Week 32: Pregnancy myths debunked

By Published On: October 10th, 2014

We’ve all heard the old wives tales of pregnancy. For […]

storkWe’ve all heard the old wives tales of pregnancy. For example, if you spin a wedding ring on a strand of your hair (or a string) over your belly, the direction it moves will tell you the gender of your baby. If it …

  • Moves in circles, it’s a boy.
  • Swings side to side, it’s a girl.
  • Flips over itself, it’s a dolphin.

Of course, if you’re doing this near an air vent or breeze, it could alter the results. Perhaps you decide a great time to try this is outside in 75 mph winds. Of course, the result will be that you’re expecting a dolphin. So, if you believe in myths, you might be shocked to see you have delivered a human baby girl—but still not as shocked as if you really delivered a dolphin.
Maybe some myths are true for some of us. But for most of us, like natural induction methods, they don’t always mean anything. For example:
Myth: Heartburn means your baby will have a lot of hair.
This is only true if your baby’s hair is so thick, it’s causing your entire stomach to move up your esophagus—and it’s on fire.
Myth: If you’re carrying your baby low, it’s a boy.
OK, so I am carrying low, and it is a boy. BUT, to be fair it’s my third baby, and after two babies, how much can I ask of my stomach muscles? Skin is the only thing holding my baby up.
Myth: When a woman is in labor, you should boil water.
Outside of sterilizing anything, what does this accomplish? It doesn’t sterilize an entire room. Sure, maybe it was once used to keep dads distracted, but how distracted can a dad be watching a pot of water boil? You’d think if this was only to keep him busy, they would have had him go outside and cut a pile of firewood. Or at least fold the laundry.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant while nursing.
Oh, but you can.
Myth: Cats will smother babies or steal oxygen because of the scent of milk on their breath.
Unless the baby is hiding a pile of wet cat food or a foil ball behind his head, the cat doesn’t care. It’s probably more interested in devising a plan for how it can steal the fleece blanket out from under the baby. So, the chances of a cat peeing all over your pillow are much higher than the chances of it smothering your baby.
Myth: Don’t look at mice when you’re pregnant, or your baby will have a big hairy birthmark.
If you have enough mice around your house for this to even be an issue, I think there might be bigger problems to contend with than a big hairy birthmark. Furthermore, if your baby does end up with a big hairy birthmark because you were looking at that many mice, you might need to check to make sure that the mark isn’t an actual mouse.
Myth: You can’t fly on an airplane during your third trimester.
Sure you can. As long as your doctor is OK with it, you can fly whenever you want. The real issue is, do you want to deliver you baby while flying at 40,000 feet? Next to the man who smells like feet?
Myth: Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks.
The only thing that prevents pregnancy stretch marks is very good genes. Or not being pregnant.
Myth: When you’re pregnant, going outside during an eclipse will give your baby a cleft palate.
But, you probably already knew that.
Myth: Conceiving on a full moon means you’ll have a girl.
Or, it means you will have conceived on a night when you didn’t need to bother with candles.
Myth: Carrying extra weight in front versus on your butt and hips determines the sex of your baby.
Or, it determines how much apple pie one has had in the last four months and how far that deliciousness has been sucked around one’s belly by one’s own gravitational pull. And by “one’s” I clearly mean, “me.”
Myths are fun, and without them life would be boring. There would be no alien conspiracy theories, Jimmy Hoffa would still be under Giant’s Stadium, and there would be no politicians. Obviously, myths aren’t an exact science—that’s why we call them myths. So, it seems silly to put too much weight on the truth of most of them—unless, of course, you do end up giving birth to a dolphin. If that happens, I’d say your money worries are pretty much over.