Wives’ tales abound for pregnancy. Of course it’s those old wives that teach the young women about pregnancy, birth and child rearing. These tales help to do just that.
The problem is that some of the old wives’ tales are just not true. Moms who coloring their hair during pregnancy won’t change the baby’s hair color (but the chemicals could hurt baby). Mom won’t harm her vision if she goes for a trim or even a new hair style. Carrying a baby high or low doesn’t indicate the gender of the baby either.
So with all of the wives’ tales that are false, are there any that are actually true? Yes! Research has proven some of the wives’ tales about pregnancy to actually be true (Thank God! We do need to continue the species after all!)
The following 14 wives’ tales about pregnancy have actually been proven by researchers to be true.
Want to have a boy? Mother’s diet can actually have an impact on the gender of the child. Having heartburn? There is a link to how hairy baby is. Having baby brain? Your brain is actually preparing for baby.
The discoveries behind the old wives’ tales is incredible! Maybe auntie is right with some of the stories she’s been telling. Keep reading to find out!
Don’t miss #4 –I was super surprised that it was actually true! Comment at the end of the article with the one that was most surprising!
14 Heartburn Means Baby Is More Likely To Have Hair
My mother-in-law swore by this one when I was expecting. I thought for sure she was just making it up.
As it turns out, she was right!
A study done at Johns Hopkins proved that there is a correlation between the intensity of heartburn felt by the mother and the hairiness of the baby.
Expecting moms might have more heartburn because estrogen causes the esophageal sphincter to relax. This allows stomach acid to come up into the esophagus –causing a burning feeling. Estrogen appears to be responsible for aiding in hair growth on the baby. Therefore, more estrogen means more hair and more heartburn.
I’ll have to let my mother-in-law know she was right! Maybe next time I’ll believe her. On second thought, it was probably just a fluke!
13 Hot Baths Damage Sperm
Take care to protect the family jewels! The Cleveland Clinic reports that elevated temperatures can lower sperm counts.
Testes tend to remain cooler than the abdomen because they are outside of the body. A sort of built in safety system to keep sperm cooler.
Having the testes submerged in water, though, can make it more difficult to keep sperm at a lower temperature.
Hot baths or hot tubs could affect sperm count. Especially when used regularly. The occasional dip in the hot tub or hot bath should be okay, according to Dr. Abraham Morgentaler of Harvard Medical School.
It can take about 3 months for sperm counts to recover. So if you’re worried this is getting in the way of conception, take a break from hot baths or hot tubs.
12 Eating Veggies Will Make Baby Like Them Later On
In a study published in Pediatrics, researchers found that the food a pregnant woman eats changes the flavor of her amniotic fluid (well okay the smell of it –they didn’t taste it, they smelled it).
Babies swallow the amniotic fluid while in the womb giving them exposure to the flavors of the food mom eats.
But that’s not it. The research further tested the children when they began to eat solid foods. Some of the pregnant mothers drank carrot juice during their pregnancy. Of those who did, their babies preferred cereal with carrots in it once solid foods were introduced.
Getting your kids to eat veggies starts early –very early! Start by enjoying them yourself while you’re pregnant and breastfeeding and your little one will be primed to enjoy them too.
11 Ginger Helps Morning Sickness
If you’ve been suffering from morning sickness you’ll probably try anything to alleviate it.
Morning sickness can strike at anytime during the day and is usually a woman’s first physical sign that she is pregnant (although not all pregnant women suffer from it.).
Research from the 1980s found that 75 percent of pregnant women who took a teaspoon of fresh ginger for morning sickness found it helpful.
If you can keep it down, it’s worth trying.
If you’re considering trying ginger tea, double check with your healthcare provider first. Some teas contain ingredients that can be harmful to unborn babies.
10 Long Labor Means It's A Boy
There are lots of wives-tales out there that try to predict the gender of the baby. Unfortunately, most of those appear to be just tales. The way you carry the baby or peeing on Draino isn’t a true indicator of the sex of your baby.
But one study in Dublin found an old wives-tale that appears to be true for gender. After studying about 8,000 births, they found that boys had longer and more difficult labors.
Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to figure out what you’re carrying, you have a long wait until labor begins. But if you’re waiting for the big surprise, you might have a guess as to what you’re having if it’s taking a long time for him to arrive. And they say men are always waiting around for women!
9 The Weather Can Start Labor
Are you excitedly waiting for labor to begin? Is there a storm in the forecast? You might be in luck.
Some studies suggest that a change in barometric pressure could start labor. For women late in pregnancy, changes in barometric pressure can cause their water break –beginning labor. The studies found that there is a significant increase in preterm labor when barometric pressure is low.
While barometric pressure may induce labor, major storms could cause other problems. A study in the Journal of Health Economics noted that the biggest threat storms (specifically hurricanes) pose to pregnant women is stress.
If you’re pregnant and expecting a storm, make a plan but play it cool. You don’t want to get too stressed out during your pregnancy for the health of both you and your baby.
8 Difficulty Conceiving When Not Carrying Enough, Or Carrying Too Much Weight
Many overweight or underweight women have no problem getting pregnant. Body mass index is used to determine if a person in overweight or underweight. Body mass index or BMI takes into account how proportionate your body is based on your height and weight.
For some a weight issue can affect ovulation. Irregular ovulation and menstrual cycles can make it more difficult to get pregnant. It could cause fewer cycles or cycles with more time between ovulation. It could also make it more difficult for couples trying to plan a pregnancy.
If you have issues with being overweight or underweight, contact your health care provider to develop a plan of action. Pregnancy is taxing on the female body and optimal health can lead to fewer complications during the pregnancy and later.
7 Expectant Moms Are Forgetful
Do you feel a bit hazy during pregnancy? Having problems remembering simple things in your life? New research says there is actually a purpose behind the old baby brain.
Researchers at Royal Holloway University in London found that the brains of pregnant women undergo changes during pregnancy.
Hormones released during pregnancy activate different centers in the brain. Women process emotions differently while pregnant. The study looked at pregnant women and mothers whose babies were 9 weeks old. They were showed images of adult and baby faces with positive and negative emotions.
Expectant women used the right side of their brain to analyze the pictures more than the new mothers do.
Researchers think this difference may start the bonding process. Expecting mothers’ brains are being primed for bonding. At least now we know there is a purpose to our foggy minds.
6 If You Have A Boy You’re More Likely To Miscarry Next Time
Some women have multiple miscarriages after having their first successful pregnancy. A study analyzing nearly 15 years of medical records of some 181 women discovered interesting results.
Researchers from Rigshospitalet Fertility Clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark found that women who had a baby boy first had a slightly (but significantly) higher chance of having a miscarriage after.
The research suggests that they mother’s body may see the male baby’s body as a foreign substance. The mother’s body then creates as stronger immune response to fight against the new pregnancy.
This may explain why some women have a more difficult time carrying subsequent children.
5 Expecting Moms Can Predict Gender
Do you have a feeling that you’re going to either have a boy or a girl? Well, your “mother’s intuition” might actually be correct.
A study done by the University of Arizona found that mothers were accurate 70% of the time when predicting the gender of their baby (At least it’s better than 50%!).
I, on the other hand, am terrible at predicting my baby’s gender. I was certain my second baby was going to be a girl. I didn’t even bother to check when it was born. Imagine my surprise when the midwife finally encouraged me to check and it was a boy! Clearly I’m in the 30% on this one.
4 Sleeping On The Back Can Hurt The Baby
You may have heard that sleeping on your back can harm the unborn baby. According to Dr. Henderson of St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, DE this may be true.
As baby develops and grows larger, the increasing weight can put strain on the mother’s circulatory system. The baby, amniotic fluid, placenta, and uterus can slow the return of blood to mom’s heart. This, in turn, reduces blood flow to the fetus.
Less blood flow to the fetus means that baby is getting less oxygen and fewer nutrients.
But rest easy mamas, Dr. Henderson notes that if you wake up on your back once in awhile it probably won’t harm your baby. It is, though, recommended that you try to sleep on your side as much as possible (at least once baby starts to get bigger during the 2nd and 3rd trimester).
3 Baby Can Recognize Mom’s Voice In the Womb
Have you heard that you baby can hear you in the womb? We know the connection between mom and baby starts long before birth. Now we know even more about that connection.
New research from a Canadian nursing professor found that babies can recognize their mom’s voice while in the womb!
The baby’s heart rates would speed up when mom read a poem and slow down when another woman read the same poem.
Barbara Kisilevsky, the professor conducting the research in both Canada and China, had some ideas as to why this would happen. Kisilevsky believes that the baby’s heart rate slows down when hearing a stranger because baby is trying to figure out who is speaking.
Keep talking to your unborn baby, mama. Baby is trying to learn everything about you that he can before he’s born!
2 No Hot Tubs When Carrying A Child
Although a nice soak in a hot tub sounds great for aching feet and sore backs during pregnancy it can pose great risks to baby.
Pregnant women are warned against allowing their body temperatures to rise too high or for too long during pregnancy. Studies have shown that serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord of the baby can happen in the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy if the mother’s temperature is elevated to too high of temperatures.
BabyMed.org recommends limiting hot tub use to no more than 10 minutes.
Otherwise, try just soaking your feet to increase your circulation and relax a bit.
1 Talking To The Baby In Womb Is Good For The Baby
Not only can a baby in the womb recognize mom’s voice, we now know that they begin learning her language too!
Babies listen in to what mom has to say and soak up everything they can. Language development is actually starting long before baby takes her first breath.
Researchers in Sweden found out that babies begin listening to mom talk 10 weeks before they are born. Once they are born, they can demonstrate what they have learned.
Mom has an influence on what language the baby will learn even before baby is born. It gives new meaning to the term “mother tongue”.
What are the most common wives’ tales you’ve heard about pregnancy? Comment below to share them!
Sources: New Scientist, Mayo Clinic, Washington University, Daily Mail