It's common knowledge that when you become pregnant, every mother around you (whether young or old), becomes a mine of information and advice when it comes to pregnancy and having babies.
And so starts all of those ridiculous wives tales that we have heard a hundred times over, but the real question? Are they so ridiculous or is there any actual truth in the matter?
1. Ginger is good for morning sickness.
I can't tell you the amount of times I have been told to buy a packet of ginger biscuits or drown myself in ginger ale when I've been suffering from morning sickness, but is there really any science that will back up this advice?
NO! There is no proven fact that ginger can help with nausea or vomiting, and in some cases it can even make sickness worse. In addition to this, ginger biscuits and ginger ale contain so much sugar that this too may make symptoms worse. It turns out this infamous spice may well just be a remedy of the mind.
2. If you suffer from heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will have lots of hair.
Heartburn has been one of the worst symptoms I have experienced throughout both of my pregnancies and Gaviscon tablets have been a regular ally when getting me through my day-to-day routine. My first son wasn't particularly hairy though, so why is this something we hear so often? Is there any truth in it?
YES! A study carried out at John Hopkins and published in the journal Birth actually showed that there is a correlation between the intensity of heartburn during pregnancy and how hairy your newborn will be. Heartburn occurs due to high levels of estrogen causing the esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid to splash up into the esophagus. Estrogen also appears to be responsible for hair growth in the developing baby. Voila!
3. Eating bananas makes a boy.
So apparently, if you eat a shed load of everyones favourite yellow fruit in the run up to pregnancy, you can help yourself conceive a little boy. Sounds crazy right? But is it?
YES! Although obviously not guaranteed, studies taken by a group of scientists has shown links between diet before conception and gender of the baby.
Results indicate that a higher calorie intake as well as increased intake of potassium (bananas are full of it) prior to conception, can increase your chances of having a son. You don't necessarily have to force feed yourself bananas, however, if you want to increase your chances of having the perfect little man then make sure to eat a healthy, high calorie diet prior to conception and make sure not to skip brekky!
4. Putting your arms in the air whilst pregnant can be harmful to your unborn baby.
So this isn't one that I heard during my first pregnancy, however I was warned about it a few weeks ago when reaching for a glass out of the cupboard. Apparently, the story is that if you put your arms above your head or reach up during pregnancy, you are increasing the chances of the baby's cord accidentally wrapping its way around baby's neck. So is this the truth?
NO! Most baby's are actually born with the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck and it isn't necessarily anything to be concerned about. It may just take the midwife a couple of minutes during the birth to unwrap the cord. No matter what position or direction you move in, sideways, upwards, downwards, even if you were to stand on your head, (please do not do this whist pregnant!) you will not affect the umbilical cord.
5. If you eat peanuts/peanut butter whilst preggers, your baby has a higher chance of a nut allergy.
I remember being at a family gathering whilst I was pregnant with my first child and reaching for a handful of peanuts, only for the next door neighbour (who I'd never met before by the way!) to gasp and look at me in horror. "You're going to give your baby an allergy to nuts if you keep eating those!" she said. But was she right?
NO! Not only did I not want this strangers advice, but she was completely wrong anyway! The only reason not to eat nuts whilst pregnant or breastfeeding would be if you or your baby's other parent has some sort of nut allergy. There is no way you can give your kids nut allergies simply by eating nuts during pregnancy, so there!
6. Carrying low, it's a boy! Carrying high, it's a girl!
There are literally too many wives tales to count when it comes to gender prediction! Whether it's mood swings, lots of morning sickness or even just letting a family members old wedding ring dangle over your belly, everyone has an opinion on how to tell if you're pink or blue. So can the position or size of your bump be linked to the gender of the baby?
NO! There is definitely no correlation between how a woman is carrying during pregnancy and the sex of your baby. If anything, the position/size of your bump says more about the size of the baby rather than whether or not they'll end up peeing standing up. If the baby is smaller then it will be more likely to be lower in the pelvis, a larger baby is more likely to be higher.
7. Pregnant women shouldn't have baths.
Apparently having a bath whilst pregnant can be extremely harmful to the baby. I've even heard from people that it can cause babies to drown in the womb. Could this actually occur?
NO! This seems to have been something that has been blown massively out of proportion over time! It is perfectly safe to take a bath when you are pregnant, heck, so many women these days spend their entire labour and birth floating in a birthing pool and it's actually heavily promoted as a way of relieving contraction pains. What you shouldn't do is take a HOT bath whilst you are pregnant. The water should be warm enough that so you are able to get in the bath in one movement and the temperature in no way should effect the colour of your skin or make you sweat.
So there you have it, whilst most pregnancy myths sound downright bonkers, some of them actually have some truthful origins. What is the craziest wives tale that you've heard during pregnancy? Let us know!
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.