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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 Responses to “Pregnancy and Old Wives Tales”


  1. Old Wives Tales: Spot the pregnancy myth | BellyitchWP
  2. Gender Predicting Old Wives Tales | Pregnancy | Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting at Babies Online

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