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There is a need to rectify some of the misconceptions that people have regarding maternal health and the early development of children. This was stated by experts at a symposium titled ‘Superstitious Ideas Found During Pregnancy and Real Facts and Early Childhood Growth’ organised by Express Media Group in collaboration with Martin Dow and Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Pakistan (SOGP) at a local hotel.

A large number of doctors, medical students and ordinary citizens participated. Addressing the symposium, former President of SOGP Dr Farrukh Zaman said that during pregnancy, Pakistani women were often told and taught things that had nothing to do with their maternal health.

The experts stressed that pregnant women should take 30 minutes of slow walk daily instead of full bed rest and eat a healthy balanced diet. “Everyone, including pregnant women, must consume calcium rich foods.”

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Lahore SOGP Chairperson Dr Muhammad Arshad Chauhan while addressing the symposium said that there were a lot of unscientific and unverified ideas in society. “Both the highly educated and the illiterate are not only affected by these misconceptions but are constantly spreading them. Despite scientific advances, knowledge of our health is still incomplete. Certain doctors are not ready to realise this issue and continue to fabricate medical issues when answering the queries of their patients.”

SOGP Executive Member Dr Rubina Sohail said in her address that during pregnancy, women get to hear from society that they should avoid bathing, climbing stairs, dyeing hair, traveling in rickshaws or by air. “Women are also told to avoid hot beverages and take bed rest all the time during the first trimester but all these suggestions are based on false ideas.” Martin Dow Group Chief Executive Officer Javed Ghulam Muhammad welcomed all the speakers and said that this issue had never been discussed in Pakistan. “However, maternal and child health is of utmost importance to every family.”

Lahore SOGP General Secretary Dr Shehla Anwar said, “We also have a lot of misconceptions about the coronavirus vaccine. Pregnant women must get this vaccine. It is completely safe.” SOGP President Dr Razia Korija spoke on the importance of eradicating misconceptions about pregnancy in the society.

Martin Dow Group Director Dr Anum Akhai said that her team would continue to play its role for the betterment of the society. “We are committed to improving the health and quality of life of the people.”

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