The Top 12 Old Wives Tales Told to Pregnant Women and New Moms

From cats stealing babies' breath to the "danger" of kneeling while pregnant: 12 old wives tales explained.
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The Top 12 Old Wives Tales Told to Pregnant Women and New Moms

From cats stealing babies’ breath to the “danger” of kneeling while pregnant: 12 old wives tales explained.

-Dr. Cara Natterson and Dr. Jason Rothbart,

12 Old Wives Tales for Pregnant Women

As if you’re not bombarded with enough information and facts while you’re pregnant or in the throes of new motherhood, there are the good old wives tales that strangers (and perhaps friends and family too) feel compelled to tell you. People just can’t help guess the sex of the baby (you’re carrying low – it’s a boy for sure!) or offer unsolicited advice about why cats should never be left near your newborn child (read on to find out why).

Well now it’s time to confirm the facts and dispel the fiction. And to help us set the record straight, we’ve asked our Parents Ask experts, Obstetrician Jason Rothbart (yes, he’s the one who swooped into Namibia to deliver baby Shiloh Pitt) and Pediatrician Cara Natterson, author of the new best-seller, Dangerous or Safe to weigh in.

 The top 12 old wives tales told to pregnant women and new mothers (please feel free to comment or add your own!).

1. If you have heartburn your baby will have a lot of hair.
Jason: While this has no basis in medical fact, many women will stand strongly by this one. The problem is, MOST pregnant women have some level of heartburn, so when their baby is born with a lot of hair, it is very satisfying to say “See, told you!!”

2. If the head of your bed points north it will be a boy and if it points south it will be a girl (or vice versa … can’t remember).
Jason: Again, this is not based in medical fact. In any event, who is to say what position the couple in question were facing during the baby making?? This along with all the other theories on determining a baby’s sex (the ring test, fast heartbeat = girl, etc) are all nonsense. BUT If someone can tell me how having a penis will change the way a baby lies in the uterus or a vagina can make a heartbeat change its rhythm, well then I’d be onto something!

Read A Mother’s Take on the Movie ‘Motherhood’

3. If there’s a lunar eclipse during your pregnancy, make sure to safety pin a key to your clothes over your belly or your baby will have a cleft lip.
Jason: Silliness!

4. Don’t kneel down while pregnant or the umbilical cord will kink, or wrap around the baby, or whatever.
Jason: Many women are afraid of this one. Luckily, Mother Nature has outsmarted us all and surrounded the baby with amniotic fluid, so that he or she floats in there just fine in any position the mommy gets in. The umbilical cord is always free to wrap around body parts and often does, but overwhelmingly to no consequence. And if there is a problem with the cord wrapped around something, most often the baby’s neck, we can see signs of that during labor, and can make sure that the baby is OK.

5. If you want to get rid of your “baby belly” quickly after delivery, don’t shower for 3 days after the baby’s born.
Jason: Silliness!

6. If you have any of the following: 1) sex 2) exercise 3) a bikini wax 4) eat a certain salad dressing at an LA restaurant, you will go into labor.
Jason: No doubt, many women swear by one or all of these. And because there’s no harm in any of them, I always say “go for it!”

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3 thoughts on “The Top 12 Old Wives Tales Told to Pregnant Women and New Moms

  1. I would think that if I just gave birth, I’d want to shower immediately. There’s no way I could wait 3 days! Do people actually believe that not bathing will make you lose weight?!

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