It happens quite often. Someone will send us a message on our Facebook (including on our FB group Smart Parenting Village) wondering whether they should follow a "buntis pamahiin" or superstitions on pregnancy. They are mostly old wives' tales you shouldn't even give a second thought. But we can understand the worry; after all, you do have a tiny human being dependent on you.
Most pamahiins are a product of good intentions. We'd like to think that those that strike fear is a roundabout way of reminding preggos to take it easy and be more careful. We tackle 15 here (believe us, we left out a lot more) to clarify the ones that have merit and those that should not worry you further.
#1 Pregnant women should not wear a necklace or wrap a towel around her neck. It supposedly will cause the baby to suffer from "cord coil." Never mind science, this makes no sense at all. But its roots can probably be traced to a preggo's fear when it comes to the umbilical cord.
It is true that the umbilical cord can wrap itself around your baby's leg or neck especially in your first and second trimesters. According to Parents, it happens because of the constant movement your baby makes, but it should not be a cause for concern. During childbirth, your doctor will "slip a finger around the back of the neck to check whether or not there is a cord there. If there is, it's usually loose enough to slip it easily over your baby's head before delivering the rest of the body."
#2 Nail polish is a big no-no for pregnant women. If you want to be on the super safe side, then go au naturel for your nails. But you can wear nail polish as long as you stay away from those that contain toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). There are preggy-friendly nail polishes available in the market like Zoya, Butter London, and Knocked Up Nails.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
What should be avoided at all costs when you are pregnant is gel manicure. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, M.D., a dermatologist, told Fit Pregnancy, gel manicure is potentially toxic to you and the baby because it can be absorbed into your nail bed. "And the deal breaker, whether you're pregnant or not, is the ultraviolet lamp used to set the gel," Alexiades-Armenakas says.
#3 Pregnant women should not go to funerals and the cemetery. But if you must go, you need to tie a red scarf around your tummy to ward off the ill-effects of...death? Some also think that spirits may follow you. Okay, perhaps the intention here is to avoid giving a pregnant woman undue stress. It's more of a personal decision, rather than a rule for all.
#4 Pregnant women are not allowed to drink soft drinks because the child will become stubborn. A child’s personality and attitude when he or she grows up are dependent on many factors like peers, parents, the environment, influence of society, influence of media, family, and a few others. Drinking soft drinks or any other drink is not an indication of an individual’s future character.
Doctors have, of course, advised many preggos to skip drinking soft drinks because of its high caffeine and sugar content. It can ruin your sleep, make you tired and rob you of your much-needed calcium.
#5 A pregnant woman should listen to music a lot if she wants the baby to be musically inclined. You probably won't produce the next Sarah Geronimo, but listening to music, mainly classical music is believed to make the baby smarter, also known as the “Mozart Effect.” You should know, however, that this "genius theory" has been debunked by scientists. (Read more here.)
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
What music can do is to help with your moods especially when you're feeling emotional for no reason at all. Music is a natural perk-me-up, and Spotify has a lot of playlists to fit whatever#feels.
#6 If a pregnant woman eats twin bananas, the baby in the womb will become twins. It's a cute notion, but that's all it is. Having twins is a result of genetics (it runs in the family) or fertility treatments. The banana though is a healthy fruit for pregnant women. It is rich in nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, folic acid, and zinc.
#7 Avoid eating sticky foods to have smooth labor. Uh, next.
#8 A pregnant woman's food cravings will affect the physical appearance of the baby. We need to stop believing this, people. What we should also file under "myth" is this notion that babies will become disfigured or look like the monsters if pregnant women watch horror films. This film genre perhaps can elevate your blood pressure and cause you and your baby stress (it depends on your tolerance for ghosts and gore), but it is highly unlikely that your baby's physical attributes will be affected by pure movie watching.
#9 When the pregnant woman steps over his husband he will experience the pregnancy discomfort. Well, this is wishful thinking on the part of the preggos! Husbands who feel the fatigue and get cravings is probably due to the pressure he feels about his impending fatherhood. He is anxious for his wife's and baby's safety. He is also excited. Pregnancy is an emotional roller-coaster, so his cravings could be stress-eating!
#10 If a person eats from the same plate as a pregnant person, he/she will become sleepy. We all feel like we need to doze off after a meal especially when it's a big one!
#11 Pregnant women are not allowed to sew. Why? Because They will have a harder time giving birth or will have a cesarean delivery. Where do people come up with these things? I did some sewing while I was pregnant with my first child, and I had a normal delivery for both my children.
#12 Eat raw eggs when you’re pregnant so you’ll have an easier time during delivery. This one has the potential to be dangerous. Raw eggs can expose you to salmonella, which is harmful to those pregnant. It is best to cook the eggs just to be on the safe side. And, yes, if you're pregnant you can have cooked eggs because it is rich in selenium, zinc, vitamins like A, D, and some B complex. But it doesn't have any effect on your childbirth. Whether your childbirth will be painful or not depends on the weight of the baby, the mom's health, the position of the baby, even emotional support.
#13 Eat a lot! You’re eating for two people now. Yes, you are eating for two, and you will feel hungry often. But you need to take extra care when you decide to satisfy that big appetite. Weight gain during pregnancy puts you at risk for gestational diabetes, backaches, and high blood pressure. Consult your doctor for the proper diet.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
#14 A pregnant woman should avoid crying so she doesn't end up with a crybaby. We hate the negative connotation of the word crybaby, but if you're crying a lot, understand why and seek help. Crying to release pent-up emotions probably will not have a harmful effect on your unborn baby. But long-term anxiety or stress is not good because your baby in the womb can feel it, as suggested by a study published in the journal Stress.
When the body is stressed, it releases hormones to cope with higher stress levels, such as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, explained by the study's researchers. The placenta, which is the baby's primary source of nutrients during the whole nine months, can release cortisol. When that happens, a small amount of the stress hormone enters the amniotic fluid and alters fetal metabolism. (Read more here.)
#15 Don’t drink cold water or take a bath at night. Your baby in the womb might catch a cold. Sigh, now that's a tall tale. Your unborn baby wouldn't even feel cold because the amniotic fluid balances the temperature inside the womb. So don't worry if you unintentionally kicked the blanket and exposed your belly to the air conditioner's cold temperature at night. Your baby will be just fine. Besides, pregnant women feel warm most of the time because of the increased amount of blood in their bodies.