5 Pregnancy Myths That Won't Die

Pregnant woman sitting on the bed
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Advice in pregnancy is some common that it alone should be listed as a symptom along with the expanding belly. In this vein we see pregnancy myths, or old wives tales, pregnancy urban legends, if you will, that have been passed on from generation to generation. Most of these are harmless, but can cause tension and stress for some people and a few are potentially dangerous.

Old wives tales abound in pregnancy.

Some are hilarious and funny to pass along, while others can be downright dangerous to your health. Urban Legends Guide, David Emery and I have created this content on several different "legends" surrounding, pregnancy, birth and babies to help you understand that just because someone says it, doesn't mean it's true. Always talk to your doctor or midwife for real pregnancy advice that takes into account your medical history.

1. Drano mixed with urine will tell you if you're having a girl or a boy.

Drano is a dangerous chemical and does not show if you're having a boy or a girl. It makes a mess and has the potential for making you sick or injured from fumes. This old wives tale in pregnancy is a frightening one because of these potential hazards.

2. The baby's heart rate will determine the gender.

This is false. The baby's heart rate is not related to the sex of the baby at all. That has not stopped this myth from circulating for a very long time.

If you listen to what people say they can't stop comparing the rates, and no two people give the same numbers.

3. You need to drink plenty of water or the baby will get dirty in its sac of water.

Amniotic fluid is an amazing product! It completely replaces itself every three hours, even after your water has broken.

What mom drinks can help or hinder its production, but it is definitely not all about her hydration. The baby does urinate into the water, and skin cells from the baby are also sloughed off into the water. This is what amniocentesis uses to determine gender and chromosomal make up of your baby.

4. If you hold your hands above your head you'll strangle the baby with the umbilical cord.

This is not true. The incidence of the baby's cord being around the neck, called a nuchal cord, is about one third of all births. It has to do with the twists and turns your little gymnast makes rather than whether or not you've held your hands up over head.

5. Pregnant women shouldn't take baths.

This is false. Baths are very good for pregnant women. The problem is more the temperature than the actual bath. Be sure that you avoid the use of hot tubs and hot baths (above 100 degrees F). These can cause your body temperature to rise, and this can cause problems for a developing baby, particularly in the first trimester. Baths are a great source of relaxation and also work well for the aches and pains of pregnancy. Your baby is not in danger of getting germs from bathing. The baby is protected by the amniotic sac and the mucus plug.

Although we have done studies that have shown that water doesn't really enter the vagina during bathing anyway.