While many start as good intentions or at least are meant to be harmless (thinking storks here) pregnancy myths can create unexpected problems for new parents who are having to adjust the huge changes which pregnancy and parenthood bring.
In family lore my grandmother was told by her new mother in law that having sex twice on the same night would result in twins. (I am left wondering where quads came from, presumably those who are very athletic).
Going as far back as ancient Egypt, wheat and Barley was used to test for the gender of the unborn baby. Women would wee on the seeds of each and then plant them. If wheat grew first then it should be a boy, if barley grew first a girl. It achieved a 50 percent accuracy rate
Going into Labour
I have been told many different things can trigger labour as I waited in the last weeks of pregnancy. Raspberry Leaf tea, Pineapples and spicy food were all recommended but I and no one I have ever spoken to has found it effective, I can find no evidence for it’s effectiveness.
The problem here lies in the advice about hot & spicy food. If you are not used to this it can create give you an upset yummy, something you may want to avoid if you are about to go into Labour.
One literally lunatic myth is that babies are more likely to be born on a full moon. Any midwife will tell you there is a no truth in this rumour though, there was a spike 9 months after a particular boring period on TV.
One I have heard a couple of time but never understood the logic is that pregnant women should not have their hair cut.
During pregnancy most women experience improved hair condition, due to the hormones which your body produces during pregnancy.
Where the myth that cutting hair is bad during pregnancy comes from is unclear. Suffice to say that there is no evidence of any harm to you or the baby. There are various stories linking hair to strength and life so this may be where the myth comes from.
Dangerous to know
I was informed (by someone who should know better) that I can have a alcoholic drink during pregnancy as doctors “don’t know everything”.
Now I am sure doctors don’t know everything. I for example know of one doctor who I am sure did not know they had seriously bad breath.
But when it comes to alcohol the doctors are right. Any alcohol is absorbed from your intestines into the blood stream and thus onto the umbilical cord. Alcohol and the toxins it breaks down into can pass through the placental barrier into the babies blood stream. The fetus's liver is barely formed and is unable to break down these down. As well as increasing the risks of a range of pregnancy complications. There are lifelong physical, behavioural, and intellectual risks as well, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Getting the right information
Obviously, the best place to get accurate information is from those trained in medicine, Midwives, Doctors and nurses are there to help you and are the best source of information.
Should they not be available then the NHS website or similar Health websites or advisory services can answer many question. But bear in mind the internet is unregulated and some websites do put information up in order to make money, whether it is click bait to drive traffic or to sell products.