You’ve probably heard of countless beliefs and stories that the elderly always relate. These beliefs, or what we usually call ‘superstitions’ or ‘old wives’ tales,’ have been passed on from generation to generation, originating long before medical book.
It may seem weird that we still cling to such tales when we have easy access to foolproof medical expertise that professionals have mastered over the years. However, they are, and will probably be, part of our oral tradition no matter what.
Regardless of how many times old wives’ tales get passed on, the fact remains that these have already been proven as myths or rendered irrelevant by the advances made in medicine, science and technology. Read are to learn funny old wives tales about pregnancy, both about gender prediction and common practices during pregnancy.
10 Old Wives Tales About Pregnancy with Fact Explained
The reason for our reliance in these is the fact that as humans, we want happenings to always have meaning and explanation. Events such as childbirth or sickness are things we barely have control over and have little knowledge of, unless we are medical practitioners. We offer comforting advices about the events that we always worry about, to compensate for our little knowledge of things. Listed below are 10 common old wives tales about pregnancy:
1. A baby’s heart rate can determine its sex; it’s a boy if the heart rate is below 140 BPM.
One thing you need to know about this is that the heart rate varies with the age of the fetus, and not with the sex. Only after the start of labor does a baby girl’s heart rate go faster than a baby boy’s. A normal fetal heart rate during labor varies between 120- 160 BPM that goes for both boys and girls.
The fetal heart rate is usually near the mother’s- around 80-85 BPM- by approximately the fifth week of pregnancy. This continues to rise until about the 9th week. The baby’s heart rate is 170-200 BPM around this time. It will decelerate, though, to an average of 120 up to160 BPM by the mid part of the pregnancy, same as during labor.
2. It’s a girl if the woman has extra weight out front; the baby is a boy if the woman has extra weight around the bottom and hips.
No matter what the sex of the baby is, a pregnant woman will gain extra weight. The woman’s body shape or type is the factor that affects where the extra weight is, and not the sex of the baby. A woman who has a short torso will more likely develop extra weight out front, since the baby has no place to grow but out. On the other hand, a woman with a longer torso may provide more rooms for the baby; it’s less likely for her belly to bulge outward. Besides, a baby positioned sideways leads to a wide belly.
3. If a woman is carrying high, the baby must be a girl; if she’s carrying low it must be a boy.
Carrying high or low doesn’t indicate the sex of a baby. It must be a woman’s first pregnancy if she is carrying high, or simply because her body is in good shape- not because she’s carrying a girl. If a belly hangs a little low, one cause may be because the woman have been pregnant more than once; the stomach muscles tend to become more elastic with each pregnancy.
4. Nipples getting darker? It must be a boy.
During pregnancy, placenta and ovaries secrete more hormones than before. In addition to that, the hormone that regulates skin pigmentation (melanocyte-stimulating hormone) also increases. This event is what causes dark areas, such as nipples, birthmarks, moles, and beauty marks, to be more evident in bodies of most pregnant women, and clearly not the sex of the baby. The linea nigra or black line, may also appear down the middle of the belly. These darkened areas often fade after the woman gives birth.
5. Sweet means a girl; salty and sour indicates a boy.
This superstition says that a pregnant woman’s cravings indicate the sex of the baby. If she is craving for anything sweet such as fruits, chocolate, and desserts in general, then she must be having a girl. If she’s craving for anything sour or salty, chances are the baby is a boy. It’s normal for women to crave for food, even those that she didn’t eat before she became pregnant. However, her cravings do not determine of the sex of the baby at all.
6. You can guess the baby’s sex through a woman’s morning sickness and breast size changes.
These things are some of the first indications of pregnancy, and it’s usually said that if a woman has unpleasant morning sickness, she’s probably carrying a girl. It’s also a belief that if the left breast becomes bigger than the right, the woman’s carrying a boy; if otherwise, it’s a girl. However, there have been no medical proof of such things.
7. Pregnant women who have dull hair carry a girl.
A pregnant woman’s hair does not indicate the sex of the baby. It is a common belief that if a woman has lustrous hair, she must be carrying a boy; otherwise, it’s a girl. No scientific claims have been made about this, so it’s probably good to stop guessing the sex of the baby based on a woman’s hair.
8. If you want to stimulate your breast milk, drink milk.
Most of the food that a pregnant woman takes goes to her breast milk. However, drinking milk, more than any kind of liquid, does not produce more breast milk at all. It’s always a good idea to take lots of fluids, and not just for the purpose of stimulating breast milk.
9. You can't get pregnant while nursing.
Well, mostly. Breastfeeding takes a lot, so women who breastfeed tend not to ovulate, menstruate, and become pregnant in the long run. Despite that, ovulation can still begin at any time, and so it’s not a reliable birth control method.
10. Pregnant women shouldn’t bathe.
It’s a belief that pregnant women should avoid baths to keep the fetus from getting sick through the bacteria in a bath. However, the fetus is kept safe inside the mother’s womb, so water won’t seep in. It does help for mothers to have their bath water around 100°F in temperature in order for them to relieve their back pain.
In the following video, a total of 21 old wives tales about pregnancy gender prediction are shown. Know more just for the fun of it: