“Take another bite, you’re eating for two now”. “Rub more cocoa butter on your belly if you don’t want stretch marks”. “Don’t touch that cat it might be bad for the baby!”. If you’ve ever been pregnant you’ve been given a lot of advice. Most of it comes with good intentions, but a lot of it will make you think that Great Aunt Betty might not know what she’s talking about. We looked at some common pregnancy myths that sounded a little too bizarre to be true and got to the bottom of them. If you or your loved one has ever been pregnant they’ll likely look familiar.

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18 Common Beliefs/Myths About Pregnancy That May Or May Not Be True

#1: Pregnancies Last Nine Months

The length of your pregnancy depends on your age, weight, how much you weighed at birth, and a bunch of other factors. Full term pregnancies can vary in length by as much as five weeks. So don’t go in thinking it’s going to be nine months tops, or you could find yourself cursing every day that baby stays in utero.

#2: Eating For Two

People used to think in order to have a plump and healthy baby a woman needed to step up her eating game. But your unborn baby doesn’t need as many calories as an adult. Eating a well-balanced diet with a couple of extra snacks that total 300 calories a day is all a mom-to-be needs.

#3: Heartburn Is A Sign Of A Hairy Baby

Although some parenting magazines will call this one a myth, science magazines are suggesting this one may actually be true. Studies were done in order to disprove the theory, but the results showed that women with heartburn had hairy newborns more than 80% of the time. Researchers determined that the pregnancy hormones that stimulate fetal hair growth, estrogen and progesterone, relax the esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to back up into the esophagus, causing gastric reflux, or heartburn.

#4: Listening To Classical Music Produces Smarter Children

This idea originally sprouted from a paper written by Psychologist Frances Rauscher, who did a study involving college students and classical music. Rauscher was puzzled how his study was subsequently interpreted to involve fetuses listening to music. There is no evidence that this works, and Rauscher advocates teaching your child to play an instrument if you want to increase their intellect.

#5: Certain Foods Can Bring On Labor

From castor oil to spicy hot wings, it’s been said that a variety of different foods can bring on labor for women who are growing impatient or “overdue.” There is no proof that any of these edible remedies work, but there is a substantial chance you’ll introduce your very pregnant body to some grueling heartburn.

#6: Refrain From Excessive Rubbing Of Your Growing Belly

According to an old Chinese wives’ tale, if a pregnant woman can’t keep her hands off her belly, her baby will be spoiled. While this has never been proven, it should be noted that by 10 weeks the fetus can sense touch when prodded through mom’s abdomen.

#7: Eat Vegetables During Pregnancy And Your Baby Will Like Them Later

Unfortunately for women who want to eat ice cream and pickles for their entire pregnancy, studies have shown that babies exposed to veggies in utero are more likely to prefer them when they began eating solid foods. The food and drink a mother ingests flavors the amniotic fluid the fetus will start swallowing in the second trimester. So, if the kiddo refuses to eat veggies later on, moms can only blame themselves.

#8: Cocoa Butter Prevents Stretch Marks

Young mothers today still slather on cocoa butter in hopes it will repel unwanted stretch marks. Although it’s a great moisturizer, no cream can prevent them. Stretch marks that form have to do with a woman’s collagen level and how much her skin stretches, which is often hereditary.

#9: Pregnant Women Glow

glowing

Pregnant women are said to have a glow about them, making them even more beautiful during pregnancy. Most often this is either the result of a woman improving her diet and taking supplements, or hormones causing her skin and hair to be more moisturized, giving off a natural “glow.” However many mothers who have hectic schedules and other children to care for during their pregnancy look how they feel. Tired.

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Maria is a mother of five and grandmother of two. She is a journalist, but loves writing in general, especially creative fiction. Her specialties include knowing way too much about Marvel comic books and raising awesome kids.