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Pregnancy Old Wives’ Tales — The Craziest I’ve Heard So Far

Since the dawn of time, women have been birthing babies. Along with that comes a ton of well-meaning—but often odd—advice. Urban legends of pregnancy, if you will. I’m sixteen weeks in with baby #2,  and I’ve already heard and read many pregnancy urban legends and superstitions. Some are so odd, they’re laughable. Today, I’ll share a few of the top ones I’ve heard so far:

Don’t drink iced beverages or eat ice cream. This was posed as a question on a birth board I’m on. Apparently, a young, impressionable, first time mom-to-be was told not to drink ice cold beverages (specifically ice water) or eat ice cream. She was told it would freeze the umbilical cord, therefore depriving the baby of nutrients, and possibly even freezing (yes, freezing) the baby. My guess is that the person passing this advice along missed the stereotypical depiction of pregnant ladies eating ice cream all the time. Also—on a personal note—since becoming pregnant, my internal thermostat is set to boiling…so bring on the ice!


Don’t reach your arms over your head, or the umbilical cord will wrap around the baby’s neck. I have heard this one MANY times through the years. I have just one question…if I can’t put my arms up, how do I wash my hair?

Pregnant women shouldn’t take baths, because the baby will drown. Another version includes the idea that soap will make the baby sick. Again, this was a statement made on that same birth board. (I’m really starting to wonder about that board…) Not only can water not even get to the baby, but, anyone want to take a guess on what the baby is doing right now? You got it—floating in amniotic fluid…

Don’t fish while pregnant. Wait. What?! Aside from a few legit reasons I can think of that one would not want to fish while pregnant (the smells and the rocking of the boat causing a case of the queasies, perhaps), legend has it if you fish while pregnant, your baby will come out looking like a fish. No. I am not joking. This one ties hand in hand with …

Don’t mistreat animals or bad mouth people while pregnant. I mean, these are just good rules to follow for life, right? BUT . . . according to this old wives’ tale (let’s just call it an old WILD tale, shall we?), if you mistreat an animal during pregnancy, your baby will be born resembling that animal. And, if you talk negatively about a person, the baby will resemble that person. A slightly different spin on this is that mothers should avoid looking at unpleasant or ugly animals, or else their baby will be born ugly. This just simply cannot be true. We all know that babies are not ugly.

Refrain from rubbing your growing bump. If you excessively rub your belly, your baby will be spoiled. (I say: Bring on the spoiling!) It’s worth noting that by ten weeks gestation, a developing baby is able to sense touch and—though the mother may not feel it—will often respond to those belly rubs and pats. Spoiling or bonding? I say bonding.


What crazy pregnancy old wives’ tales have you heard? Did any turn out to be true?

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