The Truth About Pregnancy & Old Wives’ Tales

As soon as people know you’re pregnant, you start hearing all sorts of old wives’ tales. While some seem silly, many folks claim validity to what they say, so pregnant mamas are left wondering what’s true and what’s not.

Full moon

TALE: While the full moon has many affects on the planet, sending women into productive labor isn’t one of them.

TRUTH: “There’s not a real correlation between the moon and birth per se,” says Mary Murry, a registered nurse and certified nurse midwife at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Some studies have found an increase in Braxton-Hicks contractions during full moons, but not in actual delivery. Murry says this old wives’ tale most likely started because women used the phases of the moon to predict when they’d give birth.

Umbilical cord

TALE: Never to raise your hands over your head. Don’t roll over in bed without first sitting up. Never kneel down while pregnant. The old wives’ tales say these things will cause the umbilical cord to kink or wrap around the baby.

TRUTH: None of these is true, Murry says. Because your baby is floating in liquid inside your uterus, you can move in any position you want and it won’t affect the umbilical cord. The only thing that can affect the umbilical cord is your baby’s own movement. “Most cord entanglements happen when the baby is little and flipping around and somersaulting and all,” Murry says.


TALE: Heartburn predicts hair growth. The old wives tales say that if one happens before the other, they must be related.

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