Pregnancy Wives' Tales: You've Heard It All

Pregnant woman with boy and girl shoes.jpg

Announcing a pregnancy brings well-wishes and advice from family and friends, and also some from complete strangers. Everyone seems to have opinions (good or bad), including sharing old wives’ tales related to pregnancy. We’ve compiled a list of common pregnancy wives’ tales moms-to-be may hear, letting you know what’s lighthearted fun and what actually might be fact. 

Can You Predict Baby Gender?

While a fair majority of parents choose to find out the gender of their little one, there are plenty of old wives’ tales centering on how to tell if you’re having a boy or girl. 

  • The Ring Test - By tying your wedding ring on a string and holding it above your belly button, you’re able to tell your baby’s gender based on what the ring does. If the ring spins in a circle, you can expect a boy; if it swings back and forth, you have a little girl on the way.
  • Carrying High versus Carrying Low - Once your baby bump appears, you may receive more comments on how you’re carrying the baby. Carrying high indicates girl, meaning carrying low would be a boy.
  • Morning Sickness - According to this pregnancy wives’ tale, if you experience morning sickness, you’re more likely to be having a girl than a boy.
  • Baby Heart’s Rate - The higher the heart rate, the better the chance of having a girl.
  • Cravings - If you find yourself wanting something sweet, prepare for a little girl; salty and sour cravings would hint baby boy.
  • Emotions - How you’re consistently feeling during your pregnancy could be a clue as to what you’re having; moody = girl, happy = boy. 
  • Line on Your Abdomen - Has a dark line appeared on your belly? This could mean you have a son on the way.
  • Acne - Struggling with breakouts? You might be carrying a little girl. 
FALSE - Superstitions about gender prediction add extra speculation and anticipation, but these are purely fun. The best determiner of a baby's gender is an ultrasound, usually performed around the 20-week mark during your pregnancy. However, if you choose not to find out, you can determine for yourself just how accurate these old wives’ tales are for the gender of your little one!

Does Heartburn Mean Baby will Have Lots of Hair?

If the mother experiences heartburn during her pregnancy, the baby will be born with a full head of hair, or so the story goes with this pregnancy wives’ tale. 

FACT - Surprisingly, this has some truth to it. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore found a partial relationship between heartburn during pregnancy and infant hair when conducting a study of 98 women. Keep in mind, the study didn’t result in a perfect confirmation. But, if you experience heartburn, it may not be too far-fetched to expect your little one to have some hair at birth. 

Can You Induce Labor at Home?

As you approach your due date, you’ll probably hear wives’ tales about how you can induce labor.

  • Taking long walks close to when you’re due, with the hopes of “walking the baby out.”
  • Eating spicy foods near your due date will jumpstart labor.
  • Some couples use sex toward the end of pregnancy as a strategy to hopefully encourage labor to begin. 

FASLE - Although creative, these at-home induction methods are only fun, as none are scientifically proven to bring on labor before your body is ready. While you may be ready to meet your little one before their due date, medical inductions are only performed by our providers if medically necessary for mom or baby.

Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

This pregnancy wives’ tale is as simple as it sounds – if you’re breastfeeding, you shouldn’t have to worry about becoming pregnant.   

FALSE - If you plan on using breastfeeding as your birth control method after delivery, you may want to reconsider, as this wives’ tale is more fun than fact. Although breastfeeding may delay ovulation, you can still ovulate at any time, making it a risky way to prevent another pregnancy.

Your Best Resource is Your Doctor 

These wives’ tales only scratch the surface of the pregnancy superstitions you may hear! Remember, if you receive advice and you’re not sure what to believe, your provider is the best resource for questions during your pregnancy.