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Pregnancy and Old Wives Tales

There are so many old wives tales floating around during pregnancy that it is hard to know fact from fiction, except in the case where the tale is really off the wall. You will probably hear strange things from your grandmother regarding what you should and shouldn’t do. While your grandmother probably believed this when she was pregnant with your mom, there is no reason why you have to believe it now. We can’t cover all the pregnancy related old wives tales in this article, but here are some of our favorites, and some of the funniest.

Pregnant Women Should Not Take Baths
This idea is false; however some of the beliefs behind it are true. Pregnant women can and should take baths. It is a great way for a pregnant woman to take some of the weight off her back and relax, especially later in pregnancy. If your water has broken however you should NOT take a bath as your uterus is then vulnerable to infection. You should also avoid throughout your pregnancy taking baths or sitting in hot tubs above 100 degrees. This can raise your body temperature too much and cause problems to your baby, especially during the first trimester.

Holding Your Hands Above Your Head Can Hurt The Baby
The truth is that the positioning of your hands has nothing to do with your baby’s positioning in the uterus or the umbilical cord becoming wrapped around him. Babies born with the umbilical cord wrapped around them is actually quite common as it happens in about 1/3 of all pregnancies and is actually caused by the early movements your baby makes in utero, while they are still small enough to make them.

Wearing A Lei Can Choke Your Fetus
This Hawaiian superstition is just that…a superstition. It makes no sense that a pregnant woman who wears a lei could be choking her baby.

You Have to Drink A Lot of Water or Your Baby Will Get Dirty
A pregnant woman should drink water because it is good for them. However it has nothing to do with how clean or dirty the baby’s amniotic fluid is. The truth is your baby pees in and drinks the amniotic fluid surrounding them, and the amniotic fluid actually replenishes itself every three hours. Staying hydrated helps your baby, but your baby will not get dirty if you do not drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day.

You Need Boiling Water Nearby During Childbirth
Fact or fiction? In reality no one is really sure WHY midwives used to order the husbands to get boiling water. Some think it was just a ploy to get the husbands out of the room during tense times of labor. Others speculate that it was an effort to make sure the few tools that were used, were properly sterilized. Along the same lines so believe that it was a way to keep the tools used at room temperature instead of letting them get cold. Today there is little, if no need to have boiling water nearby during childbirth.

If You Have Heartburn During Pregnancy Your Baby Has A Lot of Hair
Because of there being less room in your stomach since there is a baby growing and pushing on it, heartburn is actually extremely common during those nine months. There is no proof or reason to believe that having heartburn is a sign of a baby being born with a head full of hair.

Your Partner Will Get a Sty in the Eye if They Don’t Feed You What You Crave
While this is fun and definitely something a pregnant woman might be able to get away with holding over her partners head, it is not true. However, that doesn’t mean that the person who denies their pregnant partner the food she craves is safe…

Sex Can Kick Start Labor
This one is actually true! Female enjoyment creates the hormone oxytocin which can help ripen your cervix and get it ready for labor. A mans semen contains the hormone prostaglandins which can cause contractions. Sex is often recommended at the end of a healthy, normal pregnancy. Ask your OB!

Full Moons Bring the Babies
While it is widely believed and noted in L&D rooms every where, however this myth has never been scientifically proven.

These are just a few that we have put together for you. To see our list of gender related pregnancy old wives tales, click here.

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16 Comments on "Pregnancy and Old Wives Tales"

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[…] from generation from generation, but some are true. Can you spot which of the following myths from BabiesOnline is true: Pregnant Women Should Not Take BathsThis idea is false; however some of the beliefs […]

6 years 3 months ago

Growing up in a Hispanic family, if there isn’t a wives tale about pregnancy than something’s wrong. I don’t know how many times I heard about the “hair and heartburn” one. We had twins, a boy and a girl, and the heartburn was non-stop. Who knows at this point if the boy was the culprit. ~Josh

6 years 4 months ago

Ive read from a couple medical sources lately that the hormone responsible for creating hair in the infant can also cause heartburn. I have heartburn worse than Ive had in my last pregnancy and in my 7 month ultra sound they kept saying how much hair my child had. My first child gave me alot of heart burn as well and came out with alot of hair.

6 years 9 months ago

Actually, the boiling water was for multple purposes, one is cleaning, the other was for hot compresses plased on the birth canal to assist with stretching and help prevent tears.

6 years 9 months ago

When i was pregnant with my son, i had bad bad heart burn… He was bald almost lil bit of hair… so i don’t believe the lot of hair thing…

7 years 5 months ago

As a major fan, I enjoyed this article very much! Thank you!

7 years 5 months ago

As a huge fan, I enjoyed this post very much! Thank you!

8 years 2 months ago

Most of these are nonsense. Just like all the countless tales about gender prediction or planning. My grandma believes in this stuff, it’s fun and all, but really – don’t think you can choose the baby gender based on some weird rituals.

8 years 5 months ago
Hi I am from Hawaii and the superstition about the leis to YOU, might not be real but it pretty much comes true. NOBODY down here believes in that superstition abput the lei or a necklace. Alot of pregnant women just look past it and figure “Whatevers. I’ll just do it cause it’s not real” Then when they FINALLY give birth, they find that the umbilical cord is wrapped around the babys neck. My mom did thatbwhile pregnant with me, my aunty, sisters and ME! We ALL overlooked it but turned out to come true. It didn’t CHOKE the baby… Read more »
8 years 11 months ago

I heard that extreme heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy meant you were having a red head. I have had three children. I only had extreme heartburn and acid reflux with one of my kids. He has red hair. The same thing happened to my mother while pregnant with my sister who happens to have red hair. Other women who have had red head kids swear by this. So who knows? But I believe it is true.

9 years 23 days ago

★★★★★ Has anyone used Fortune Baby gender prediction test

9 years 28 days ago

I totally agree with the heartburn thing cause it proved true with my 3kids!!

9 years 2 months ago

There has actually been a study recently done, where 80% of women in the study who complained of a lot of heartburn, DID have babies born with more than average hair, and some 80% of women who complained of no heartburn, gave birth to babies with little to no hair. They were baffled, because they could not scientifically figure out WHY hair in utero would affect the digestive tract, but it turns out, that this myth may actually have some truth to it!

[…] These are just a few of the popular pregnancy old wives tales that deal with the sex of your baby. To see other pregnancy related old wives tales click here. […]

9 years 6 months ago

Boiling water was used in the old days for hot compresses on the vaginal area to help prevent tearing. Remember, no obstetricians and episiotomies back then. Comfortably warm/hot compresses can still be useful in modern-day deliveries – within reason. Wet, hot skin stretched too much won’t have the same prepregnancy elasticity.

10 years 1 month ago

I love ya’ll websites about old wives tales about pregnacy and childs birth

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