Once you tell people that you're pregnant, you'll probably start hearing a lot of old wives' tales. You're carrying your baby low? You must be having a boy. You're feeling super nauseated? Must be a girl in there. Did you mention having heartburn? That means your baby will have a ton of hair, obviously. Most of these old wives' tales are nothing but folklore, but one of them actually has some scientific merit. So if you're wondering does heartburn mean your baby will have hair, you might be surprised by the answer.
Medical experts used to dismiss the heartburn-to-hair connection, but then a study published in the journal Birth may have proved them otherwise. The study followed 64 expectant moms, with around 78 percent of them experiencing some level of heartburn. After the women delivered their babies, two independent researchers studied pictures of the infants' heads and rated the hair volume. (Yes, that really was their job.) When the results came in, the scientists were a little taken back by the data. "Contrary to expectations," they concluded, "it appears that an association between heartburn severity during pregnancy and newborn hair does exist." Count that as a victory for the old wives!
Scientists may have established a link between pregnancy heartburn and newborn hair levels, but how exactly does one cause the other? Laboratory studies have shown that pregnancy hormones can relax the esophageal sphincter, which can lead to heartburn and these very same hormones can also affect fetal hair growth, according to Pregnancy magazine. So whether your baby is born with a ton of hair or none whatsoever, you can point fingers at your hormones.
Until your baby is delivered, you'll probably hear your family and friends predicting your baby's sex and who your kid will take after. Even if you opt for a 3D ultrasound, it can be hard to tell if your kid will look like you or your partner or one of your weird in-laws. Thanks to recent medical studies though, your newborn's hair doesn't have to be a complete mystery anymore. Depending on your heartburn levels, you might want to stock up on baby combs and hair ties.