Is There Any Truth to Pregnancy Superstitions?


Do I believe in astrology? Not really. But I read my horoscope, and if it says, ‘Stay in bed today’, well, obviously I take it seriously. Do I believe in fortune tellers? Not really. Still, at least four times a year, I visit one to have my palm and my tarot cards read, and so I can ask questions about my future. (I promptly, of course, forget the answers. So who knows if any of the fortune tellers have been right?)

But when my children’s Tita (their nanny) told me some of her beliefs and old-wives’ tales about children, kids, and pregnancy, I couldn’t help but listen intently. How could I not? It’s really fascinating stuff!

For example, she told me that you can tell who had more fun conceiving the child, mom or dad, based on who the child looks like more. So, if your child looks like Daddy, then Daddy had more fun conceiving. If child looks like Mommy, then Mommy had more fun conceiving. I know. It’s completely scientific.

But…I was super drunk and happy when my daughter was conceived, and she ended up looking like a mini-me. My son, on the other hand, looks exactly like his father, and not one iota of me. This makes me wonder if I nodded off, or was thinking about how much toilet paper was left in the house.


Tita is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to these kind of interesting tidbits about babies and children. Once, when Holt was a baby, she told me that the secret to stopping his hiccups was to place a tiny piece of paper on his forehead. It actually worked. So, now, when she tells me more of her Filipino superstitions, I listen. I can’t get enough. (Also, she manages to find my car keys every single day. I love her.)

Here are a few other interesting parenting beliefs, which are totally scientific (and FUN!) from our wonderful and awesome Tita!

  • When your baby is starting to make sounds, or starting to form words, take an old key and roll it around in their mouth. This will give them the gift of gab—they’ll be talkative well spoken.
  • Trim your baby’s hair when they are exactly one year old. Then insert a lock of their hair between the pages of a book. A child becomes smarter if you do this.
  • If your baby doesn’t have thick and curly eyelashes, the mother should gently brush a cotton ball soaked in breastmilk over the eyelashes to increase their length and fullness.
  • Hang the very first trimmed nails of the baby somewhere so that they will learn to hold things tightly.
  • If a pregnant woman sits on the stairs, she will have a difficult time delivering her baby.
  • People should not share food with pregnant women, or eat their leftovers. It will make one very sleepy, and nauseated, just like morning sickness.
  • Pregnant woman should avoid shellfish, unless they want a baby that drools heavily.
  • Pregnant women should not cry frequently. Otherwise, the baby will become sensitive or be a ‘cry baby.’
  • A postpartum woman should have a bowl of hot soup after her first bath so that her skin will be less subject to stretch marks.

Take or leave these wise words of Tita. But would you try any of these? What are the craziest old-wives tales, or superstitions you’ve heard? We’d love to hear them!


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