India is a land of traditions, superstitions, and myths. I am going to list down a few popular pregnancy related myths here. So when I had my seventh-month ceremony (dohale jevan), I was asked to choose one of the two closed steel containers. One of it had a ‘peda’ and the other one had a ‘barfi’. I picked the ‘barfi’ and my aunt was quite sad that I will be having a baby girl. Yes, this has absolutely no scientific or medical basis and yet my aunt was upset. It didn’t matter to me at all at that point if I was having a boy or a girl. I just wanted a healthy baby. All my cousins felt that there was no glow on my face and hence I was carrying a daughter. This baffled me beyond anything. What has a glow to do with having a son?
Well, 2 months later I had a son. And hence a myth is a myth is a myth.
“A fictitious or false notion, often of popular belief”
In my case, the myths and predictions were just harmless traditions. One should be really wary of a tradition or a myth that comes at the cost of the health of the mother and baby. I am just listing a few of them below that I encountered during my pregnancy.
Five Popular pregnancy-related myths That I countered
Timing of the birth
I had an emergency cesarean section. I gave birth to a healthy baby boy on a Saturday. Some relatives suggested if the doctor could wait till Sunday since Saturday is not considered as an auspicious day to give birth. This was an atrocious statement to make because it was my child’s safety at stake. Needless to say, I was wheeled into an emergency on Saturday and that was the most auspicious day for me.
Doctors are also often baffled on what time they should note regarding the birth of the baby; the birth of the head, birth of the whole baby or the first cry? I am sure this is one of the most popular pregnancy-related myths in India and every doctor has to face this. I spoke to a few doctors and some of them said that they note the time of the child’s first cry.
Oh, you got acidity? Baby’s hair must be growing
Another big myth is that if you complain of acidity, you may have a baby with a lot of hair. I had no acidity whatsoever throughout my pregnancy and I had a boy who had so much hair you could take him to the salon right away!
Don’t sit on the computer
Oh well. Not in the literal sense. My relatives kept advising as to how sitting with a laptop / working on a laptop might harm the baby. How do you ask? The radiations of course! There is no truth to this. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati did a study amongst 700 infants and found no increase in pre-term deliveries or low birth weight in those born to women who used computers throughout the workday. I worked till about a week before I delivered without any hassle.
Of birthmarks and food
The popular myth goes like this: If a pregnant woman sees something gory or ugly, her baby will be ugly. This is so baseless and there are no ugly babies. All babies are born beautiful.
My boy was born with birthmarks on his lower stomach and feet. So people conveniently said that I had too much coffee! Oh well.
Eat a lot of ghee, so that baby can slip out easily
Of course, one needs to take such advice with caution. Ghee, butter can easily help in weight gain. Our bodies naturally gain a lot of weight during pregnancy and such foods only make it worse. Overweight mothers and pregnancies can cause complications during labor. And no, any amount of ghee that you will have will not help the baby ‘slip’ out.
If you feel any of the advice given to you by your family is not right, talk to your doctor about it. None of the myths should actually put any stress on the pregnant woman as stress can definitely affect a baby.
Did you also have such popular pregnancy-related myths doled out to you during your pregnancy? Share with me in the comments below!
Read important things to avoid during pregnancy