4 traditional pregnancy and baby care myths I ignored (and am happy about it!)
Tell me something, if a pregnant woman decides to stare at the image of a dolphin every single day, will she give birth to a dolphin?
If you have ever been pregnant or are a parent already (I am assuming you nodded a ‘yes’ to at least one of these two suggestions), then I am sure you too have heard about the myths and so-called rules and regulations that are generally associated with pregnancy and baby care in India.
I have two daughters, and trust me, there has been no end to the gyaan I have received from a plethora of people, including family members, distant relatives (who?), friends, colleagues, neighbours and definitely strangers too who take it upon themselves to come up to you and share a piece of their wisdom.
The first time I got pregnant, I was really confused. What should I follow and what should I let go? Should I really have 2 to 4 tender coconuts a day to ensure my baby would be healthy? Should I keep staring at images of cute babies the entire day to make sure I had a perfectly cute baby too?
Was it really that bad if while sleeping, I accidentally turned to my right and slept like that for a few hours, instead of on my left side? And was it really so bad to have sex while you are pregnant, and should I absolutely stop myself from thinking anything remotely related to a physical relationship with my partner the moment I conceived, forget about doing it actually?
Phew! Too many things to apparently follow, but why? I decided to read more on the topic and find out as much as I could on all of the above. And in fact, once I knew just what was really important, I was actually able to filter out the rest of the gyaan and enjoy my pregnancy, and love the mommyhood phase. And the best part is – my babies turned out absolutely to be healthy and happy! Here are a few things I ditched:
1. Look at cute baby pictures to give birth to a cute baby – This is one of the most ridiculous theories ever! Tell me something, if a pregnant woman decides to instead stare at the image of a dolphin every single day, will she give birth to a dolphin? Like, really?!
2. Don’t switch on the AC (during pregnancy and first few months after delivery) – I have been reprimanded severely for switching on the AC while I was pregnant, and even during the first few months after my babies were born. But tell me something, why is it so harmful to switch on the air conditioner if you are in a hot or really humid environment, and if no direct cool air is reaching your baby?
In fact, leaving the AC on is really good, as your body temperature rises high when you are pregnant, leaving you hot and sweaty, and it is also good for your baby to be in a regulated environment.
3. Sex? No, absolutely not – Okay, so the elders did not really say it out loud in such clear terms, but it was very obvious. The fact is that as long as your doctor is fine by it, having sex when you are pregnant will not harm your baby. Just be careful in the first trimester, and in most cases, you should be allowed to ‘do it’ till almost your final month.
4. Eating too much turmeric will turn your baby yellow – No, that is called jaundice, which most babies have when they are born. And in any case, no one eats too much turmeric, it is a regular spice used in Indian cooking that comes with huge health benefits!
These were some of the most common pregnancy and baby care tips I was asked to follow, even though I never asked for it. And am I glad I didn’t follow them! Did you hear about any of these, and which ones did you follow or outright laugh at?
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