Pregnant women and new moms are constantly bombarded with advice from everyone, who is willing to give it. Some of the unwanted recommendations come from friends, others - from their aunts, grandmothers, and other relatives, and there are those that come from people these moms don't even know. It can be really difficult to figure out which of these pieces of advice should be followed and which ones are nothing but old wives' tales that need to finally be forgotten.
We know quite a few myths about pregnancy and baby care that have been floating around for decades (if not centuries) and passed along through generations. "It's impossible to get pregnant while breastfeeding", "Infants should wear hats all the time, both indoors and outdoors", "Pregnancy cravings determine the future baby's gender", "Going into labor during full moon is bad" - these are just a few of them. Isn't it high time to stop believing in them, considering that we're living in the 21st century and should trust science more than old wives' tales?
So here are some of the most popular old wives' tales concerning pregnancy and parenting that all moms need to skip, no matter how often they've heard them from their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts.
20 You Can't Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding
It may be one of the most wide-spread misconceptions that many moms keep on following. But, even if you don't have your period during breastfeeding and think that it's impossible for you to get pregnant, think about all the people who have brothers and sisters born a year apart from them. Did their mothers breastfeed them? Most likely, they did, and they got pregnant while nursing.
So if you're not ready for another baby so soon, better stop believing this tale. Don't hesitate to talk about it with your doctor and you'll be fine.
19 Little Babies Should Drink Water
Everyone should drink enough water every day. We all know this simple fact. Perhaps, for this reason, people have assumed for a long time that babies should drink water, as well. But... it's not true.
According to pediatrician Stephen R. Daniels, M.D., Ph.D., you shouldn't give water to your baby before they turn 6 months old, because too much water can interfere with their ability to absorb nutrients from breast milk or formula. Besides, little babies don't really need water, because they get all the hydration they need from breast milk or formula. Only when they are 6 months old, you can start giving them sips of water from time to time.
18 A Baby Should Always Wear A Hat
A lot of people say that a baby should always wear a hat, whatever season it is, because they lose too much heat if their head is uncovered. Of course, it's important to keep the baby warm, but it's also important not to overdo with it.
According to Jennifer Burns, a child care specialist in Phoenix at the Bienetre Center, "When babies are first born, they have a hat on them in the hospital to keep them warm, but after they leave the hospital, if the baby is healthy, he doesn't need a hat. There is debate about even having a hat on a baby. Some experts say that putting the baby next to you will give him enough heat, and that a hat will make a newborn too hot."
In other words, your baby should have a hat only outdoors and only if the weather is cool.
17 If You Crave Ice Cream, You Need Calcium
There are lots of old wives' tales about pregnancy cravings, and one of them suggests that if you want ice cream during pregnancy, it means that you might have a calcium deficiency.
But... let me tell you something: If you crave ice cream, it means that you... want to eat some ice cream.
And, perhaps, it also means that you're hot. So stop justifying your cravings with these weird misconceptions and put that carton of ice cream away. Believe me, you don't have to finish it. If you have calcium deficiency, there are other symptoms that will show it to you.
16 Give Medicine To A Sick Baby
Some parents believe that as soon as their child becomes sick, they have to give them all kinds of medicine to make them feel better. Some moms won't even leave the doctor's office until they are given a prescription to give to their baby.
Of course, it's completely understandable that moms only want their kids to get well as quickly as possible and they can do everything for it to happen, but this kind of approach can actually give more problems than it can solve.
So don't insist on giving meds even for a common cold, and you'll help your baby become healthier in the long run.
15 Pregnant Women Shouldn't Take Baths
Some people actually believe this old wives' tale, thinking that taking a bath during pregnancy can affect the baby. But, of course, it's not true. The growing baby is surrounded by the amniotic sac that protects it from the outside factors and there is no way water from your bath can get there.
On the other hand, if your water is broken, this sac isn't there any more, which means that taking a bath isn't the best thing to do, but only because bacteria from the water can get to the baby.
14 Having Heartburn During Pregnancy Means You'll Have A Hairy Baby
Seriously, where did some of the old wives' tales come from? How can heartburn mean that a woman is going to a hairy baby?
Of course, there is no connection between heartburn and your baby's hair.
In fact, according to reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Aaron K. Styer, "Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms during pregnancy. 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." And, all of them certainly won't have hairy babies.
13 Good Eating Habits = A Healthy Baby
Who doesn't like watching babies get messy while eating? They're so incredibly cute and you can pinch their cute little thighs and sweet plump cheeks. Perhaps, this is why eating habits are associated with good health.
The fact is, all people have different eating habits. To learn if your baby is well, you should just ask your doctor about it. Only this way, you can make sure that your little one is getting enough of nutrients they need at this point of their life.
12 Don't Go Into Labor During Full Moon
There are certainly a lot of bad things that have been said about a full moon. Some people blame it for their failures, their bad mood or for the fact that they're feeling unwell. But did you know that, according to an old wives' tale, labor should be avoided during a full moon?
Yeah, as if a mom can do something about it. A baby comes when a baby comes. There is no way to stop the labor and the baby doesn't care about the current moon phase, if they're finally ready to come into this world.
Besides, there is absolutely no correlation between bad labor outcomes and full moon.
11 To Make Breastmilk, You Should Drink Milk
Perhaps, for some people it sounds logical that drinking milk makes more breastmilk, but, from the scientific point of view, this is not true. And when you think about it, you can even laugh at this statement.
In fact, if a mom needs to boost her milk supply, she needs to stay hydrated, eat well, and do some of the other things recommended by her doctor.
But whatever these things are, drinking milk is certainly not one of them.
10 Pregnancy Cravings Determine The Baby's Gender
Do you crave sweets while pregnant? Then you're going to have a baby girl! Or do you want to eat salty foods day and night? Then it's going to be a boy! But what if a pregnant woman craves both sweet and salty foods and she knows for sure that she's not expecting twins?
Pregnancy cravings don't determine the baby's gender. "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 Dr. Aaron K. Styer. It's that simple.
9 Feed A Cold, Starve A Fever
According to a popular old wives' tale, if your baby (or yourself, for that matter) has a cold, you should give them a lot of food to eat, and if they have a fever, you shouldn't give them anything to eat.
But the truth is, whatever the state of the baby is, they should always get proper nutrition and proper hydration.
"Always feed both colds and fevers," says Dr. Jon S. Abramson, a pediatric infectious disease expert. "Patients should eat chicken soup, juice, anything with [cals]. Most importantly, I want my patients to drink lots of liquids. Dehydration is our key concern when dealing with sicknesses, especially in children, and especially with fevers."
8 You Shouldn't Get Your Nails Done During Pregnancy
Some people, when they see a pregnant woman at a manicure salon, gasp with disbelief and rush to tell her that she shouldn't have gone there, because nail polish is full of chemicals that can affect the baby.
Isn't it time to stop believing in this old wives' tale and finally let future moms have their manis and pedis done in peace?
There is no scientific proof that chemicals from the nail polish can be absorbed by your nails and cuticles and affect your baby.
So feel free to receive all the extra pampering you can get and go have these nails done!
7 Swallowed Gum Will Digest For 7 Years
It's not clear where this old wives' tale comes from. Why did someone suggest that it takes 7 years for a chewing gum to be digested? I mean, why 7 years?
If we take a look at this question from a scientific point of view, we'll understand that there is no way for anything to stay in a human's digestive system for that long. And chewing gum, just like any other food, will quickly pass through your kid's digestive system, breaking down some of its components and discarding everything else.
6 Wearing Shoes Will Help Your Baby Walk
Perhaps some adults find it easier to walk wearing their shoes, but for babies it's actually better to learn to walk with bare feet first. According to specialists, the natural pads on their feet will help the child get the feeling of walking.
So while your little one is practicing their walking skills inside the house, let them do it barefooted.
And, obviously, when you go outside, have them wear shoes. But keep in mind that it's needed more for protection, not for helping the baby be more stable.
5 While Pregnant, Eat For Two
When you're pregnant, you should eat for two, because there is another human being growing inside of you! Is it so? Nope, it isn't.
In fact, it's not recommended to eat double while pregnant. While you're in your first trimester, you can keep on eating as much food as you've consumed before pregnancy. And when you come into the second and third trimester, you can eat slightly more, but not twice as much, for sure.
If you aren't certain about the nutrition plan you should stick to during pregnancy, you can always talk to your doctor and ask for advice based on your personal health situation.
4 Don't Exercise, When You're Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
It's totally okay to be careful while pregnant or breastfeeding, but it doesn't mean that a woman shouldn't exercise or have any kind of physical activity. In fact, unless a woman has any condition that requires her to rest, she actually needs to do regular and safe exercises. It'll help her keep herself and her baby healthier.
Besides, don't forget about the benefits of physical activity. To name a few, it boosts your mood, relieves fatigue, improves your posture, and eases back pain and other pregnancy-related issues.
But, of course, you have to talk to your doctor, as well as to your trainer, to learn what exercises are safe for you and to make sure that you don't burn too many cals.
3 Rub isopropyl On The Baby's Gums When Teething
Teething is a difficult period in a baby's life, so it's totally understandable why parents seek the ways make it easier for them. But, when hearing advice, they shouldn't blindly follow it. They should understand what's good for their baby and what's not.
For example, it's certainly not recommended to believe in an old wives' tale, suggesting that rubbing isopropyl on a baby's gums will soothe them. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.Not only will it fail to help your baby's sore gums, but this practice can also harm your child. After all, no amount of isopropyl is safe for a little baby.
2 No Sleep During The Day = Sleep Well At Night
Some parents don't let their kids sleep during the day, considering that it will make them sleep better at night. But in fact, the opposite is true. If you don't let your baby sleep during the day, they can get overtired at bedtime and it'll keep them awake at night. Besides, it will also make them cranky.
So it's a better idea to stick to a regular nap schedule, letting your child doze off for some time during the day. Believe me, their night sleep will only benefit from this practice.
1 Don't Give Birth After You're 35
In the past, everyone thought that the earlier a woman gives birth to a child, the better it is for her child and for herself. However, these days, when most millennial moms are focusing on their careers and personal lives first, and only then starting a family, this stereotype proves to be wrong.
Nowadays, a lot of women give birth to children in their 30s and even 40s. Numerous celebrities are a bright example. Drew Barrymore, Nicole Kidman, Eva Longoria, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Lopez, and Mariah Carey, among many others, gave birth to their kids after the age of 35, and, you know what? They're doing just fine!