When you’re expecting, you’ll probably be getting an overdose of dos and don’ts from your friends, acquaintances, and most often from the elders in your family. While they may all be well-meaning, it could also leave you in a quandary since they’re mostly based on traditional beliefs without any scientific reasoning.
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Here are some common myths you may have heard and the truth behind them.
The shape and height of your belly can indicate your baby’s sex.
Experts say that the popular belief that women carrying boys carry low and that women carrying girls carry high just isn’t true. The shape and height of your belly is determined by your muscle tone, the position of the baby.
If you don’ satiate all your cravings, your baby will drool excessively when born.
There is no connection between the mother’s cravings and baby’s drool. It is completely normal for babies to drool and mothers need to make sure that they eat healthy.
If a pregnant woman’s face breaks out in pimples, she is carrying a girl who will steal all of her mother’s beauty.
Experts consider this notion “ridiculous”. Why would a baby steal their mother’s beauty? Change in hormone levels usually manifests itself with changes in the skin.
Heartburn Indicates that your baby will have lots of hair.
Heartburn is a common pregnancy complaint. It is mainly because of reflux oesophagitis, during which the contents (food particles) of the stomach come back up the food-pipe. Due to the acidic nature of the content, it causes burning, which is commonly known as heartburn. That is the only significance of heartburn.
Taking saffron with milk will make the baby fair.
Truth: Although certain naturopaths and herbalists claim that saffron lightens skin tone, there is no real proof that it can make your baby’s skin fair. The colour of your baby’s skin is determined by hereditary factors and genes.
The new mother is not allowed to wash her hair for one month after pregnancy.
The reason generally given for this is that washing your hair after delivery is believed to affect the discharge of “unclean matter” from the womb, and to cause various physical irregularities like slackened internal organs, waist pains, poor blood circulation and dark pigmentation. It is however advisable that you do wash your hair and maintain personal hygiene.
A pregnant woman should not sit in the doorway of a room or a house. This will make the baby’s head bigger.
Truth: Although the metaphorical imagery is strong, sitting in a particular place will not affect your baby’s features. Ensure that your posture is correct and avoid excessive pressure on the belly, and your baby will be fine.
Consumption of pineapple and papaya during a pregnancy can cause abortion.
Truth: The jury is still undecided on this one!Normal consumption of ripe papaya poses no significant danger. However, medical experts say that unripe and semi ripe papaya (which can cause marked uterine contractions) can be unsafe in pregnancy. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, but in a minute quantity; a person would have to consume at least seven pineapples to have any effects.
A pregnant woman should not take baths.
Truth: This myth is rooted in the belief that water can get into the vagina and thereby introduce bacteria to the baby. It has been proven that water does not enter a woman’s vagina during a bath. In fact, baths will probably help pregnant women feel better by helping them relax and stay hygienic.
A pregnant woman must not look at or come in contact with a turtle as it will make labor difficult.
The turtle’s neck going in and out of the shell is supposed to resemble the baby’s difficulty in coming out. There is obviously no scientific basis to this notion. Mere contact with a turtle cannot transfer characteristics.
No brooms must be placed in the newborn infant’s room as it will sweep away the baby’s luck.
Most myths seem steeped in visual imagery. There is no way one can “sweep away” your baby’s luck. Brooms are for sweeping tangible things and nothing else.
All locks and knots must be unfastened to have an easy delivery.
Truth: Yet another myth based on metaphorical allusions. Knots and locks do not represent obstacles in childbirth. Unless you have a physical episode involving a lock or knot to harm you, it can pose no threat to you or your baby.
Pregnant women must not cut their hair. It reduces the lifespan of the baby.
Truth: There is not logical explanation for this belief. Feel free to cut your hair or even experiment with different styles if you wish!
Everything planted by a pregnant woman will grow well.
Truth: This myth revolving around gardening has no basis. Yes, a woman AND man’s fertility results in a pregnancy but this fertility cannot be transferred, especially to plants.
Consuming ghee will ease labor
Truth: Traditionally, consuming ghee was believed to lubricate the birth canal facilitate in easy labor and delivery. However, there is no scientific reason behind this. On the contrary, ghee will only make you grow fatter! The intensity and duration of labor is different for every woman, and consumption of ghee has no role in this. Castor oil is often prescribed by practitioners if labor is delayed, to bring on the contractions, but ghee is just an old wives’ tale.
Tips & Tricks
If you water bag breaks, stay calm and call your gynaec. Wear a sanitary pad to protect your clothes and on the way to the hospital, use a plastic sheet to prevent the car seat from getting soiled.
Before buying a home pregnancy test kit, be sure to check the expiry date. For accurate results, take the test after one week after the missed period; testing very early, can give you negative results.
Dry fruits are a rich source of iron and contain high dietary fibre. They also meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy
According to a survey conducted at Iowa State College in 1969, the parent's stress at the time of conception plays a major role in determining baby's sex. The child tends to be of the same sex as the parent who is under less stress.