Old Wives TalesSaturday, July 30th, 2016
Although it is torrentially raining today, Spring is soon to come here in Northern California. We are all sneezing and walking around with itchy eyes from all the pollen in the air. Yesterday, a young mom asked me if sneezing and coughing too much would hurt her baby or cause her water bag to break early. I told her, “No” but her question got me thinking about all the old wives’ tales I’ve heard over the years.
No doubt, you have or are starting to hear them. Formulas that predict the baby’s sex are the most popular, perhaps because even when they have no basis in fact , they have a 50-50 chance of being correct. I want to share with you some of my favorites.
- If you carry high or “wide to the side,” the baby is a girl.
- If you carry low or “out front,” it is a boy.
- A high heart rate is a girl’s, a low one a boy’s. (Or is it the other way around?)
- If a needle or ring suspended on a thread over your abdomen swings clockwise, the baby is a boy; if the object swings counterclockwise, and the baby is a girl.
- If a longish piece of cotton cloth held over your abdomen moves back and forth, the baby is a boy; if the cloth hangs straight, the baby is a girl.
- Compare mom’s age at conception with the year of conception. If both are even or odd, the baby is girl; if one is even and one is odd, the baby is a boy.
- If you have heartburn when you’re pregnant, the baby will have a lot of hair. *
- If you crave strawberries (and then eat a lot of them during pregnancy), your baby will have a strawberry colored birthmark, or “stork bite.”
- If you raise your hands above your head, the umbilical cord will strangle the baby.
- You can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up!
*A recent Johns Hopkins study showed that this one might be true! Women who reported having some heartburn during pregnancy had babies with average or above-average amounts of hair. The researchers speculated that the same pregnancy hormones that relax the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus, causing heartburn, can also influence fetal hair growth.