Few things garner as much superstition as pregnancy—for centuries men and women, alike, have been coming up with weird theories surrounding this magical, and at times mysterious, phenomenon. But how many of them have a leg to stand on? Let’s dive into some of the most common old wives’ tales regarding pregnancy.
The Best Sleeping Position? On Your Left Side
This one has been proven! Sleeping on your left side allows better blood flow to the placenta. It can also help with swelling, because it helps your kidneys eliminate waste more efficiently—leading to less ankle, feet, and hand swelling. Sleeping on your back can lead to a backache quickly. It also presses on your bowel, causing constipation and even piles. If you’re over 28 weeks pregnant, you should never fall asleep on your back, as it can double the risk of stillbirth.
Dads Show Signs of Pregnancy, Too
This one’s true as well. Men whose partners are pregnant can actually experience pregnancy-related symptoms. It’s called “sympathetic pregnancy” (cute, right?) or “couvade syndrome.” Doctors still aren’t sure why this happens.
The usual symptoms men experience during sympathetic pregnancy are nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain, cramps, and backaches. Changes in their sleeping patterns, depression, anxiety, reduced libido, and restlessness are also common symptoms.
Steer Clear of Hot Tubs and Saunas
Another truth! It’s not a good idea to use hot tubs, saunas, or steam rooms when you’re pregnant. That’s because while pregnant, you’re much more likely to overheat or get dehydrated.
You’re Eating for Two
Although you are carrying a separate person, this one’s a myth. For the first six months of pregnancy, you don’t have to eat more than you normally do. And in the last three months, you’re only expected to eat an extra 200 calories per day. What you eat is far more important than how much you eat!
Avoid Spicy Foods While Pregnant
Fans of spicy food rejoice—this one’s a myth! It’s been said that spicy food can burn your unborn baby’s eyes, causing blindness or even miscarriages. Thankfully, none of this is true. The only reason you might want to steer clear of spicy foods is if you’re suffering from heartburn. A spicy meal will definitely make this worse!
The Size of Your Bump = Your Baby’s Health
Don’t worry, this one isn’t true. Every bump is different in the same way that every woman’s body is different. The size of your baby bump doesn’t mean anything regarding your baby’s health and overall wellbeing. In fact, doctors don’t even have a definition or exact measure of what a bump “should” look like.
You Can Replace Your Pregnancy Test With a…Frog?
Unbelievably, this one is true! Up until the 1950s, male and female frogs were used to test for pregnancy. The frogs would be injected with a woman’s urine, and if they were pregnant, visible eggs or sperm appeared.
For more pregnancy information (of both the fun and medical variety), check out the rest of our blogs.