Search This Blog

Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Be Awesome at Giving Advice

Chances are, whether you are young, middle aged, or older, whether you are male or female, whether you are in a relationship or not, whether you are expecting a child or not, you have probably heard, and probably given, pregnancy advice.  It's like we, as human beings, can't help it.  We see a pregnant woman, and we just can't resist the urge to tell her how we know it's a boy or a girl, how she should or should not be doing that, how we know what the baby is doing right now, etc.  I am so guilty of this.  I grew up hearing people around me give that advice, so naturally, I passed it along as well. 

The thing is though, the more I read and research this whole pregnancy thing, the more I realize that a lot of the advice that we are so familiar with is actually completely wrong.  Most of the time, it's harmlessly wrong, but sometimes it actually has consequences.  Either it causes the mom to go way out of her way and inconveniences her for no reason, or it may actually be bad advice.

So today, we're going to play a little game.  I'm going to give you some common pregnancy advice, and I want you to tell me which pieces of advice are true.  First one to get them all right gets a shout-out!  (I numbered them so you can just use numbers in your answer.)

  1. If the mom has cold feet, the baby is a boy.
  2. A lot of heartburn while pregnant means the baby will be born with lots of hair.
  3. Refusing to eat the heel on a loaf of bread means you're having a girl.
  4. Dangling a wedding ring over your tummy shows the gender.  (If it spins side to side or in a circle.)
  5. If you see a mouse while you are pregnant, your baby will be born with a hairy birthmark.
  6. If you carry out front, it's a boy.  If you carry in the middle, it's a girl.
  7. Eating berries causes splotches on baby's skin.
  8. If you sweat a lot, it's a girl.
  9. Taking a bath can drown a fetus.
  10. If you crave orange juice, it's a girl.
  11. Stretching your arms over your head can cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby's neck.
  12. If you carry high, it's a girl.  If you carry low, it's a boy.
  13. If you carry high, it's a boy.  If you carry low, it's a girl.
  14. If you have dry hands, it's a boy.
  15. If you crave greasy foods, you will have a short labor.
  16. If you wear high heels, your baby will be cross-eyed.
  17. If you get angry a lot, your baby will have an angry personality.  (Or sad or stressed or whatever.)
  18. Drinking Castor oil will induce labor.
  19. If the baby's fetal heart rate is fast (over 140) it's a girl.
  20. You should avoid eating peanuts while pregnant or you increase the risk that baby will be allergic.
Ok, tell me which ones are true.  :o)

**UPDATE:  Given how many people have told me several of these, I am really suprised at how many people answered correctly.  The answer is, none of them are proven to be true.  Several people brought up good points about annecdotal evidence or further studies needed, which are both valid, but as of right now, none of these "facts" have any scientific studies to back them up.  Congrats to The Watcher in the Dark, Megan F., Djinn, and Michelle H.  You are smarter than an old wives' tale (or something like that).  :o)


  1. Just going out on a limb here, but my best guess is that the only one of them that is true or at least scientifically proven, is #21. Wait, there isn't a #21. Well, there you go.

  2. Reasonably confident that there is actually some scientific support for 20. 18 can cause some contractions, but nothing about DIY induction is set in stone. There is some correlation to support 19, but as we all know, correlation is not causation. None of those could be definitively labeled as "true" though.

  3. They are all NOT true. Castor Oil (among other things can cause some contractions - but not all contractions cause labor or cervical change). The peanut thing is generally accepted as false. The American Academy of Pediatricians did briefly recommend that women who are at high-risk for having children with food allergies (the tendency towards allegries is genetic) avoid peanuts, but shortly after recinded this recommendation. There have been very few studies on peanut consumption during pregnancy. Some indicate a higher risk for food allergies and some indicate a lower risk. A mother's decision on this should be discussed with her personal physician who knows her allergy and family history.

    Also, number 9 is hilarious!!!!!

  4. They are all pretty hilarious, especially number 9, but, more to the point, I think I know why people give so much advise, comment and suggestions for, about and during pregnancy.
    Think back 50 years, now 100, now 200. It's because there was and still is no real manual and no two pregnancies are really alike because no two women or babies are either. Because 9 months is a long time to not know what's happening to you, all the other women you knew (think old days)were screaming behind closed doors when they had kids and you need something to get that off your mind while you're waiting.
    Besides,everyone would really love to take credit for explaining the miracle.
    So, for countless eons we've just kept guessing (in terms of our own century or whatever we remember from parents grandparents and great grandparents)--because more is better, right?--, all in hopes someone will FINALLY write down the right answers and all that "holy cow, everything makes me sick, I can't wake up for days,what's happening to my body, what the heck do you mean I'm going to deliver this thing?,I CHANGED MY MIND!!!!,uncertainty, discomfort and sometimes fear.....can be eliminated in advance and we'll have a clear picture of what exactly will come.
    The irony is, when we finally hold that little one in our arms, it doesn't matter anymore--we'd do it all again and now we have the answers...BUT... then the post delivery amnesia effect kicks in and all we can remember is... "my great grandmother said.....:) cuz nobody can remember, and by then your a mother and you have to give advice now!!! LOL
    I guess miracles just can't be explained, even though we just keep trying.
    So love and kisses to all those wonderful women down the ages who did what they could to explain the craziness, ease women's fears and keep them focused on silly things, in a time before we knew what happened in every stage of the pregnancy, forgiveness to those who REALLY got it wrong, and hugs and love to the new generation who will also forget everything the minute the baby comes...but who won't care at all...Enjoy your pregnancy and Carry on! Maybe you just need to make up some new ones!
    Love you, Mom