Whoa, Baby! Pregnancy Myths
Pregnancy. It’s “supposed” to be the most blissful nine months of your life. However, it may be marred by crippling morning sickness, horrific back pain, heartburn, and various other maladies. Of course, there are those blissful first moments — like the first time you hear your baby’s heartbeat, their first kick, and that glorious moment of birth — but, man, the road to that moment can be rough. Pregnancy is also encumbered with a lot of myths that make it seem at once scarier and less scary than it actually is.
Here, explained or debunked, are several of those myths, just for you.
Pregnancy Myth #1: Your skin glows during pregnancy.
Fact: Ha! This is not always the case. Personally, I had the worst pregnancy-related acne. My skin looked like a teenager’s, which is ironic because I didn’t have acne as a teenager. It kicked in at about 3 or 4 months and didn’t go away until after my son was born. And it wasn’t just my face; it spread across my shoulders and chest. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnancy acne is just an unfortunate side effect of the hormonal changes going on in your body.
Pregnancy Myth #2: If you have a lot of heartburn, your baby will be born with a lot of hair.
Fact: This one isn’t a total myth. While it has long fallen into the realm of old wives’ tales, researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study and did find a correlation! More than half of the women studied with moderate to severe heartburn did have children with average or above average amounts of hair. But one is not directly related to the other. Again, you have to chalk this up to hormones. Higher levels of estrogen and other hormones play a part.
Pregnancy Myth #3: If you’re having severe morning sickness, you’re having a girl.
Fact: This old wives’ tale is pretty much a myth. Morning sickness is relative to each individual pregnancy. There is no real known reason for morning sickness; but, again, those pesky hormones come into play. Those with elevated hormone levels, especially the hormone HCG, are more likely to have more intense morning sickness.
Pregnancy Myth #4: If you are carrying low, you will have a boy. If you are carrying high, you will have a girl.
Fact: This one is definitely not true and has no real research that could prove otherwise. How and where your belly sits does have several factors, and none of them are hormones! These factors include position of the baby, size and shape of your uterus, and strength of the abdomen.
While these are the most common pregnancy myths with a substantial amount of research behind them, I asked several mommy friends what bizarre myths about pregnancy they’ve heard. Here are a few of my favorite:
- “Tie a ring to a string and swing it above the belly. If it swings in a circle, it’s a girl. If it swings back and forth, it’s a boy.”
- “If your nose spreads, you’re having a girl.”
- “If your heart rate is slower, you’re having a boy. If it’s faster, it’s a girl.”
- “If you crave sweets, you’re having a girl.” (I know this to be untrue from personal experience!)
Science has really come a long way in determining factors about pregnancy, and we can be sure about a lot more than we used to. Sometimes, though, it’s fun to go old school.