Once upon a time, before things like science and the internet, pregnant women who had questions about the crazy things happening to their bodies had no choice but to rely on anecdotal knowledge passed down through the generations. Unfortunately, while this info was sometimes accurate, it was just as likely to be wildly off the mark. Now, we know better... for the most part. But myths continue to prevail when it comes to certain things, like morning sickness. So what are some old wives tales about nausea during pregnancy that people still believe today?
It's no surprise that women have obsessed over why they feel sick (and how not to feel sick) since forever. If you've experienced this particularly awful pregnancy symptom, you know that it's pretty hard to think about anything else when you're going through it. And considering that at least 7 in 10 pregnant women have morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes, you've definitely heard at least one of these myths. Whether or not you believed it is a different story, but maybe you should have: It turns out that some of these are actually legit.
Thankfully, we don't live in a time where these old wives tales are the only source of pregnancy information. Still, that doesn't mean we have to dismiss them entirely. Maybe some off these even turned out to be true for you...
1You're Having A Girl
Many a queasy preggers lady has been told, perhaps with some degree of delight, that she's "having a girl!" for sure. When my first baby turned out to be a girl, I was sold on this myth. Until, that is, I was equally sick with my next two babies, who were boys. Still, my personal experience aside, there is a grain of truth to this one when it comes to severe morning sickness. Studies have found that women with hyperemesis gravidarum (like Kate Middleton) are in fact more likely to give birth to girls, according to WebMD.
2Your Baby Is Hairy
I'll admit, I fully expected the notion that women who suffer from heartburn have hairy babies to be a myth (because doesn't it sound like one?). I was totally wrong: Research conducted at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore found that pregnant women with moderate heartburn gave birth to hairy newborns a whopping 82 percent of the time, while most moms with no heartburn gave birth to bald babies, according to Fit Pregnancy.
Why? The researches believe that higher levels of pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone (which stimulate fetal hair growth) relax the esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus and cause gastric reflux.
3Morning Sickness Happens In The Morning
This myth is so widely believed it's actually part of the condition's description, but morning sickness is sadly not limited to the early hours of the day (as I and countless other women know all too well).
It's almost strange that the name has stuck, TBH: Almost 80 percent of pregnant women report getting "morning" sickness during other times of day, Marra Francis, M.D., an OB-GYN and a contributing author to the Mommy MD Guides told Parents.
4It Goes Away After The First Trimester
Well, here's another one I know for a fact isn't always true. I didn't have nausea all the way through all of my pregnancies, but I did get a case of awful third trimester nausea with my second baby. ("Yeah, sometimes that happens," said my OB-GYN with a shrug.)
"Many women do feel better by the time they reach 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy," OB-GYN Karmon James M.D., wrote for the Cleveland Clinic's website.
"But, for a small percentage of patients, it can last longer — sometimes through the entire pregnancy."
5If You Have Morning Sickness With Your First Baby, You'll Have It With The Next One
This is another myth I could have been persuaded to believe based on my own pregnancies, but getting sick with one baby doesn't mean you're automatically doomed the next time around.
“Morning sickness can vary from one pregnancy to the next in the same woman,” Constance Young M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, told SELF.