20 Things Pregnant Women Do Differently In China

There are so many pregnancy-related rules and superstitions throughout the world, and some of them can really be mind-boggling to some cultures. In the Western world, some expectant couples do go by superstitions however, many are not superstitious and only follow pregnancy-related rules that have been backed up by science.

In other words, if a pregnancy-related requirement is not backed up by science, and it appears to be an old wives tale or superstition instead, it is up to the couple to follow it in this part of the world. However, many would be surprised to know that some countries are very strict when it comes to pregnancy-related rules. And, a lot of rules in other parts of the world that pregnant women are expected to follow are based on superstition only.

One country that is highly superstitious is China, as that is really a significant part of the culture. For instance, no one will see buildings having a fourth floor in that country. Instead, it will be labeled as the fifth floor on elevators instead since the number four is a bad luck number there.

Pregnant women in China must follow certain rules, whether they are backed up by science or not. Let's find out what these pregnancy requirements are, and how moms-to-be in China handle their pregnancies differently than those living in the Western world.

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20 Watermelon Is Off-Limits

If you are pregnant and have a craving for watermelon, then that is most definitely a great craving to indulge. That is because watermelon has plenty of water, vitamins, and minerals to help keep you hydrated and is good for your unborn baby. However, in China, the opinion of eating watermelon during pregnancy is quite different.

According to Science Direct, in their culture, watermelon is one of the foods that is not meant to be eaten during pregnancy. The reason for this is because it is a cold fruit, and cold foods can disrupt blood circulation, and that means the nutrients will not be absorbed properly. Therefore, they believe that watermelon can cause a woman to lose the baby due to this reason. That said, pregnant women in China know that they cannot indulge in a watermelon pregnancy craving.

19 Mango Is A Forbidden Snack

Mango is one of the best foods around that can be eaten during pregnancy because it is high in important vitamins and minerals that the unborn baby needs. Additionally, it has folate which is crucial for the prevention of serious neural tube defects in the unborn baby.

However, according to Science Direct, mango is one of the forbidden foods in China as far as it being eaten during pregnancy. That is because it is believed that mango can cause skin issues for the baby, such as eczema. Therefore, if a pregnant woman in China has a sudden craving for mango, she must not give into it for this reason.

18 They Stick To The Keeping Quiet Rule Until After 12 Weeks

pregnancy announcement
Via: Pregnant.sg

In the Western culture, many expecting couples prefer not to announce a pregnancy under 12 weeks because of the fact that the odds of losing the pregnancy are at its highest before the first trimester is over. However, more and more expecting couples are sharing the news a lot earlier than that. They also feel that if losing the baby were to happen, then they would not need to deal with it in silence.

However, according to Science Direct, this rule will never be bent in China. Their belief is even stronger than it is in the Western culture about the stability of the pregnancy being risked if an announcement about it came out before the second trimester. That means, couples in China who do lose a pregnancy will end up dealing with it in silence due to this rule.

17 Scissors Or Nail Clippers Must Not Be Used In Bed

Sometimes if your nails are too long, you have to cut them even if you are in bed if you take the garbage pail and keep it by your side to catch the nails that were cut. And, no one would even think twice about it whether a pregnancy was in the picture or not. You would just take your small scissors or nail clippers and start using it to cut those nails.

However, according to Science Direct, it is against the rules for pregnant women in China to use scissors or nail clippers in bed. That is because the belief is if scissors are used while you are in bed during pregnancy, then that puts the baby at risk for having issues like having a cleft lip or marks on the face. These pregnant women just have to face having very long nails until after they deliver.

16 The Crib Is Ordered After Delivery


One of the things that expecting couples are told to do is to have the nursery prepared before the baby arrives so there is a lot less to worry about after the birth. That includes having a crib delivered and placed into the nursery.

However, according to Science Direct, expectant couples in China will not purchase any cribs or bassinets before the birth of the baby. That is because it is simply bad luck to have an empty bed in the home before the baby arrives. There are other cultures that have the same type of belief, but this one is very strong in China. Couples are quite used to scrambling to get a crib or a bassinet for the baby after the delivery.

15 Must Think Positive Thoughts Only

positive thinking
Via: Geobaby.com

If you remember the book and the movie, The Secret, it sends out a message that negative thinking has negative effects, and positive thinking is the only way to go as far as getting what you need and want. However, this is quite untrue as sometimes negative thinking is necessary in order to be able to find a solution to a problem. Not to mention, having negative thoughts is part of being human. It is not possible to think positively all of the time.

However, in China, pregnant women are told to not allow any kind of negative thoughts to enter their heads. According to Pacific Prime, in their culture, it is believed that negative thinking during pregnancy can have an impact on the unborn baby. That said, pregnant women in China are told to read happy stories, read poetry, and get involved with pleasant activities like painting to help combat any negative thoughts.

14 She Can’t Have Fun With Him

Many pregnant women in the Western world are afraid to be close with their partners because of the fear of it affecting the baby. However, over the years, research that was conducted about this issue has indicated that having physical time with the significant other during pregnancy will not cause any issues with the unborn baby.

However, according to Pacific Prime, in China, physical closeness during pregnancy is off-limits because it is still believed that it can lead the unborn baby becoming a social outcast later on in their future lives. That is not a chance that any expecting couple in China wants to take. Therefore, they just commit to not being physical until after the baby is born.

13 Willow Bark Tea Is A Must-Have

willow bark tea
Via: SheKnows.com

You have been hearing about what is off-limits in China when it comes to pregnancy. However, there are a few things that pregnant women in China are not only permitted to do but are encouraged to do. And one of those things is drinking willow bark tea.

According to Pacific Prime, willow bark tea is meant to help alleviate discomfort during pregnancy, which includes labor pains. Additionally, willow bark tea is meant to have some great beneficial anesthetic effects as well. This means if mom consumes this during her pregnancy, the baby will be better off with having good looks and good health.

12 Rubbing The Pregnant Belly Is Off-Limits

rubbing pregnant belly
Via: Nepaliaustralian.com

It is very hard not to rub your own pregnant belly because you are so proud of the life you are growing inside of you and that you are about to bring out into the world. And, your friends and family members will enjoy rubbing the pregnant belly as well, especially if you tell them that the baby is moving around inside.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, this practice is forbidden in that country. It is believed in their culture that rubbing the pregnant belly will cause the baby to become spoiled and fussy after the birth. That is not what they want to see happen, and therefore, rubbing the pregnant belly is completely forbidden for this reason.

11 Blocked Drains Aren’t Touched

If you have a blocked drain, the first thing you are going to want to do is to get some Drano or WD40 to unclog the drain- whether you are pregnant or not. You want to make sure that your plumbing is in proper working order.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, expectant couples in China will not touch a blocked drain until after the baby is born, even if that means they will end up with faulty plumbing as a result. Fixing a clogged drain during a pregnancy can cause the pregnancy to be lost. That is because removing the blockage would be aligned with the baby being removed from the uterus too early in their culture. Living with poor plumbing is a chance they would take instead during the entire pregnancy.

10 Keep Their Eyes Off Of Those Who Are Painting Walls

Pregnant women may not want to be exposed to paint because they fear that the fumes could have an effect on the unborn baby. However, there are plenty of paints that are safe for pregnant women to be around that don't have the chemicals.

Though, in their culture, pregnant women are forbidden to be around anyone who is painting the walls. According to Having A Baby In China, pregnant women have to stay away from those who are painting. It is believed that just by watching someone paint the walls can cause a scar to be left on the baby's face. If they see someone painting the hallway in a building, then they have to get away from it as soon as they can. Then they will hope that no damage was caused!

9 Raising Hands Over The Head Is Not Allowed

arms kept down
Via: Christianheadlines.com

It was believed even in the Western world that if a pregnant woman raised her hands over her heads, it could cause the cord to wrap around the baby's neck. However, after years of research being conducted on this belief, it has been found that is not at all the case. Pregnant women can raise their arms above their heads without causing any problems.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, in their culture, if a pregnant woman does raise her hands over her head, then it can be a negative influence to the unborn baby. The reason was not specified, but this belief suggests that it can have an impact for any reason.

8 Expression Of Beauty Is A No-No

Via: YouTube.com

Pregnant women in the western world have no qualms about wearing makeup or nail polish as long as it is chemical-free, and safe to be worn during pregnancy. They would not give it a second thought about pregnancy being a reason not to express their beauty.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, in their culture, pregnant women are forbidden from expressing their beauty in any way. That is because it is not appropriate for women to show off their beauty by wearing makeup, putting on nail polish, and getting their hair fixed at the salon during pregnancy.

There is nothing said that suggests that it could have a negative impact on the baby. However, pregnant women must be modest in China because that is the only thing that is acceptable.

7 Baby Showers Are Done Only After The Arrival

Via: Youngparents.com.sg

It has already been mentioned that expectant couples in China do not order their cribs or bassinets before the baby arrives. That is because it is considered to be bad luck to have an empty bed in an expectant couple's home or apartment.

And, according to Having A Baby In China, the same applies to pregnant women having a baby shower before the birth of the baby. In China, a celebration of the baby's birth is done after the fact. It is bad luck to have a celebration of any kind that is related to the baby before the big arrival. That said, a shower is done after the baby has been delivered safely.

6 Radiation Proof Dresses Must Be Worn

Pregnant women need to be mindful about the environment that they are in, especially if they are in an area which is known to cause radiation. However, there is no proof that using a cell phone or a laptop will emit much radiation to the point it could affect the unborn baby. In fact, pregnant women have used technology for decades.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, pregnant women have to wear radiation-proof dresses or aprons when they are working or at home using their appliances. That is because it is feared that the radiation from mobile phones, computers, and any kind of electronic device can affect the baby, even though it has been found through studies that the amount of radiation being emitted from these devices and appliances is not enough to cause any issues.

5 They Cannot Attend Weddings Or Burials

Chinese wedding
Via: Chrislearyweddings.com

There is a superstition that is believed in the Western world that pregnant women should not attend funerals or go to cemeteries because it could be bad luck for the unborn baby. However, according to Having A Baby In China, pregnant women must not attend funerals because the emotional impact can affect the unborn baby.

The same applies to weddings or any kind of celebration, according to the same source. Pregnant women must not attend any kind of event or gathering regardless of the reason if it will trigger intense emotions- whether they are positive or negative. The unborn baby cannot handle how mom is feeling in an intense way. That is the belief in their culture.

4 They Must Only Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing And Shoes

It is a known fact that pregnant women need to wear stretchy maternity wear in order to stay comfortable while they are constantly growing and expanding. And, it is a known fact that if they wear anything that is restrictive, it can be bad for the circulation which is not good for the baby.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, pregnant women must only wear loose-fitting clothing as well as larger shoes. Otherwise, the baby will be very uncomfortable and that is not what mom would want for her unborn child. In fact, if pregnant women in China are found wearing clothing that is too tight, they will be ordered to change into something looser. It is simply not acceptable otherwise.

3 They Must Stay Away Someone Using A Hammer

It was one time believed in the Western world that is exposed to loud noises during pregnancy was risky, as it could cause the unborn baby a lot of distress. However, it has been found that is not the case based on research conducted over time.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, loud noises itself are not problematic. But, pregnant women are prohibited from being around anyone hammering. That is because it is believed that the noise from the hammer can cause the unborn baby to end up with an ugly scar that is permanent. Wearing earplugs will not solve the issue. The pregnant mom must be away from any kind of hammering whether it is noisy or not.

2 Shellfish Is Off-Limits

Via: Wearychef.com

Pregnant women are hesitant to eat fish because they fear that the mercury levels can be high which will affect  the baby. However, it has been established that some types of fish are not only safe to eat during pregnancy, but are recommended because it has fatty acids that are beneficial for brain development. Salmon, trout, and many types of shellfish are safe and healthy to be eaten during pregnancy.

However, according to Having A Baby In China, shellfish is off-limits during pregnancy. For instance, if a pregnant woman was to eat crab meat, it could cause the womb to be sticky or cause the baby to end up with 11 fingers! And, eating shellfish, in general, is a no-no because it can cause the baby to end up with a rash. Mercury does not seem to be a big concern in China.

1 They Pay Attention To The Color Of Foods They Eat


The color of the food that is eaten should not be a concern during pregnancy or in general. However, according to Having A Baby In China, pregnant women have to be mindful of the color of food that they are consuming.

It is believed if pregnant women eat chocolate or dark-colored foods in general, it could cause the baby to have a dark complexion. And, lighter-color foods like milk and certain cheeses like mozzarella cheese will cause the baby's skin to be lighter.

That said, if a pregnant woman does not want her child to have an overly dark or overly light complexion, then she has to eat the foods that will support what she wants for her baby.

Sources: ScienceDirect.com, PacificPrime.com, HavingABabyInChina.com

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