Found out you’re pregnant? Get ready for the onslaught of old wives’ tales that are coming your way! From gender to due date, it can (apparently) all be predicted. However some of the myths have been debunked, so read on to see which of these ridiculous and hilarious old wives’ tales are fact – and which are fiction.
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After four children, I have heard more than my fair share of weird and wacky old wives’ tales over the years. Not one week passed in any of my pregnancies when comments have been made and I have had to debunk myths – or just laugh out loud!
Here are some of the most hilarious, ridiculous and even true old wives tales I’ve heard in the past eight years:
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Old Wives’ Tales: Fact or Fiction?
#1. A Big Bump Means a Big Baby
This is one of the most common old wives’ tales said to pregnant women all over the world – and it’s completely untrue.
If you’re tall and slim, you may not show as much as another woman who has a different body shape. The same goes for shorter women whose bump may look huge compared to others at the same stage.
Another reason for a ‘big’ bump could be down to the amount of fluid surrounding the baby.
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#2. Baby Can Recognise Mum’s Voice in the Womb
This one is actually true! The connection between mum and baby starts long before baby is born. Babies can recognise their mum’s voice while still in the womb, and it has been shown that newborns calm when they hear their mother’s voice.
#3. Heartburn Means a Hairy Baby
This is one of the old wives’ tales that has been going for centuries! Does extreme heartburn mean you’re having an especially hairy baby? No! The amount of hair your baby will have when they are born is completely down to genetics.
#4. A Low Bump Means You Are Having a Boy
Old wives’ tales claim that if you are carrying your baby low down, then it’s assumed you are more than likely having a boy. And if you’re carrying high and to the front, then you should prepare for a girl. The fact is, the way you carry your baby is all down to mother’s individual body shape, muscle tone and nothing at all to do with gender.
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#5. Sex Will Hurt Your Baby
Why on earth would anyone say this?! Let’s be clear, this is a myth! Sex is completely healthy and normal for most pregnant women, and helps prepare the cervix for labour. Also if you are nearing or over your due date, it’s actually recommended to fool around as it can help bring on labour.
However, always take your doctor’s advice.
#6. Too Much Coffee Causes Birthmarks
This one always makes me laugh. An old wives’ tale claims that if a baby is born with light-brown birthmarks, it’s a result of the mum drinking too much coffee or having unfulfilled cravings while she was pregnant. Sounds hilarious doesn’t it? The truth is that pigmented birthmarks are caused by the clustering of pigment cells – not coffee or unfulfilled cravings.
#7. The Gender Ring Test
I’m not going to lie, this is one of the old wives’ tales that I tried after my mother-in-law told me about it.
Rumour has it that if you hang your wedding ring on a piece of string over your bump, it will predict the gender of your baby. If the ring swings back and forth you are having a girl, and it’s a boy if it swings in a circle. It’s a myth, and with 50/50 odds it may be ‘true’ for some as often as it’s untrue. As for me, it swung in circles and I had a girl.
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#8. Cold Feet Means You’re Having a Boy
Are your feet colder now that you are expecting? One of the old wives tales’ claims colder feet during pregnancy means you’re having a boy. But, it’s completely untrue and more likely due to a change in your circulation while pregnant.
Grab a blanket or an extra pair of socks, get comfy and pop those feet up!
#9. No Garlic Breath? You’re Having a Girl
Fan of garlic? Let hope you’re having a girl, because this old wives’ tale says you won’t stink out the house after eating a clove of garlic in one sitting. If the smell seeps out of your pores, it’s a boy. Completely harmless to give it a try, and worth a (smelly) laugh if nothing else!
#10. Umbilical Cord Dangers
There are many old wives’ tales that focus around potential umbilical cord dangers. Those which claim exercising or stretching will make the baby become tangled up in the umbilical cord are completely and utterly false. Your baby will be like a world-class acrobat before it’s born, they will do somersaults and backflips and move in all kinds of ways, all on their own.
Playing the guessing game using old wives’ tales can be a lot of fun but if you’re wondering if your baby will be a boy or a girl, ask your doctor. A scan is the only accurate way to find out your baby’s gender during pregnancy, and even then there is still a chance it could be wrong.
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What old wives’ tales have you heard? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!