There are many milestones that inspire a number of superstitious beliefs: pregnancy and celestial events being two of the bigger ones. And when these events occur at the same time, the resulting superstitions are fascinating, if sometimes baffling. The old wives' tales about being pregnant during the solar eclipse will pique anyone's interest, especially those who are expecting at the moment.
If it's been a hot minute since science class, here's a refresher on solar eclipses. According to NASA, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves in between the sun and earth, momentarily blocking out the sun's light, and this causes a solar eclipse. Under certain conditions, this shadow can make a part of the earth as dark as night for a few minutes, even in the middle of the afternoon. Solar eclipses happen about every 18 months, and the next eclipse is set to take place Aug. 21, 2017, according to Space.com. If the internet buzz is any indication, plenty of people are thrilled to witness this space event.
Although modern people know about the orbit of the moon and shadows, imagine what eclipses looked like to people even a few hundred years ago. It's easy to guess the sudden daytime darkening of the sun freaked them the hell out. Plenty of superstitions understandably arose from the event, and many of those concerned the most vulnerable members of a society, such as developing infants. In fact, the Aztecs believed a pregnant lady who witnessed an eclipse would birth a child with a cleft palate, according to Baby Center. The beliefs about eclipses and their effects on pregnancy spanned the globe, and some are still in practice today. Here are a few old wives' tales about pregnancy and solar eclipses that'll blow your mind.
1. Standing Up Will Mess With Baby's Joints
Some superstitions advise pregnant women to do as little as possible. For instance, some moms-to-be are told to lie flat in bed until the eclipse is finished, in order to prevent the baby from developing crooked joints, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It does sound like a great excuse for a nap though, so feel free to follow it.
2. Wearing Red To Ward Off Negative Spirits
According to Trimester Talk, wearing a red ribbon or red underwear is said to ward off negativity from the eclipse. If you're really worried about your unborn baby, there's no harm in rocking a little red.
3. Holding Sharp Objects Can Harm Your Baby
Put your knives, scissors, and needles away. A pregnant woman who cuts something with a knife during an eclipse could cause her baby to be born with harelip, according to Babble.
4. Holding Metal Keeps Your Baby Safe
For some reason, metal objects seem to ward off the negative energies from an eclipse. One superstition says that keeping metal near the unborn baby could help prevent birth defects from developing during an eclipse, according to Houston's NBC affiliate, KPRC 2. Never thought your key fob could protect an unborn infant, right?
5. Touching Magnets Transfers Negativity To Your Baby
The moon works with magnets, so according to Local 10 News, if a pregnant women touches a magnet during an eclipse, she may conduct negative energy to the baby. Though this is probably untrue, you may want to stay away from anything with an extra pull.
6. Staying Inside Keeps Your Fetus Safe
Should you stay inside for this event? Because looking at an eclipse is said to cause cleft palates or birthmarks, pregnant women are encouraged to stay indoors during an eclipse, according to Baby Center. Whether you actually choose to follow this idea depends on how interested you are in watching this phenomena firsthand. By all means, go out and (safely) view the eclipse if you want.
7. Wearing Safety Pins Keeps Your Baby Safe
Do you have a stack of safety pins on hand? According to Baby Center, wearing a safety pin on your underwear will protect the baby from the eclipse. Apparently safety pins are an exception to the "no sharp objects" rule.
8. Eating During The Eclipse Will Poison Your Baby
Well, this one is a downer. Refraining from eating during the eclipse is another common belief, perhaps based on the idea that food spoils while the sun is hidden, according to Baby Center. In fact, some beliefs claim cooked food turns to poison during an eclipse, according to Sadhguru. Little rationale for this idea is provided, however, so chow down on some pizza if the mood strikes.
9. The Eclipse's Rays Can Cause Deformities
Close the windows, lock your doors. According to the website for Woman's Day, some pregnant women are told to stay inside in shuttered rooms, lest the eclipse rays cause deformities to her baby. (An eclipse is caused by shadows — the opposite of rays — but the point stands.)