Filipinos have always clung to superstitions and traditional beliefs. There’s a pamahiin for almost everything — even pregnancy wasn’t able to escape this culture!
Pregnancy is an overwhelming experience on its own. On top of that, pregnant moms are often bombarded with (often conflicting and confusing) advice from well-meaning loved ones.
Some superstitions are harmless and just provide fair warnings for expectant mothers, but they shouldn’t replace the obstetrician’s guidance and expertise.
Here are some of the superstitions moms-to-be often hear.
Myth 1: You’ll have twins if you eat twin bananas
Twin bananas — or, according to other versions, twin egg yolks — do not cause twin babies.
Twins are produced in two possible ways. Identical twins are formed when a single embryo splits into two after fertilization. The other way is where different sperm cells fertilize two separate egg cells. This results in fraternal twins.
Myth 2: Your cravings will affect your baby’s appearance
It’s believed eating chocolate or dark-colored food will make the baby have darker complexion, and light-colored food such as milk will give the baby fairer skin color.
Paglilihi, or food cravings and obsessions for different things, don’t affect the baby’s appearance. Your baby’s complexion and physical appearance depend on your and the father’s genes.
Myth 3: You should avoid wearing necklaces or wrapping towels around your neck
During the second and third trimesters, it’s possible for the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby’s neck. But this isn’t caused by wearing a necklace or wrapping towels around your neck.
The baby’s own movements can cause the umbilical cord to wrap their neck, not external factors.
Going to your doctor regularly before you give birth will help you ease your mind if you’re worried about your baby’s condition.
Myth 4: Your appearance during pregnancy determines your baby’s sex
You’ll experience a lot of changes to your body throughout your pregnancy. And one of the popular myths that prevail is that your physical appearance will give hints of your baby’s sex.
It’s said that dark spots or hyperpigmentation mean that you’ll have a baby boy. While looking fresh and radiant — or often called the “pregnancy glow” — you’re likely to have a baby girl.
No matter how popular this myth is, ultrasounds and other tests are the only ways to find out your baby’s sex.
Myth 5: You should eat for two
While you practically are eating for two, keep in mind that the other person you’re eating for is very small!
Pregnancy is not a free pass to double your meals or daily calorie intake. You need just about an extra 200-300 calories a day.
Overeating and an unhealthy diet can lead to complications such as gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain. These can be harmful for you and your baby, or even make labour more difficult.
Better aim for a healthy and well-balanced diet than focusing on calorie counting. Ask your doctor what foods you should eat during your pregnancy.