There are a lot of opinions out there on the best pregnancy tips. Pregnant women are often bombarded with pregnancy tips from friends and family, websites, clickbait articles, and books. With all this information, how can pregnant women know what to believe? Women often turn to trial and error, taking the time to discover the practices that work best for them and their bodies. And of course, a doctor’s medical advice is important above all other opinions.
In general, pregnancy has changed for women around the world. There are some basic pregnancy tips regarded as tried and true—like rubbing lotion on your belly to prevent stretch marks; taking prenatal vitamins; getting plenty of exercise; limiting caffeine; and eating as healthy as possible. But it might surprise you to learn that over the centuries, women have resorted to downright grossness and discomfort to boost fertility, stay thin, and birth healthy babies.
To find out more about these startling pregnancy myths, Maeband decided to delve into the past. Read on or take a look at the infographic at the end of this article to see how pregnancy tips have evolved throughout the centuries.
France’s Obsession with Animals
During the 16th century, Queen Catherine of France went to disturbing measures to increase her fertility: She drank horse urine and soaked herself in a mixture of cow manure and stag’s antlers. Hopefully this practice isn’t still happening around the world, but considering Catherine ended up having a total of nine children, she might have been onto something.
A couple of centuries later, pregnant women would drink red wine mixed with minced rabbit womb to increase their chances of having a boy, or rabbit testicles to increase their chances of having a girl. Most mothers would probably agree that it’s better to be surprised than to ingest raw animal body parts.
The Power of Food
There are lots of pregnancy myths when it comes to food: Sniffing pepper used to be said to speed up birth; garlic breath was a sign of infertility; and in Native American culture, eating salmon was said to cause weak ankles. Some have even said eating lots of vegetables while you are pregnant will increase the chance that your baby will like vegetables, too.
Many women swear that eating spicy food helped them go into labor faster, or that they went off caffeine for all nine months. But as science and common sense have progressed, these myths start to seem a bit silly. In fact, experts have agreed that it’s okay for pregnant women to have a small cup of tea or coffee each day, depending on how caffeine affects them. While pregnant, it’s important to listen to doctors’ advice, and it’s also a good idea to eat what makes you feel comfortable and happy.
Don’t Lift a Finger—Or Arm
When you’re pregnant, there are a lot of things you don’t want to do. Your body is already feeling bloated and uncomfortable—why would you want to go running or weight-lifting? Many pregnant women opt for gentler forms of exercise like yoga or walking. But did you know that not too long ago, women thought that even lifting their arms could be harmful to the baby? Many thought that raising their arms over their head could cause the umbilical cord to wrap around a baby’s neck.
Discomfort to Disguise Your Belly
Most women are glad that they weren’t around during the corset craze. But in the Victorian age, even pregnant women were encouraged to wear those confining body shapers. Many pregnant women wore special maternity corsets designed to hide a woman’s pregnant body, making her changing size almost unnoticeable. But, not too surprisingly, these corsets actually caused lung issues, back pain, muscle atrophy, or even miscarriage.
Maternity clothing has changed a lot since then, and women aren’t trying to hide their bodies anymore. Instead, they’re embracing their size. The Maeband pregnancy belly band even lets pregnant women stay in their favorite clothes while loving their growing bodies.
To read more about these unbelievable pregnancy myths, take a look at this infographic from Maeband.