20 Unexpected Things Pregnant Women Are Forbidden To Do In Different Countries

Any newly pregnant mom must learn about what activities are permitted to do during pregnancy, as well as what foods and drinks are permitted to be taken in too. That is because as most moms know, drinking adult beverages is never a good idea during pregnancy as it can cause major issues for the unborn baby. The same goes for eating raw and unpasteurized foods because the chances of bacteria thriving in those sources is high and that is not a risk that any mom would want to take.

And, the reason that pregnant moms are told not to eat or drink certain drinks or foods is that scientific research that has been conducted has found that there are links between that and certain complications that the baby could develop. However, in certain countries around the world, pregnant moms are forbidden to do certain things or to eat certain foods not because of any kind of findings that were found after conducting scientific research.

A lot of things that pregnant women are told not to do in other countries are really based on superstitious beliefs. At the same token, moms in different countries are also expected to do certain things during their pregnancies. It is time to take the opportunity to learn about what those are!

20 China: Pregnant Women Cannot Have Ice Cream

Slim Pickin's Kitchen

It is quite common to have a craving for a scoop of ice cream or a sundae during pregnancy. And, as long as you keep your sugar intake in moderation, there is absolutely no reason that any pregnant mom cannot enjoy an occasional splurge of ice cream. That is unless gestational diabetes is in the picture.

However, according to Healthline, in China, pregnant moms are not allowed to eat ice cream or anything cold for that matter. It is believed that if a pregnant mom eats anything cold, especially ice cream, then she is putting her unborn baby at risk, as it is believed that the chances of a pregnancy loss are higher if mom eats anything cold. Especially ice cream. That means these moms will have no idea what it is like to indulge in that tasty treat.

19 China: Pregnant Women Will Only Find Out What They Are Having On Delivery Day

china newborn

It is wonderful that most pregnant moms around the world have the choice to find out the baby's gender before birth. However, in some countries, that is forbidden, such as in China.

According to Healthline, the reason that pregnant couples in China are not allowed to find out what they are having before birth is due to their strict government laws. The law for having one child in China has been in place with the exception of twins. And, because boys are heavily prized in that country, there is a risk that pregnant couples there would be told to not to continue on with the pregnancy if it was discovered that they were having a girl. In this case, it is best that these couples are surprised on the big day.

18 Japan: Family Expansion Is Limited

japan newborn

Pregnant moms are told to be careful with how much they expand while they are nourishing their unborn babies. And, the fact of the matter is that they are not eating for two as they may believe. Expanding too much can increase the chances of pregnancy complications such as diabetes and preeclampsia. With that said, according to Healthline, pregnant moms do not need to eat more than 300 to 500 calories extra per day on top of what they normally eat.

However, according to the same source, Japan is extremely strict about this issue. Their rule is that pregnant moms cannot expand beyond 26 extra of those baby pounds because the mom and the baby's wellbeing may be at risk otherwise.

17 Japan: Pregnant Women Are Expected To Eat Sushi


Pregnant moms are told to stay away from sushi because it is raw fish, and anything raw can be a host to plenty of bacteria that would not in the least be good for the unborn baby. However, according to Healthline, in Japan, pregnant moms are not only allowed to enjoy sushi, but they are expected to eat it because it is believed over there that sushi is excellent for the unborn baby's development.

And, even though it is a known fact that fish that have low-mercury levels are encouraged to be eaten during pregnancy because it is loaded with essential fatty acids. And, those fatty acids are excellent for helping the baby's brain develop well. The other thing is that in Japan, sushi is made so well that they know exactly how to clean the fish well which also makes sushi in Japan safe to eat during pregnancy or otherwise! After all, sushi is their specialty.

16 Japan: Pregnant Moms Must Stay Away From Spicy Foods

japan spicy food

Many pregnant moms, in general, avoid spicy foods because it can give them heartburn and other indigestion. However, in Japan, there is a rule for pregnant moms to avoid spicy foods for other reasons, according to the BBC. The reason for this is because it is believed if mom is eating anything spicy during pregnancy, then it can cause the baby to have a short temper.

And, the last thing anyone wants is to have a baby that has a short fuse. With that said, it is not likely that moms from Japan would be willing to take that risk and they would have no problem with passing up a hot pepper or two.

15 India: Hot Food Is Not Allowed To Be Eaten

indian mom

Since it is a known fact that soft cheeses and deli meats have high odds of carrying bacteria, according to Healthline, pregnant moms are told to heat up those foods in the microwave before eating those foods. The heat will wipe away all of the bacteria that potentially could have been in the food.

However, according to the same source, moms in India are told to avoid eating hot foods at all costs because it is believed that if they were to eat anything too warm- it can increase the chances of mom and the unborn baby not being in the best health. Yet at the same time, these moms are told to eat hot food during the last month of pregnancy because they are told that it can help ease labor.

14 Sweden: Pregnant Moms Cannot Ask OBGYNs To Deliver Their Babies

swedish baby

This is not really a rule but the fact of the matter is, according to Healthline, pregnant moms in Sweden will not have any OBGYN deliver their babies. They will only have midwives doing the job because they are the only ones in that country that will deliver babies.

However, with that said, it is quite likely that moms from Sweden would be amazed to learn that OBGYNs typically deliver babies in most other countries. That is because this is a foreign concept to these moms. And, according to the same source, the same applies to moms that live in the Netherlands as well.

13 Mexico: Brand New Moms Must Go To The Sauna


Moms in both the USA and in Canada are told to not go to saunas or have baths that are too warm because it can cause overheating, even right after birth according to Healthline. And, it is a known fact that this can never be a good thing during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period. However, according to the same source, in Mexico, the views on that are quite different.

In fact, moms that had just given birth in Mexico are strongly encouraged to take advantage of saunas because of how it helps soothe them after going through the stress of labor. They also are encouraged to get a massage as well.

12 Nigeria: Pregnant Moms Cannot Eat Snails

Many pregnant moms are concerned about eating foods from areas that are not known to be clean such as fish from polluted waters. That is quite understandable due to the fact that is a known fact that high mercury levels in fish are not good for the unborn baby's nervous system. Additionally, there are other pollutants that can do the same thing that the food could contain.

However, the majority of pregnant moms in North America especially, do not worry too much about superstition. They will likely not eat a certain food because research has found it is not safe to eat during pregnancy. However, according to the BBC, it is a known fact that this is not the case in countries like Nigeria.

Pregnant moms in Nigeria are forbidden to eat snails because it is believed that snails can cause the unborn baby to become sluggish. And, that would not be a good thing if that did happen, so they feel they are better safe than otherwise and will not touch snails.

11 Mexico: Pregnant Moms Are Forbidden To Eat Eggs

mexico eggs

Eggs are actually good to eat during pregnancy because according to Healthline, they are loaded with a nutrient called choline which has been shown to help with the development of the brain in the unborn baby. However, according to the BBC, in Mexico eating eggs during pregnancy is not only not encouraged, but it is prohibited.

That is because it is believed that if the mom eats eggs during her pregnancy, then she is increasing the risk of her baby smelling bad. And, that is certainly an understandable issue to be concerned about, even though plenty of pregnant moms eat eggs everywhere else and their babies never end up having an odor as a result.

10 The Same Applies In Most Of Africa


Mexico is not the only country that pregnant moms are not allowed to eat eggs. According to the BBC, most countries in Africa hold the same belief. And, the fact of the matter is, these particular countries still base their beliefs on superstition instead of anything that is scientifically proven simply because that is their culture.

And, hopefully, in time, most of these countries in Africa, as well as Mexico, will come to realize that eggs eaten during pregnancy will not cause the baby to have an unpleasant odor. Because, unless you have an egg allergy or you are too turned off to eat eggs during pregnancy, this food is highly encouraged to be eaten as it is excellent for the baby's brain. You can also take choline supplements if these issues apply to you as well.

9 Philippines: Pregnant Moms Are Expected To Eat Raw Eggs Before Labor

filipino baby
Kerygma Family

In the Philippines, the issue around eating eggs during pregnancy is quite different from most of the countries in Africa as well as in Mexico. That is because, according to the BBC, pregnant moms are actually told to eat raw eggs before they go into labor because they believe that that will only help the labor become easier.

They believe that raw eggs can help make the birth canal easier for the baby to come through. However, at the same token, it really is not a good idea to eat raw eggs at all during your pregnancy regardless of how far along you are. Raw eggs, as well as raw and unpasteurized foods, can be hosts for bacteria that would not be good for the unborn baby!

8 Tanzania: Pregnant Moms Cannot Eat Meat

tanzania mom

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan pregnant moms around that are doing their best to make sure that they are taking the right supplements to ensure that their unborn babies are getting what they need. However, according to the BBC, pregnant moms in Tanzania are forbidden to eat meat for reasons that are quite different from why vegans and vegetarians don't eat meat.

It is believed that in Tanzania, if pregnant moms were to eat meat from any type of animal, then they could end up causing their unborn babies to take on the characteristics of the animal that was eaten. And, if that was really the case, then no one would want to eat any type of meat either regardless of whether they are vegan or not!

7 China: Never Set Up The Nursery Until The Baby Is Born

china law

There are many expectant parents regardless of where they live that are hesitant to get their nurseries ready before the birth of their babies. And that is because they are superstitious and feel that it is definitely not good luck to do that before their babies arrive.

However, there are some cultures where dressing up the nursery is forbidden until after the birth of the baby. And, according to The Indusparent, China forbids expectant parents to set up and decorate the nursery before the birth of the baby because it is believed to be simply bad luck to do that in that country. With that said, these expectant parents have to abide by that rule no matter how excited and impatient they are.

6 Russia: Pregnant Moms Must Ignore Compliments


It is a known fact that it is not polite to ask any woman that appears to be pregnant if she is pregnant. Because, what if she is not? Then that will only lead to an embarrassing situation for the one who asked the question, and it would make her feel self-conscious. So that means, even if a woman is quite obviously pregnant unless you know her, and know that she is pregnant- it is best to not say anything.

However, however, according to The Indusparent, in Russia it is forbidden for anyone to comment on a pregnant lady's glow and it has nothing to do with proper etiquette. It is believed if anyone comments on a pregnant mom's glow, then they are allowing not-so-nice spirits to surround her and that is not a nice thing to worry about at all! Every mom wants positive vibes only around her baby!

5 Turkey: Pregnant Moms Must Not Go To The Zoo

child at zoo

Going to the zoo is a nice activity and outing if the weather is comfortable that is, and any pregnant mom would agree with that considering her internal heating system is up! However, according to The Industparent, moms-to-be in Turkey are forbidden to visit the zoo because if they look at certain animals such as bears, camels, and monkeys, then it is believed that will have a very negative impact on the unborn baby's appearance.

And, there are other cultures around the world that share the same belief as well such as in China. Additionally, this superstition was believed everywhere even in North America a half a century ago, and before that.

4 Vietnam: Pregnant Moms Must Stay Away From Toothpaste

Vietnamese mom

No one can imagine not brushing their teeth with toothpaste because that will not be effective at all, and the plaque and bacteria will not be removed. However, during pregnancy, this can be a challenge, especially for those moms that are experiencing nausea. And, according to The Indusparent, in Vietnam, pregnant moms are forbidden from brushing their teeth with toothpaste regardless of how they are feeling!

Yes, you read that correctly! In Vietnam, pregnant moms are not allowed to brush their teeth with toothpaste but they still are able to clean their teeth. And, the only way they can do that is by brushing with salt water and then to rinse out after with water that is of room temperature.

3 Mexico: Pregnant Moms Must Wear A Key Around The Neck During A Full Moon


You have already learned that pregnant moms in Mexico are told to go to the sauna after they deliver, and they are also told not to eat eggs during pregnancy because it is believed the eggs can cause the baby to have a not so nice odor. And, according to The Indusparent, pregnant moms in Mexico are expected to wear their keys around their necks when it is a full moon.

That is because it is believed that if they don't, then that can cause the unborn baby to not turn out healthy. And, that is not something that these moms want to risk so they wear their keys around their necks at that time of the lunar cycle!

2 Czech Republic: Moms Must Drink Certain Things After Birth To Help With Milk Production

czech republic

In North America and in most other parts of the world, pregnant moms know not to drink any adult beverages at all which has already been said. And that applies to them during their entire pregnancies. However, according to The Indusparent, in the Czech Republic, pregnant moms are told that they must drink dark ale in order to help bring on milk production.

And, perhaps, this may not be that concerning since a little bit of an adult beverage taken in right at the end of pregnancy would likely not do anything to the unborn baby since the baby has already for the most part developed. However, I still would not take that chance - unless you live in the Czech Republic where you are told to do so!

1 South Africa: Pregnant Moms Must Take In A Certain Herbal Concoction

south africa pregnant

Pregnant moms are told to take folic acid even before conception happens because it can reduce the risks of neural tube conditions in the unborn baby. And, that is one rule that most moms are aware of. However, in South Africa, some of these pregnancy rules are similar but yet different according to the BBC.

Pregnant moms in South Africa are expected to drink an herbal concoction called Isihlambezo. Isihlambezo can include milkweed or daisies, but it is a rule that moms in that country must abide by. In fact, it is not acceptable for them not to take in the concoction because if they don't, then they are not doing their unborn babies any favors.

Source: Healthline.com, BBC.com, TheIndusparent.com

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