Heartburn and Hairy Babies: 7 Old Wives Tales About Pregnancy

These tales have stood the test of time, but that doesn't mean they’re any more true today than when they were first dreamed up.

A swaddled hairy baby with an afro and mustache against a background of fire

Old wives tales about pregnancy are remarkably persistent. Any expecting mother who’s had her belly eyeballed to divine her baby’s gender can tell you that. But just because pregnancy myths have stood the test of time does not mean they’re any more true today than when they were first dreamed up. In fact, old wives tales about pregnancy, whether they be about the gender of the baby or its health outcomes, wither under the gaze of science.

More than simply being scientifically inaccurate, many old wives tales are firmly grounded in prejudice. It’s not just that they’re wrong, but they’re wrong for the worst reasons. So while it might be fun to consider the following pregnancy old wives tales, it’s probably best to leave the superstition in the past and love your baby for whoever they turn out to be.

Old Wives Tales About a Baby’s Gender

1. Belly Shape Can Reveal the Baby’s Sex

2. Girls “Steal” a Pregnant Woman’s Beauty

3. Salty Cravings Mean a Boy Is On the Way


Old Wives Tales About a Baby’s Health and Appearance

1. Pregnant People Exposed to Ugly Things Will Have “Ugly” Children

glass of wine

2. Haircuts During Pregnancy Will Cause Issues with Infant Vision

American Pregnancy Association

3. Raising Your Arms During Pregnancy Will Cause Nuchal Cord

4. Frequent Heartburn During Pregnancy Equals a Hairy Baby

2020 studySoutheastern European Medical Journal