The Weirdest Pregnancy Myths from around Africa

A few days ago, we uploaded a post about myths surrounding taking cold fluids while pregnant on our Instagram page. The reaction we got from mums was overwhelming and we got more myth submissions than we even expected.

So we thought, why not compile all these myths and upload as a blog so other moms can have access to them?

Let’s get right into it!

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you find this compilation interesting, and read till the end we have a juicy offer from The Milkbooster Baby Shop

Myth 1: Taking cold water while you are pregnant could make your baby's skin shrink after birth and cause pneumonia

Fact: The funny thing about this myth is that although many believe this is real, it is not valid. Many mothers have shared testimonies of how they continually took ice while pregnant, and their children turned out fine.

Myth 2: Morning sickness only occurs in the morning

Fact: Despite the name, morning sickness does not always happen in the morning. Studies have shown that less than 20% of pregnant women have morning sickness in the morning.

Myth 3: Eating certain foods can cause an allergy to develop or have a side effect on the baby after birth.

Fact: Pregnant women can choose from myriads of plain foods to eat without the fear of their baby's developing an allergy to such food.

Myth 4: Heartburn means the baby has lots of hair.

Fact: Heartburns are typical of pregnant women and should not be taken as a strange occurrence.

Myth 5: Eating spicy food can make your baby come out bald.

Eating spicy foods while pregnant is a myth

Fact: There is no evidence for this common pregnancy myth. Whether you consume food containing pepper while pregnant, it has no effect on the child after birth.

Myth 6: A big abdomen means it is a girl, and a small one means it is a boy.

Fact: According to experts, there is no scientific reason for this assumption. The shape and size of a woman's abdomen depend on the position of the fetus, posture, muscle size, and the amount of fat deposited.

Myth 7: Craving for salty food indicates a baby boy, while craving for sweet food indicates a baby girl.

Fact: Research shows no link between cravings and the determination of the sex of a baby.

Myth 8: Exercising can cause miscarriage.

Fact: Extremely false because exercise is suitable for both mother and baby. It even also helps in easing stress before going into labour. However, moderate exercise is recommended

Myth 9: Being in an aeroplane can induce labour

Fact: There is no science to show that flying in an aeroplane can cause a pregnant woman to go into labour. However, many airlines try to stop pregnant women from travelling because of fear of going into labour while travelling.

Myth 10: Eating orange during pregnancy make your baby fairer.

Fact: Does that mean all babies born white have mothers that took oranges throughout their pregnancies? This is absolutely untrue.

Myth 11: Eating plantain causes an opening in the baby’s head

Fact: A fontanelle is an opening in a baby's skull where the bones have not yet grown together. 1 Although they may seem like undeveloped areas of your baby's head, fontanelles are actually a critical part of normal infant development. This is completely normal and every baby has it.

Myth 12: Pineapple can cause a miscarriage

Fact: Pineapple is a safe, healthy choice during pregnancy. Someone might have told you to avoid this fruit because it may cause early miscarriage or bring on labour. However, this is just a myth. There's no scientific evidence to support that pineapple is dangerous during pregnancy.

Myth 13: Drinking coke affects a baby's complexion

Fact: Not at all, although it is important to monitor your sugar intake during pregnancy because you could get diabetic. Coca-cola drink doesn't in any way affect your baby's complexion.

Myth 14: Eating Okro and Ogbono soup will make your baby drool

Fact: This is false. Okra is a good source of folate, which is part of a woman's daily needs for this nutrient. Eating okra may help pregnant women meet their daily folate needs.

Myth 15: Scratching the stomach while pregnant can lead to birth complications

Fact: This myth believes scratching the belly could result in your child eating hair during pregnancy. How possible would that be?

Myth 16: Sitting at the entrance of the labour room door could stop labour

Fact: Never would this be true. It is totally fine to sit anywhere if the place is hygienically okay.

Myth 17: Drinking directly from a bottle could slow down labour during delivery

Fact: This myth spells out that bottles have narrow ends and are harder to get water passing through than cups. The myth suggests that anyone who drinks from a bottle would find it hard during baby delivery. Wrong from all angles as it is okay to drink from bottles, cups, mugs, or even a straw.

Myth 18: Eating snails and bush meats during pregnancy can make baby slow

Fact: Eating snails during pregnancy are said to make the baby slow after birth is false. Snails are a good source of protein for pregnant mothers. Meats are also good but must be adequately cooked to kill all forms of bacterias. Processed meat should not be an option at all for expectant mothers.

Myth 19: Taking custard during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage

Fact: Unless you have an allergy to custard, it is totally fine to consume custard, but caution must be done.

Myth 20: Taking tea is wrong

Fact: Whether tea or Lipton, pregnant women must watch out for caffeine content intake in their food.

Myth 21: Crossing over the leg of a pregnant woman would make the baby look like you.

Fact: Except you are the father or a blood relation of the pregnant woman, there is no way crossing the woman's leg would result in the child looking like you.

Myth 22: Your older kids shouldn’t sleep on the same bed with you if you are pregnant

Fact: This is simply untrue

Myth 23: You should wean your breastfeeding baby if you find out you are pregnant

Fact: It is perfectly okay to continue to breastfeed during and after pregnancy, this is known as tandem breastfeeding.

Myth 24: Do not get any piece of clothing that is yellow in colour for your baby, it causes jaundice

Fact: Jaundice has nothing to do with yellow clothes. Babies with jaundice have a yellow colouring of the skin and eyes. This happens when there is too much bilirubin in the baby's blood.

Myth 25: Do not go into the labour room with your wedding ring, the labour will be prolonged

Fact: This is not TRUE!!!

Myth 26: Pregnant women should have a pin or stone in their outfits when they go out

Fact: Putting a safety pin or stone around your stomach everyday has nothing to do with your pregnancy

Myth 27: Pregnant women shouldn’t go out at exactly 1pm

Fact: We asked about pregnant moms that 1pm meets on the road, what will happen to them?

Have you heard of any of these myths? Which one is most surprising to you?

What other myths have you heard and want to share with us?

Drop them in the comments section and let’s discuss!!! You can also read our blog post on myths about breast and breastfeeding here.

Don’t forget to go shop from TMB Baby Shop and get 1000 naira off your delivery fees.

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