Solar eclipse and pregnancy: Do you believe in these myths?

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The basis of these myths are the various folklores, which propagated the fact that a solar eclipse happens when the Gods are angry and is an omen of the bad times to come

A total solar eclipse happened in the world in the morning today. While it was also visible in India at sunrise, only people in the northeast and eastern states such as Kohima, Nagaland, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Imphal, in Manipur, where the sun rises earlier than other locations, could view it. The total eclipse began at 5.47am (IST) and lasted for almost three hours and ended at 10.05 am.

There have been a lot of myths and superstitions associated with the solar eclipse and while half of them are untrue, there are many people who still believe them, especially if it happens during a women’s pregnancy.

In India in particular, there is a lot of hearsay about an eclipse and there are many myths and superstitions that are floating around. The basis of these myths are the various folklores, which propagated the fact that a solar eclipse happens when the gods are angry and is an omen of the bad times to come. In Hindu mythology they say that the demons Rahu and Ketu swallow the sun and suck away the light that gives life to various beings on earth.

We list a few myths associated with solar eclipse and pregnancy and try to debunk them:

Myth #1: Pregnant women should not look at the sun with a naked eye

Fact: This myth actually holds some truth. However, no one should be looking at a solar eclipse with a naked eye as the sun’s ultraviolet rays can be harmful for the retina. Always use proper protected glasses and other certified equipment while watching a solar eclipse.

Myth 2: Pregnant women should not use sharp objects during an eclipse

Fact: This is absolutely not true because if there were a reason for it all doctors/surgeons in this world would stop using sharp objects during an eclipse. A solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon and there are actually three to five solar eclipses that happen every year. However, many cultures still follow it and therefore it is always wise to consult an expert in case you are in doubt.

Myth 3: Pregnant women should not step out during an eclipse

Fact: There are many people who still follow this religiously as it is said that the sun's harmful rays may be harmful for the foetus during an eclipse. While the sun's rays are harmful for everyone, there is no scientific evidence to validate it. However, if you choose to stay at home to respect the feelings of your elders or if you are in doubt, there's no harm in staying indoors.

Myth 4: Pregnant women should not eat and drink during a solar eclipse

This myth stems from the fact that the sun’s rays are beneficial in killing harmful microbes and bacteria, which can also affect your food. This is why people used to throw away food and other perishable items after an eclipse. However, in this day and age when every house has a refrigerator, this myth also holds no ground.

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