9 Old-Wives’ Tales About Pregnancy That Are Not True

Share
Ad failed to load

Women who are pregnant end up bombarded with all sorts of advice from others, and sometimes, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. You may have heard a tip from a friend or a warning from a great-aunt, but there are plenty of old myths about pregnancy that aren't true. Most of these myths are harmless, but you don't want to waste your time trying all these different tricks to induce labor faster and end up disappointed when you're still pregnant past your due date.

"Since pregnancy and childbirth are such an integral and focal parts of families in all cultures, many family members and friends have common opinions which have been passed along through generations," reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Aaron K. Styer tells Bustle. "Like many other historical accounts and family remedies, several aspects of theses opinions and notions about pregnancy change over time. Since they originated from older family members and friends, they are interpreted as being true without any scientific evidence to support them."

There are plenty of myths about pregnancy floating around, but experts say much of it is just hearsay and not medical fact. Here are nine old-wives' tales about pregnancy that aren't true — no matter how many times you have heard them.

Ad failed to load

1You Need To Eat For Two

wavebreak3/Fotolia

Contrary what many people might think, you don't have to actually eat double the amount when you're pregnant. Wendy Y. Chang, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. tells Bustle that food guidelines will not change drastically throughout pregnancy. A slight increase in food intake may occur in the second or third trimester, but that may depend on your medical history. "It’s always best to speak with your doctor about the best nutrition plan based on your health," Chang says.

2The Way You Carry Can Determine The Baby's Assigned Gender At Birth

dinaphoto/Fotolia

Some people believe the way you carry the baby determines what the gender the baby will be assigned at birth will be. "In reality, your body shape, height...size of the uterus, and movement of the baby determine the shape of the baby bump," says Styer. "The shape of the baby bump does not correlate to [the gender the baby will be assigned at birth]."

3A Wedding Ring On A String Can Determine The Baby's Assigned Gender At Birth

jolopes/Fotolia

Some people use this old trick to predict the gender the baby will be assigned at birth. However, this is just an old-wives' tale. "Movement of a ring is related to the general principles of movement," says Styer. "A baby inside of the belly cannot affect this nor impact the movement of objects outside of the uterus." So whether the ring moves back and forth or in a circular motion really won't tell you anything.

Ad failed to load

4Food Cravings Can Determine The Baby's Assigned Gender At Birth

illustrissima/Fotolia

You may have heard that if you crave sweets, it’s a girl, or if you crave salty foods, it’s a boy, but the types of food you crave won't predict the baby's assigned gender at birth either. "Pregnancy food cravings are the result of preexisting food preferences and the complex hormonal changes of pregnancy, which can influence appetite, sense of smell and taste," says Styer. "The [assigned gender at birth] of the baby is not related to cravings."

5Spicy Foods Can Trigger Pre-Term Labor

Ivan Kruk/Fotolia

You don't have to worry about eating your spicy Pad Thai and having contractions in the restaurant — eating spicy foods doesn't trigger preterm labor. "However, pregnant women may still want to be cautious with spicy foods, as some can trigger stomach upset or nausea and exacerbate acid reflux or heartburn," says Chang.

6Eating Certain Foods Will Trigger Labor

saulich84/Fotolia

Ingesting castor oil or eating pizza won't speed up how quickly you go into labor. "There are medications that your obstetrician or midwife may place on the cervix or give through an IV to expedite labor," says Styer.

Ad failed to load

7Heartburn Means A Baby Full Of Hair

interstid/Fotolia

Unfortunately, there is no correlation between the amount of hair your baby will have and if you do or do not have heartburn. "Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms during pregnancy," says Styer. "Due to the increasing hormone levels and increasing size and pressure from the pregnant uterus, the movement of the digestive tract can slow down. As a result, more women will experience acid reflux and heartburn as pregnancy progresses."

8Placing A Knife Under Your Bed Cuts Labor Pain In Half

sianstock/Fotolia

Some people would do anything to avoid labor pains, but putting a knife under your pillow won't do much to make giving birth easier "Nothing 'cuts' — or eliminates the pain of labor like analgesia," Dr. Kecia Gaither, OB/GYN tells Bustle.

9Pregnant Women Shouldn't Take Baths

Jacob Lund/Fotolia

Folklore has it that pregnant women should avoid taking baths to prevent the dirty water getting to the baby. But if you want to relax in the tub, feel free to do so — your baby will be fine. "This is not true, unless the woman has ruptured membranes, in which case bacteria can ascend up the vagina into the uterus causing infection," says Gaither.

There are a lot of old myths circulating about pregnancy, but if you're ever in doubt, ask your doctor, who can help you decipher what's true and what isn't.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Bustle's Editors On K-Beauty + McDonald's

If you're a glass-half-full kind of person, you're probably rejoicing over the fact that the week's more than halfway over. And if not, keep your chin up. I've got some insane Fashion Week and McDonald's news to hold you over. So, without further ado…
By Melissa Mills

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

Here Are All The Terms You Need To Know If You’re Watching Olympic Ski Events Right Now

Every four years the Winter Olympics rolls around to remind me that A) there are so many important Winter Olympic sports, and B) I know virtually nothing any of them. And I know for a fact, I'm not alone, I bet most people don't know what the differe…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
via Romper

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale

17 Moms Reveal The Most Disgusting Part Of Their Pregnancy

Pregnant bodies do weird-ass things. Weird-ass, gross things. I mean, my pregnant body did (twice), and I have long-suspected I'm not alone. So I asked other moms to share the most disgusting part of their pregnancy and I learned that, not only am I …
via Romper