Congratulations, you’re infanticipating! Pretty sure though, that once the official social media announcements have been made, your daily conversations will be peppered with warnings disguised as advice. Well-meaning friends and family members will dole out their unwarranted old wives’ tales and age-old taboos, leaving you wondering whether you are, in fact, carrying a magnet for all sorts of mishaps, and not a baby. These range from those that defy logic and common sense, to the types of myths that are offshoots of old practices. Once you safely deliver though, these are some myths that you will most likely find yourself shaking your head at in disbelief!
If you have always dreamt of having twinsies running around the house, chances are you’ve encountered this “tip”. However, no scientific evidence points to this. In some cultures, conjoined bananas are even discouraged because they believe that they can lead to the birth of Siamese or conjoined twins.
Some people would want you to hang up your accessories or bury them deep in the closet for the next nine months. They say that necklaces often get tangled up, and this will consequently cause your baby’s umbilical cord to coil around his or her neck, making for a hard(er) delivery. Not true.
Your lola will wag her tongue once she sees you casually leaning against your doorway because this will result in a more challenging labor experience. Doorway = vagina. Get it? There is some parallelism in the purpose of both things, but it’s high time we slam the door on this myth.
Have you seen Iya Villania-Arellano’s story feed on Instagram? That momma is a superwoman! While you may not necessarily want to lift heavy weights like her, maintaining some form of physical activity while pregnant is allowed, as long as you have been active even before pregnancy. There are some lighter physical activities such as prenatal yoga, walking, and the like that will help you stay on track, so you won’t have such a hard time going back once you decide to lose the baby weight. Of course, seek your doctor’s advice first before doing so.
While you will be advised to stay away from caffeine as it may cause untimely contractions, modern-thinking obstetricians will tell you that coffee is not entirely a no-no. A cup in the morning is fine, but do not overdo it. You can still get your fix, but try to limit it to no more than 200 mg a day.
Ah, yes. Of course there is always a monster out to get the baby and you. This is probably one of the hardest myths to debunk in a country such as the Philippines, where folklore reigns supreme. You will be advised to put garlic, salt, and limes near the window so that the tiktik will not visit you at night and devour your child. Truth be told, miscarriages are really traumatic and this may be one reason why our grandmothers believe in this lore too much.
Stay away from chocolates. Stay away from duhat. Stay away from any kind of dark food. Why? Because dark food is apparently synonymous to having a dark-skinned baby. Here’s a reality check: It’s ultimately genetics that dictate the baby’s skin color, plus, what’s wrong with being morena?
If you’re sick of being sick due to your hormonal imbalances, and simply can’t vomit any further, it is said that your husband may take over the burden by simply walking over you when you sleep. While this may be an honorable act of heroism that may earn him pogi points in your book, you are the one who’s pregnant; not him. You are the sole person who is carrying your baby, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be as supportive as he should be!
There is no joy in being cooped up while pregnant, and to be told that you are an unlucky attendee at wakes and weddings will really drive the point home. The saying goes that the wedded couple and the baby will have a tug-of-war over blessings and luck, while attending wakes or funerals will attract bad spirits. Sharing in the joy of two people in love and also offering comfort and solace to someone who lost a loved one are both intrinsically good deeds and positive in nature, so why be afraid?
No, girl, you can’t. I’m sorry. Any sort of toughening method and/or any sort of cream that can prepare you for that first dose of latch pain–it won’t work. It’s just something you have to go through if you decide to breastfeed your little one, no short cuts.
Your pregnancy journey may be challenging, complex, and trying, but those nine months are yours to experience and hopefully enjoy. Take guidance with gratitude, advice with a grain of salt, and focus on staying positive until you get to the finish line! You can do this!