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5 Pregnancy and birth superstitions

August 26, 2015

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Throughout everyday life we all have our little superstitions that we adhere to from the traditional ones of never walking under ladders to letting a black cat pass your path. In pregnancy there are a whole new bunch of superstitions that you will come across, some that you may choose to take note of with others cast aside as old wives tales. Many of the pregnancy and birth superstitions are down to guessing the sex of the baby but some are about luck, fortune and health.

1. Fetal heartbeat

It is believed that if the fetal heart rate is above 140 then it is a girl. With a fetal heart rate below 140 being a boy. It is also said that if the fetal heart rate sounds like galloping horses then it is a girl. With a fetal rate sounding like a train belongs to a boy.

Truth: I’ve heard both of these being right and wrong so it’s whether or not you believe the old wives tale

A purple umbrella2. No pram in the house until the baby arrives

Choosing the pram before the baby is born is quite OK, but it must not be delivered to the home until after the baby is born otherwise it is said to bring bad luck.

Truth: This is an old wives tale that I have heard of since my youth. I do know someone who had the pram in the house before baby’s arrival and her husband had an affair whilst she was pregnant and they divorced before the birth.

I’ve personally always adhered to this one with both Roo and Tigger, my best friend is on standby for when I get Piglet’s pram so she can look after it until Piglet arrives (handy too as she lives 5 minutes from the hospital – Thanks Lou x).

3. Morning Sickness

A person wearing a purple shirtWhilst morning sickness in your first pregnancy is common as your body is dealing with a ‘foreign object’ it is said that if you get severe morning sickness with your second or subsequent pregnancies then it is a girl because a girl’s DNA matches that of her mothers so they clash

Truth: This is one of those things that I think comes down to the woman, some women are unfortunate to suffer with terrible morning sickness no matter the gender of the baby. I have had morning sickness with Piglet but just a terrible hangover feeling whereas I didn’t have any sickness with Tigger so I suppose this superstition could be partly true.

4. Foods to bring on labour

Overdue and tired of pregnancy then try one of these foods to bring on labour; curry, pineapple or caster oil. Each one helping in a different way:

  • Curry – Eating spicy food like a curry may stimulate your stomach (most likely cramping etc especially if you’re not used to a hot curry), and therefore start your contractions
  • Pineapple – Containing the enzyme bromelain, it is thought to help soften your cervix – eating large amounts will probably stimulate your stomach (again with the cramps), which could also help to get things going
  • Castor oil – Thought to act like a laxative, thereby kick-starting labour, although it make just make you sick and give you diarrhoea – however, it’s not recommended nowadays (don’t listen to your MIL when she says to take few spoonfuls)

Truth: Whilst each one has it’s own qualities you can’t say for certain that you wouldn’t have gone into labour naturally anyway without the need of these foods

5. Silver coin

In the Victorian times it was the custom when visiting the new baby for the first time, to place a silver coin in its hand. It is thought to bring the baby good luck and prosperity, and comes from the saying born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Silver spoons were expensive so was replaced by a silver coin. 

Truth: The Royal Mint always release a new silver coin to commemorate the birth of a new Royal baby and silver coins are often given as christening gifts.

What pregnancy and birth superstitions have you heard and believe?

  • Lulastic August 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Ahhh, this is soooo interesting! I love wondering about the origins of folklore like the ones above, surely it comes from somewhere! Xx

  • cass August 28, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I definitely didn’t want the pram in the house until after my two were born and I’m not superstitious at all usually. It’s odd isn’t it x x

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