We don't know about other countries, but the Philippines has, uhm, the weirdest pamahiin (superstitions) when it comes to pregnancy. But many pregnant Filipinas do it because it's better to be safe than sorry. And when we thought we've heard it all, the moms over at our Facebook group Smart Parenting Villageshow us pamahiins may have even gotten weirder.
We asked our SP Village moms to share the weirdest advice they got and needless to say, we weren't, er disappointed. These are ROFL moments!
“Earthquake? Eclipse? Dump water on your head.”
According to this superstition, earthquakes can cause the child to bump his head inside mom’s tummy. To prevent this from happening, the mom must dump water on her head or, alternatively, take a bath.
The same advice is given during an eclipse. One mom shares, “Pag may eclipse kailangan gulatin daw nila ko sa pamamagitan ng pagbuhos ng tubig sa akin. Eh, tatlong beses nag-eclipse! Gusto ko na silang awayin noon. Ano kaya koneksyon!?”
Shares another mom, “When I was pregnant last year, lumindol sa Batangas, and aftershocks were felt here in Metro Manila. Naramdaman ko yung lindol, and I remember asking my best friend if she felt it too. Then biglang sabi nya ‘OMG! Buntis ka nga pala! Alam mo ba yung sabi ng matatanda na masama daw sa buntis makaramdam ng lindol? Baka mabugok daw yung baby sa loob ng tyan!’
“Sinabi daw ‘yun sa kanya ng mom niya nung pregnant siya. She told me na magbuhos daw ako ng isang tabong tubig na may suka sa ulo ko para daw makontra. In the end, I did what she said. Sabi ko sa sarili ko wala namang mawawala kung gagawin ko.”
“Para madali ang panganganak, suotin ang brief ni mister at ‘wag umupo sa hagdan.”
Many of the moms (us included) aren’t entirely sure of the reason behind this odd advice. Sitting on stairs is perilous and can lead to an accident. But, wearing your husband’s underwear to make labor easier? As one mom exclaims, “Suotin daw yung brief ng asawa ko para madali ang labor. Excuse me? Di ko ginawa!”
“Magsabit ka ng bawang at magsabog ng asin sa mga bintana at pinto.”
Philippine culture is rich with fantastical, mythical creatures both friendly and foul. The tiktik is a subclass of the aswang, and legend says it feasts on unborn babies inside moms’ bellies. It gets its name from the “tik-tik” sound it makes and garlic and salt supposedly drives it away.
Quite a few moms heeded this advice. Another mom decided against it, but she still found garlic outside her window courtesy of a concerned family member
“I was around 5 months pregnant and hubby wasn’t home. Then, sabi ng mga kapitbahay may naririnig daw sila na tumitiktik. Maglagay daw ako ng asin at bawang sa may bintana at pinto. Hindi naman ako naniniwala sa mga ganoon, so hindi ako nakinig. Pero yung lolo ko nagsabit pa rin ng isang bungkos ng bawang sa labas ng bintana ng kwarto namin.”
“Don’t wear necklaces.”
The advice is given to avoid nuchal cord. “Para ‘wag daw mapulupot yung cord sa leeg ni baby sabi nila,” says one mom. Quite a few moms were given the same advice and not just regards to jewelry. Don’t drape a towel around your neck as well or the same thing might happen, they say. 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.
Acting as a sort of anting-anting, the bullet is said to protect the mom from both evil magic and foul mythical creatures. “Magdala daw ako palagi ng bala — kontra kula, aswang, at ang buong barkada nila. Plano pa ata akong ipa-biktima sa laglag bala!”
“Don’t go to a wake when you’re pregnant.”
The reason behind this advice, says one mom, “Sabi sa’kin kasi raw parang isasama nung patay sa kabilang buhay si baby.” Spooked? She continues, “Dumalaw ako sa burol noon, tapos nakunan ako after. Pero nung nabuntis ako ulit, namatay naman tita ko, dumalaw ulit ako sa buril. Three months old na baby ko now.”
Another mom shares her story, “Buntis ako nung namatay father ko. Nagbantay ako sa lamay niya from morning until 9 p.m. Wala naman nangyari sa’kin at sa baby ko.”
Whether or not you think it’s better to be safe than sorry, another mom gives a more logical reason that may convince you to skip the nightly strolls. She says, “Mapupuyat daw kasi, moms!”
“Bawal tumingin sa mga pangit.”
“Magiging kamukha daw ni baby,” says another mom.
To this we say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.