9 Myths and Legends of Pregnancy that are Mostly False or Misunderstood


Ask any mother and she will agree. Pregnancy is an interesting time for anyone who experiences it.

It’s thrilling, exciting, challenging, uncomfortable, scary, and plays havoc, both good and bad, with both body and mind.

It’s also, for many women, a time where pretty much everyone you know has something to say, whether it’s parenting advice, asking personal questions about breastfeeding or the pregnancy experience, or unsolicited anecdotes about their own pregnancy and birth.

This means that pregnancy can also feel like a time where all privacy is simply gone. Everyone feels like they own a little piece of your experience.

For example, there was this woman that just mentioned that she found that she will have a girl, and another woman, a complete stranger, jumped across the table to tell her where she can get clothes for girls.

Now there is nothing wrong with this, but it feels like everyone wants to give piece of their mind, and sometimes it can get irritating.

The woman listened to the stranger and loved the advice. She even recommends it. If you’re expecting a baby in the near future, or know someone who is, check http://bitsybugboutique.com/collections/newborn-baby-girl-clothes. It was a good advice, she says, even though it was from a stranger, and the situation was really strange.

But not all advice is as constructive as this. Many of the advices are bunch of myths and legends that are not based on any fact.

Pregnant women are overloaded with information and advice that comes from their midwife.

Following this advice can impact your health and the health of your baby, so it’s essential to follow instructions about diet, exercise, rest, and avoiding smoking and drinking. But then, what about the myths?

Alongside the scientific evidence that states certain things are good or bad for you during pregnancy, there’s a whole raft of myths and urban legends. It can be challenging to know which advice is based on science and which isn’t.

Here are just a few of the old wives’ tales you might hear during your pregnancy, and a guide to how true or not they are.

9 Myths and Legends of Pregnancy that are Misunderstood:


1. Sympathy weight means you’re having a girl.

It’s not uncommon for the partners of pregnant women to also gain a little weight over the nine months, and if you believe the superstition, a partner gaining sympathy weight means your baby is a girl.

Put this one firmly in the nope pile. There’s absolutely no relationship between your partner gaining weight and the sex of your baby, which is determined at conception before anyone gains anything.

If your partner claims they’re gaining weight for any reason other than sympathy or they’re just eating more because you are, well, they’re wrong.

This myth is false.

2. Heartburn equals hair.

One of the most prevalent myths around pregnancy is that if you suffer from terrible heartburn, you’re more likely to have a baby born with a full head of hair. In reality, the overwhelming majority of expectant mothers will experience heartburn in some form during their pregnancy, as hormonal changes and the pressure of a growing baby pressing on the internal organs play havoc with the body’s systems.

However, there’s a kernel of truth to the idea that heartburn in later pregnancy is associated with babies born with hair. A study undertaken by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland showed that women who reported severe heartburn often had babies with more hair. What causes such an odd correlation?

It’s thought that the hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy that irritate the digestive tract and cause heartburn in the mother also stimulate the baby’s hair to grow. No one knows for sure, but it’s entirely possible that this particular old wives’ tale is real.

This myth is possible.

3. You shouldn’t take a hot bath.

This one is half true. Anything hot enough to raise your core body temperature, such as hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms, is definitely a no no during pregnancy, but hot baths? They’re totally fine. No matter how hot your bath is when you get in, it will cool down fast enough to keep your core body temperature on an even keel.

In fact, many moms to be enjoy taking long hot baths while pregnant, as it can ease the muscular aches and pains that come with carrying so much extra weight.

Just be careful when getting in and out of the bath, especially nearer the end of your pregnancy when your center of gravity has shifted, as you don’t want to risk slipping and falling.

This myth is mostly true.

4. Certain foods cause allergies.

While some food concerns are based on solid science, there are several myths and misconceptions about what foods you can and can’t eat during pregnancy.

The most prevalent are myths based around the idea that eating certain foods will make your child more likely to be allergic to that food.

Foods in the major allergy groups such as peanuts, milk, and eggs often come up in these conversations, but there’s no evidence that eating these foods leaves your child vulnerable to allergies.

In fact, there’s some studies and evidence that eating peanuts in pregnancy lowers the chance of your child developing a peanut allergy.

The most important thing to consider about your pregnancy diet is that you and your baby get the nutrients you need to grow safely and remain healthy. Don’t worry about cutting out foods if you don’t have to.

This myth is mostly false.

5. Sicker moms have baby girls.

Morning sickness, or in many cases, all day sickness affects the overwhelming majority, around one in four of pregnancies, whatever the eventual gender of the baby.

However, an old wives’ tale persists that moms who have terrible morning sickness will give birth to girls.

There’s absolutely no proof that this is the case, and the link is essentially luck. With around half of all babies born being girls, and 80% of pregnancies involving morning sickness, there’s a good chance any mom with morning sickness will give birth to a girl.

If you’re struggling with extreme morning sickness, please consult your doctor at the earliest opportunity.

You may be suffering from a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which can cause dehydration and malnutrition and often requires treatment.

This myth is false.

6. Bump shape indicates gender.

There’s a whole load of different this bump shape means that gender ideas, but unsurprisingly, not one of them is true.

Ever heard that if your bump is high, the baby must be a boy? Or that wider bumps are always girls? Or that if your bump is all in front like a basketball, the baby is a boy? Also, carrying all over means a girl?

The size and shape of a baby bump are generally determined not by a baby’s gender, but by the body type, shape, and abdominal muscle strength of the mom.

That’s why many athletes who become pregnant don’t show until much later.

They have more powerful abdominal muscles than the average mom to be.

This myth is false.

7. Cravings indicate gender.

A lot of the old wives’ tales and myths around pregnancy involve gender prediction, everything from what direction a ring on the end of string spins when held over your bump, to what foods you crave while pregnant.

Some say that cravings for sweet foods mean you’re having a girl, and cravings for salty foods a boy, but pregnancy cravings are actually caused by things such as hormonal changes, changes to your sense of smell and taste, and nutritional requirements.

Definitely not the baby’s sex, though with a 50% success rate, it’s easy to see why people still love to guess.

This myth is false.

8. Boys’ heart beats slower.

Another one for the gender prediction list. Babies have a much higher resting heart rate than adults, but some people believe that the speed of a baby’s heart rate is an indicator of whether they’re a boy or girl.

The average heart rate for babies lies somewhere between 110 and 160 beats per minute, and the story goes that if it’s more than 140 bpm, then the baby is a girl. Unsurprisingly, gender and heart rate aren’t related in the slightest. This one is a total myth.

This myth is false.

9. The wider your hips, the easier the birth.

A hard one to hear for anyone who ever received a backhanded compliment about childbearing hips.

This idea that wider hips make birth easier is, in fact, a total falsehood and a myth.

While a wider pelvis does improve the birthing experience for many women, the width of your pelvis has absolutely no relation to the width of your hips. Narrow hipped women are perfectly capable of giving birth to large babies without intervention, and wide hipped women can have problems giving birth to smaller babies.

It’s the luck of the draw and the width of your pelvis.

This myth is false.