10 Pregnancy Myths That Are Backed Up By Science (And 10 That Are Totally Wrong)

There are so many myths and old wives tales when it comes to pregnancy. To this day, many cultures around the world continue to believe in these old wives tales, even the ones that have been debunked by science a long time ago. Many of these old wives tales and myths have a lot to do with predicting the baby's gender.

For instance, we all know about the Chinese lunar calendar method, which predicts the baby's gender based on the pregnant woman's age and the month she became pregnant. Although its predictions have been proven to be mere coincidences, it still continues to be used to this day in an effort to find out the gender before the revealing ultrasound.

There is also the ring test which indicates whether you are carrying a boy or a girl. That is when you slide a string through your wedding ring. Then you hang the string over your belly, and the way it moves and turns around tells you your unborn baby's gender.

That is also an old wives tale. However, you may have heard of other strange things that happen during pregnancy which you may think are silly myths. The thing is, some odd things that do happen while you are pregnant may actually mean something, and these are the facts that have been backed up by science. Let's look at the common 10 pregnancy myths and 10 pregnancy facts right now.

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20 True: Heartburn = Hairy Baby

Via: The Bump

You may think it is silly to link having loads of heartburn during pregnancy being linked to the unborn baby having hair. And, that used to be a myth that seemed very silly.

However, according to Healthline, there actually may be some truth to this. It has been found that many women who had mild to severe heartburn throughout pregnancy had given birth to babies with a full head of hair.

The research conducted so far has found that there may be a link between the pregnancy hormones that are causing the lower esophagus to relax and the hair growth of the unborn baby. However, more studies need to be conducted to find out if there is more to this once-believed-to-be-a-myth.

19 True: Mom’s Heart Grows As The Baby Does

Everything stretches during pregnancy, especially mom's tummy and everything else. This also means that mom's heart grows larger as well. According to Parent24, the reason that mom's heart grows along with her unborn baby is that the ventricles get thicker.

And that is necessary so that the extra blood which results from being pregnant is pumped properly. If the heart didn't grow, then it would be a dangerous situation.

Therefore, it was believed that mom's heart only grows because it is making room to love the unborn baby. And, who is to say there is no truth to that? But scientifically, this has actually been proven to happen, literally.

18 True: Too Much Morning Sickness = It's A Girl

For a long time, it has been believed that having excessive morning sickness points to the strong possibility that mom is having a girl. And according to WebMD, there is a grain of truth to this statement.

Studies have shown that the levels of the pregnancy hormone are higher when the unborn baby is a girl. And, that is the hormone that is mostly responsible for making moms sick.

However, some moms are purely lucky and don't have much of an adverse reaction whether they are carrying a boy or a girl. These are the lucky ones who did not have any nausea or who had mild nausea that was easy to control. Some moms are not at all lucky and are sick during their entire pregnancies whether they are carrying boys or girls.

17 True: Mom’s Metabolism Increases During Pregnancy

pregnancy metabolism
Via: Health.qld.gov.au

If there is a situation where you would end up developing a fast metabolism, then pregnancy would be it!

According to Parents24, because weight gain is inevitable, then your metabolism gets a good boost in order to help burn those extra calories which you do need to take in.

Another great side effect of this, according to the same source is that you will also develop more muscle as well. Pregnancy is one example of how amazing the human body (or an animal) truly happens to be. You need to have more muscle in order to carry yourself and your unborn baby for many months!

16 True: Pregnancy Causes Weird Dreams

pregnancy dreams
Via: Babycenter.com

I remember having a dream in my eighth month of the pregnancy with my daughter where I looked right at her inside of the womb and she looked right back at me. That was most definitely a strange dream.

According to Parents24, having scary or vivid dreams is very common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.

There is no known explanation for why this is, as it likely is due to hormones playing a role. However, according to the same source, psychologists believe it is due to the subconscious dealing with insecurities and fears about entering this life transformation. That certainly makes sense.

15 True: Mom Becomes A Pro At Absorbing Iron

Via: Nbcnews.com

It is extremely crucial for mom to consume lots of iron during pregnancy in order to prevent anemia from happening. Especially since the blood volume increased. According to Parent24, whenever mom is pregnant, her body automatically absorbs iron because it is highly important.

That means that mom must eat foods that are rich in iron such as fortified cereal, green veggies, and lean meat. However, if mom is a vegan or vegetarian, or cannot eat meat due to the fact that it is a huge turn-off, then it is crucial to get the best iron supplements in order to make sure that there is enough iron being taken in.

14 True: Mom’s Skin Is More Sensitive To The Sun

Mom's entire body changes during pregnancy, and that also means that her skin will be extra sensitive. Not only will it burn more easily, but according to Parent24, changes in the skin pigmentation will end up happening regardless.

And the thing about the sun is that it is rich in Vitamin D which is an important vitamin to take in. And, if being in the sun for long periods is risky during pregnancy, then it is best to get Vitamin D from food sources like eggs, dairy, and fatty fish.

Those foods have enough of the sunshine vitamin in order to make it a moot point on whether or not mom was able to be in the sun at all or not.

13 True: Mom’s Hair Thickens

If you normally have thin hair and you are amazed by the fact that your hair has gotten thicker during pregnancy, unfortunately, that will not last once the baby is born.

According to Parent24, pregnancy hormones prevent hair from falling out which is why the hair is thicker during pregnancy.

However, once the baby is born, the hair will start to shed and that is why there is a lot of hair loss after the birth. In fact, don't be surprised if more than a normal amount of hair starts to disappear after the baby is born.

The hormones that kept your hair thick are no longer effective and around.

12 True: The Countdown Doesn't Start From The Moment You Get Pregnant 

Many moms think that nine months after the date of conception is when the due date is. However, according to Parent24, that is absolutely not the case at all. In fact, the countdown starts from the date of your last menstrual period. The due date would be around 40 weeks after the date of the last period. 

Not to mention, it is not always easy to know when conception happens, unless you got pregnant by IUI or IVF. In most cases, women ovulate two weeks after having a period, and the first two weeks of pregnancy are part of the 40 weeks,

However, for women that have irregular or longer cycles that get pregnant may not really know when the exact due date would be. The only to determine that is through ultrasound and blood work.

11 True: Mom’s Eye Shape Changes During Pregnancy

eye changes during pregnancy
Via: Gteyeclinic.com

If you wear glasses and you are pregnant, and you wear contact lenses for those times when you don't want to wear glasses- don't be surprised if you will not be able to put the lenses onto your eyes anymore. According to Parent24, the shape of mom's eyes do change due to the water retention and increased blood flow.

Yes, that is right. Your entire body changes during pregnancy, which includes the shape of your eyes. Your vision will also change as a result, but that does not mean to go off running to your eye doctor to get a new prescription of glasses.

It will go back to the way it was after the baby was born- your vision and size of the eyeballs.

10 False: Eating Spices During Pregnancy Causes Blindness

spicy foods during pregnancy
Via: Livestrong.com

The myth that the spicy food that has been eaten during pregnancy causing blindness to the unborn baby has been around for a very long time.

There is absolutely no evidence anywhere that supports that, and I can also say that I ate spicy food during my pregnancies. And my kids' eyesight is just fine.

According to Healthline, the only danger that you could end up facing while eating too many spices during your pregnancy is having awful heartburn. If you are pregnant and craving spicy food, then go for it.

It won't do anything to your unborn baby's eyesight. However, what you will want to make sure you have on hand is some pregnancy-safe antacid.

9 False: Your Face Shape Can Tell You If It's A Boy Or Girl

The shape of your face during your pregnancy cannot indicate whether or not you are having a boy or a girl. Legend says if your face is full, you are having a girl.

However, according to Healthline, the shape of your face during your pregnancy is only a result of factors such as your diet as well as genetics.

If your face has a certain shape during pregnancy, then you cannot make assumptions on whether you are having a boy or a girl. If you really want to know what you are having and don't want to wait for the surprise- you have a high chance of finding out during your 20-week ultrasound. Your face size and shape will not make that determination.

8 False: Pregnancy Lasts For Nine Months

Via: funny/beautiful

From a young age learning at school, we're told that a pregnancy is meant to last for nine months. And, if you give birth before the nine months are over, then your baby will be premature.

According to Women's Health Magazine, that is not really true. A healthy and full-term pregnancy does not necessarily mean that it will last for nine months and then the bun is ready to be out of the oven! In fact, a 2013 study has even stated that a human pregnancy can vary by five weeks!

When you give birth depends on how much you weighed at birth, as well as your age and current weight. That means it may be in the eight-month mark or you may be considered to be overdue as well.

7 False: Having Fun Will Hurt The Baby

pregnancy and sex

So many couples are afraid to be intimate when a pregnancy is involved due to the fear of the unborn baby being hurt. There are so many superstitions around the world that are stemmed from this belief. The fact of the matter is, the unborn baby is protected by the sac and the closed cervix. Therefore, doing the deed while you are pregnant is perfectly fine.

Additionally, the only reason that doing the deed can help move labor along during the end of the pregnancy is that the cervix is already softening. Therefore the properties contained in semen can help soften the cervix even more and get things going,

According to Women's Health Magazine, the only times when the deed should not be done during pregnancy is if the placenta is positioned between your cervix and lady bits. Also if you have a weak cervix, then it would be a problem too. But otherwise, it is fine!

6 False: Oily Skin Means A Girl And Smooth Skin Means A Boy

Via: Healthline.com

If you have heard before that if you have oily skin and acne, it is believed that you are pregnant with a girl. Why? Because legend states that girls are there to steal mom's beauty. If mom has smooth and perfect skin without one blemish, then that means she is carrying a boy.

According to Healthline, it's all completely false. If you have oily skin and acne during pregnancy, then you have hormones in addition to your own genetics to blame.

You could end up with uncontrollable acne while you are pregnant with twin boys! You may also have nice smooth skin and be carrying a girl, or two!

5 False: A Natural Birth Cannot Happen If You Ever Had A C-Section

There are plenty of moms that end up giving birth naturally who have had prior C-sections. Even though according to Women's Health Magazine, a natural birth which is referred to as VBAC after having a C- section is somewhat riskier- it can still be done.

It is not recommended if you end up getting pregnant within months of delivering through a C - section. However, if you have waited to get pregnant at least a year after giving birth this way, then it is most definitely an option.

If a mom wants to have a VBAC, then that is something for her to talk about with her OBGYN as there will be pros and cons to be weighed.

4 False: Running During Pregnancy Is Out Of The Question

Via: Fitness Training Solutions

The idea of running while you are pregnant may be a frightening one, and running is not worth taking any kind of risk that could potentially hurt the baby. However, according to Women's Health Magazine, you can most definitely run and keep up with your exercises.

In fact, exercising during pregnancy is very important which was also discouraged at one time. If you were a runner before getting pregnant, then you will still be able to run.

However, if you didn't run before the pregnancy happened, then it is not a good idea to start a running program now.

Either way, the baby will not fall out if you go on the treadmill, and there are cardio exercises that are geared towards pregnant women in each trimester.

3 False: Your Belly Shape Can Tell You The Baby’s Gender

Just like the shape of your face during pregnancy cannot be an indicator of the gender of your unborn baby, neither does the shape of your stomach.

It is believed that if a woman carries low, then she is having a boy. If she is carrying higher up, then she is having a girl.

According to Healthline, that is completely false. If a woman is carrying higher up, then that means she has stronger abdominal muscles. It may also be her first pregnancy.

If she is carrying low, then it means the muscles are weaker and it is more likely to be the case with subsequent pregnancies due to stretched muscles.

2 False: The Baby’s Heart Rate Can Also Make A Prediction

gender heart rate
Via: Virtua.org

The ironic thing is that when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was told by my OBGYN at the time that based on the heart rate, it was not a boy. Those were her exact words.

However, according to Healthline, there is absolutely no truth to this belief at all. Even though my OBGYN was right at the time, it was just a coincidence more than anything.

Heart rates can range from 120 to 160 beats per minute, and none of it has to do with the gender of the unborn baby. There are many reasons for the heart rate to go at a different speed which have nothing to do with the baby's gender.

1 False: Cravings Mean Something More

Are you craving sweets and citrus fruits, like chocolate and oranges, then it is believed that you are having a girl. If you are craving salty foods like fried rice, potato chips, and pretzels, then that means you are having a boy. Right? Wrong. However, according to Parents Magazine, the type of cravings you have during pregnancy is not a sign of the unborn baby's gender. 

Food cravings during pregnancy are due to the fact that your body is craving a certain vitamin or mineral. Therefore, if you are in need of extra vitamin C, you will be craving those citrus fruits whether you are carrying a boy or a girl.

References: Healthline.com, WomensHealthMag.com, Parents.com, WebMD.com, Parent24.com

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