Thursday, September 06, 2007

Some myths about pregnancy and child rearing

Advice is abound from all quarters of the society fro the time a woman is pregnant until a child is old enough to shut the opposite person up. Here are some of my favorites collected from various sources and experiences :

Myth : The shape of the belly determines the baby's sex. If you are round all over then you are going to have a girl. If its pointing straight and one can't find out if you are pregnant from looking behind you, then its a boy.

Fact they say is how every woman carries her baby has nothing to do with the gender of the baby but depends on her anatomy, body build and the size of the baby. But as far as I know, every person that saw me since 12 weeks told me I was going to have a boy, the first one being my mom.

Myth : Vomiting and extreme heartburn during the later stages of pregnancy means that the baby has lot of hair.

I had both these problems in abundance throughout my pregnancy. However, fact is there is no evidence to suggest a co-relation between heartburn and how hairy a baby is. Gap between meals, slow digestion, fatty oil foods are several things that lead to heartburn.

Myth :
Eat saffron to get a baby of fair complexion

I am sure every Indian woman has gone through this drill of being made to drink saffron milk every night. I had saffron of every place from Iran to Kashmir in bottles of all shapes and sizes, though I had very little of them. Wonder why there are so many brown skinned people in our country then. Complexion depends on genes.

Myth : You have to eat for two.

Wonder who started this one. For Pete's sake, I couldn't even the spot the foetus until the second sonography and was searching for the peanut inside like Rachel in a FRIENDS episode. Eating for two will only make us elephants.

Myth : Wait for 3 months to announce that you are pregnant.

This one gets to me. Seriously. I had a close family member who decided against telling she was pregnant for we would be jealous and it would risk miscarriage. What crap ? And there are many in this country with that belief. Miscarriage happens for various other reasons if you don't exercise caution and not because of the evil eye story!

Myth : Never tell outsiders what you feed the baby. Never feed the baby in front of others. Never tell anyone that your baby is keeping good health. All to keep off the evil eye ?

I never understood the logic. Isn't the weight of the baby enough to tell if the baby is eating or not. A friend of mine always says "she hasn't anything at all." Every time, mind you. we dropped in on a Sunday and I asked casually to the baby, "did you have milk?". The grandpa was quick to say, "yes, biscuit, milk, banana etc" The grandma pitched in and gave a dirty stare to her husband while telling me, "Not a thing since morning."

Myth : Pregnant women are not allowed to itch during eclipses.

A friend asked if I went out during an eclipse at the time of my pregnancy or if I ate or scratched myself. I replied I might have gone out and for sure I did not stay hungry or lay still. She attributes that to the birth mark under LG's eyes. I think that is crazy! She also went to describe how she lay on her back during the day of solar eclipse without moving, eating so much so that her back ached terribly at the end of the day. If this is not self inflicted torture in the last trimester of one's pregnancy, then what is?

Myth : Don't let the kid see himself in the mirror before an year.

Never understood this one. LG enjoys seeing his reflection and I've been showing him ever since he was 3 months old.

Myth :Don't take the child out in the evening after it is dark.

OK, I've to agree that I refrained from taking him out too much after dark, but I wonder if there is any logic behind it.


Anonymous said...

Of the myths - the 3 month thing is the only one I have an alternate explanation for. Most miscarriages occur during first trimester. So waiting for 3 months means you have reached a point in pregnancy when the miscarriage risk is reduced. It is torturous for people to break the news to the whole world and go right back and tell everyone that it's not happening.

L said...

I totally agree to your reasoning that it need not be announced to the whole world, but keeping it a secret within family is beyond my comprehension.