the most difficult mineral to absorb. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to low iron levels due to the increased demand of iron for the optimum growth and development of the baby. In the last six weeks of pregnancy the baby builds up its own storage of iron from its mother to last for the first 4-6 months following birth. Therefore iron demands can triple by the end of pregnancy, this is often difficult to achieve from dietary sources alone, so help top up your iron levels with a natural iron supplement such as Spatone

Spatone iron rich water is sourced from the Welsh mountains of Snowdonia National Park and can help top up your iron levels with fewer of the unpleasant side effects often experienced with conventional iron supplements[5]. The iron naturally present in Spatone has been shown to be easily absorbed, with up to 40% bioavailability[6], compared to 5- 20%[7] from food and other iron supplements. Spatone is available from Boots priced at £8.25 for 28 sachets (4 weeks supply). For more info visit

# It is important to follow a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy balanced diet. If pregnant or breast feeding always contact a healthcare professional before taking any food supplement


For further information please contact Amy Fell in the Nelsons press office on 020 8780 4273 or email me at

Notes to Editors

Nelsons is the UK's leading manufacturer of natural healthcare products, with a long-standing commitment to supplying the highest quality natural healthcare products that meet all regulatory and quality standards. Their brands are recognised and sold in over 60 countries worldwide and include Rescue Remedy®, Bach™ Original Flower Remedies, Arnicare®, Teetha®, Nelsons® Homeopathy, Spatone® and Nelsons Pure & Clear®.

For more information about Nelsons, visit

[1] Information from website Oct 2013

[3] NICE guidelines

[4] Calculation based on 0.3mg Iron per pint of Guinness and NHS RDA recommendation of 14.3mg as stated at

[5] McKenna D, Spence D, Haggan SE, McCrum E, Dornan JC, Lappin TR. (2003) A randomized trial investigating an iron-rich neutral mineral water as a prophylaxis against iron deficiency in pregnancy. 25; 99-103

[6] Worwood M, Evans WD, Villis RJ and Burnett AK. (1996) Iron absorption from a natural mineral water (Spatone Iron-Plus). Clin Lab Haem  18; 23-27.

[7] Webster-Gandy J, Madden A, Holdsworth M Ed’s (2006) Oxford Handbook of Nutrition and Dietetics. Oxford University Press, Oxford.