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Myths and Old Wives Tales – Do They Hold Water?

Myths and Old Wives Tales - Do They Hold Water?

We have all heard them at some point or another – old wives tales and myths about pregnancy and childcare. Are these tales based on scientific facts or have they merely been passed down from generation to generation? Let’s explore these tales and find out if they actually hold water, and if we should be taking notice of them.


Common pregnancy myths

During pregnancy if the bump is high, the baby is a girl, and carrying low is a sign of a boy!

This is untrue. The size of the bump or the way a woman is carrying is by no means an indication of the sex of the baby. All woman carry differently and the bump indicates the way a baby is lying or positioned. This is a worldwide myth and interestingly enough more than 50% of all pregnant woman subscribe to this tale.

Heartburn during pregnancy is a sign that the infant will be born with a full head of hair!

Wrong. Heartburn is common in pregnancy and is caused by the hormone, progesterone that is produced by the placenta. This hormone is meant to cause the muscles of the uterus to relax yet it sometimes affects the valve separating the esophagus from the stomach and this causes the gastric acids to go back into the stomach which results in heartburn. The infant’s apparent head of full hair will not cause heartburn.

Having sexual intercourse during pregnancy can harm or damage the baby!

Incorrect. Sexual intercourse during pregnancy can be enjoyed up until a couple feels comfortable. All assurance is given that the baby is safe and will not be harmed by sex. There are however, some conditions which recommend that intercourse be avoided!


Childcare myths

A cat will steal your baby’s breath or suffocate the sleeping child for the smell of milk

This myth is enough to scare the life out of new moms, and make them ship off their beloved felines to the SPCA. This again is not true. This myth dates back hundreds of years, when cats were considered to be evil spirits. The cats were unhappy about the joy caused by a new baby and it was believed the cats would steal the baby’s breath or suffocate them. Today, we know cats are not evil – however, cats and other animals should not be encouraged to sleep in the baby’s crib.

A walking ring will help baby to walk faster

Wrong! In fact a walking ring prevents the child from learning and developing other important developmental skills, like sitting and crawling.

And last, but not least (one we have all heard):

Going out with wet hair will cause a cold

This is incorrect. Colds are viruses, and have nothing to do with wet hair or cold air.

Most myths and old wives tales do not hold any water! They are all made up stories that have some how managed to stand the test of time. Although we are now a lot wiser than our forefathers, we will probably pass these tales onto our kids. Let’s face it, how many times have you said -Eat your carrots; they are good for your eyes!


– Kathy Baron


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