Pregnancy Old Wives Tales – True or False?

We’ve all heard of good ol’ wives tales. Some make you raise your eyebrows in shock and some make you think that’s simply fictitious. Well we’re taking the lid off some old wives tales and cracking open some myths!


1) “If you suffer from heartburn during pregnancy, it is likely the baby will be born with a full head of hair”


True! It has been found that in 82% of cases to be true. Researchers found that higher levels of estrogens and progesterone (the pregnancy hormones that stimulate foetal hair growth) also relaxes the muscles at the top of the oesophagus which allows stomach acid to rise up and cause heartburn.


2) “If your bump is high, you’re pregnant with a girl. If your bump is low, you’re pregnant with a boy”


False! There is no scientific evidence for this whatsoever.


3) “A longer labour means you are having a boy”


True! The study undertaken by the Maternity Hospital in Dublin found that in over 8,000 births, there was a direct correlation between baby gender and length of labour. “One apparent reason is that boys, while they’re not necessarily bigger, are often born with larger heads than girls, meaning that they’re more likely to require help or get stuck during delivery.” (Source:


4) “Your sense of smell and taste is stronger when you are pregnant”


True! The reason is two fold: 1) the body is now producing more plasma therefore the blood is pumping in larger quantities to the brain sending it a “stronger” signal – so it appears smells and tastes are stronger. 2) It is believed this is part of the body’s defence mechanism to protect the baby from breathing in toxic smells and tasting strong tastes.


5) “The linea nigra (the dark vertical line that appears on the bump ) – (starting from the bottom) if your line stops at the belly button, it’s a girl. If the lines goes all the way up the bottom of the rib cage, then it’s a boy.”


False! Linea nigra is caused by increases in the melanocyte-stimulating hormone made by the placenta which causes this black line to appear on the bump a few weeks before the baby is born. There is no scientific link to gender determination.





6) “You should not eat peanuts during pregnancy in order for your baby not to develop an allergy to peanuts”


False! Although it has previously been advised by doctors that pregnant woman should not eat peanuts to prevent their baby from developing a peanut allergy, the latest research has found there is actually no link between the two and now doctors are saying it is safe to eat peanuts while pregnant (unless you yourself are allergic to them!) (source:


7) “If you crave sweet treats, your expecting a girl. If you are craving savoury treats, you are expecting a boy.”


False! There is no scientific proof for this.





8) “It is better to sleep on your left side than your right side when pregnant”


True! Sleeping on your side (especially your left side) improves blood flow to the baby and also helps your kidneys function better (source:


9) “Daddies-to-be can also show signs of pregnancy”


True! Sympathetic pregnancy (or Couvade syndrome) is a condition where men also experience certain changes during their partner’s pregnancy. This may include morning sickness, slight weight gain, a change in hormone levels, and disturbed sleep patterns.


10) “Eating spicy food can induce labour”


False! The “theory” behind this is that spicy food causes bowel moments which therefore cause uterus moments. However, this is not scientifically true.


Have you heard any wives tales? We’d love to hear them by commenting below!


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