People who take old wives tales seriously...

(117 Posts)
lagertops Tue 24-Sep-13 01:32:19

Especially RE pregnancy. Ive been asked a couple of times if ive 'found out' the sex of my baby by doing the ring on a string thing by people with a serious face. Also had a friend tell me that she just couldn't understand why her baby was born without loads of hair as she had really bad heartburn throughout pregnancy...

And today was the icing on the cake. My OHs step-grandmother absolutely demanded that I was in no uncertain terms to buy my babys pram until after he was born. I didnt bother asking why as she talks crap a lot until the third time she had said "Buy the cot, but do not get the baby's pushchair!!" and her reply was simply 'Its an old wives tale.'

Im sorry, but I cant be bothered with superstition to the point where it's affecting my practical choices. I know for most people its a bit of fun, but does anyone actually take this nonsense as gospel?

DaleyBump Tue 24-Sep-13 01:33:39

God no. Smile, nod, do your own thing. 30+3 and totally get where you're coming from.

MrsMongoose Tue 24-Sep-13 01:44:33

Respond with 'haha, don't tell me you're actually so dim you believe that crap' and then do what you want.

Fozziebearmum2be Tue 24-Sep-13 01:59:48

Omg yes! It's driven me mad!!! I'm 39 weeks pg and its been an almost daily conversation with people.....

People keep walking up to me and saying 'I know what you're having' (we didn't find out the sex).

Followed by....

'You're carrying low/high so must be....' I could be told by one person it was 'high' and that's a girl, and the next it's 'low' and that means a girl....confused The classic is a friend of mine who changed her mind that it was a boy as my bump has dropped as its now engaged....

'What was babies heart rate? MUST be a boy/girl'

'You're all baby (rather than fat all over) so must be a ....'

The list goes on... shock

At one point I googled all the gender wives tales and am 50/50 for a boy/girl, so despite knowing they were ridiculous I needed a comeback to shut people up...

The other ridiculous one was someone who was actually quite confused/put out as a friend of ours had a sister who carried all her babies the same but had 3 boys and a girl!!

I can't believe people put so much effort into this tosh and completely believe it.... blush

Whowouldfardelsbear Tue 24-Sep-13 02:48:54

Just reply that you've heard it's unlucky to be superstitious, do you don't bother. grin

AGnu Tue 24-Sep-13 03:03:28

The most amusing are the mis-remembered dos/don'ts... When I announced my first pregnancy I had a relative very concerned about my diet. She who had no children insisted I shouldn't eat raspberries. Not raspberry leaf, actual raspberries. hmm She couldn't quite remember why though, something to do with miscarriages apparently!

She also insists she always knows when someone's pregnant before they announce it... Sixth sense, dontcha know?! Of course, she wouldn't want to steal anyone's thunder by mentioning their pregnancy before they announce it... grin Didn't notice her own pregnancy though!

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 03:30:13

how can any "rules" about buying a pram be old wives tales?
I never knew those medival witches were quite concerned about bugaboos v Mclarens!grin

I had 6 kids and I thought I had heard them all - turns out I know fuck all.
I want to know about the pushchair superstition!

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 03:35:32

I think we should make some up.

I vote for "eating tiramisu will make your waters break!"

(because that's what happened when I was overdue with DD.
I ate 3 spoonfuls of tiramisu and the waters broke 5 minutes later.
it was not a coincidence!
grin )

Fozziebearmum2be Tue 24-Sep-13 03:40:21

A friend of mines mum came and collected her pushchair after she'd bought it to 'store'. Apparently it was bad luck for my pg friend to keep in the house.. shock

My mum also kept her pram in the loft after having me/my brother as she didn't want anymore children... Hmmm... 'Heard of contraception?' cant see how storing a pram helps confused

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 04:00:26

if storing a pram stops women from getting pg then we live in some sort of a Bermuda triangle of old wives' tales - what with owning 2 or 3 pushchairs constantly in the last 12 years didn't stop us from having 6 children! grin

Whowouldfardelsbear Tue 24-Sep-13 04:02:24

I had some "new wives' tales" advice including balancing a lap top on my bump will harm my baby (haven't noticed that it did).

I was also advised not to hang out washing as the umbilical cord will strangle the foetus. (How? How? How?)

AngryGnome Tue 24-Sep-13 04:30:27

I had the one about hanging up washing too - apparently it is because putting your arms above your head whilst pregnant will somehow wrap the umbilical cord around the unborn baby's neck and strangle it.

I don't know why the midwife didn't inform me of the invisible marionette string linking my wrists and the umbilical cord. Thank god for my next door neighbour and her inexhaustable supply of pregnancy facts and advice grin.

eosmum Tue 24-Sep-13 08:17:17

I believe the pram thing is only as in the past there would be a high mortality rate in newborns, and really to come home and see a pram without a baby is difficult.

Most of them are crap but I never had to hang out washing for my whole pregnancy, DH rushed to do it so I chose to believe the ones that suit me.

I was told by several people about the hanging washing one.

The pram shop told me they would look after the pram for me until baby was born, but I could take the car seat home..............

juniper9 Tue 24-Sep-13 08:35:40

Not heard of the washing line one! I've spent the last few weeks painting walls, doing all the gloss work, pulling up and refitting underlay, sanding and putting up curtain rails.

My baby is still booting me hard enough to make me double over or is this labour? so I reckon it's ok.

As for the heartburn, I've drank so much gaviscon that I must be expecting a yeti (with a galloping horse heart)

Sunnymeg Tue 24-Sep-13 08:37:44

The pram thing definitely related to high infant mortality. They were very expensive compared to an average wage, and can still be! I was in a special care unit when I was born and my parents didn't buy anything until the morning of the day I came home.

Sparrowfarts Tue 24-Sep-13 08:38:15

I think the size (and possibly the expense) of the old Silver Cross pram might have something to do with that tale - imagine squeezing past it in the hall if you didn't have the baby it was bought for.

My waters broke during the Archers and DD was born 24 hours later (I was beyond listening by that point, but I noted the time and thought 'The Archers is on' while the baby was surrounded by medics on the resuscitaire hmm).

So Radio 4 obviously stimulates labour.

mrsjay Tue 24-Sep-13 08:40:35

I didnt have a pram in the house before my babies came <shrug> call me a witch if you like grin I do think you are mocking the grandmother i it isn't superstition people were genuinely worried in case something happened to the baby not that the pram would cause harm or was unlucky, just smile and nod at her and then do what you want

roundtable Tue 24-Sep-13 08:46:22

Isn't the washing one to do with low blood pressure and fainting or something along those lines? Back when washing wasn't done by machines? I think I might be making that up but I could be wrong.

It doesn't stop after birth, annoyingly. Be prepared for advice based on thin air in regards to feeding, sleeping, holding babies, actually basically anything to do with a baby.

grin Congratulations by the way!

mrsjay Tue 24-Sep-13 08:50:38

* Isn't the washing one to do with low blood pressure and fainting or something along those lines? Back when washing wasn't done by machines? I think I might be making that up but I could be wrong.*

I think so I wonderwhat old wives tales we will be telling our grandchildren grin

ILetHimKeep20Quid Tue 24-Sep-13 08:52:05

It's worse when you are overdue.

Have you tried sex, pineapples, walking, drinking tea, farting, driving over bumps, a curry, singing mama mia whilst doing the hula?

mrsjay Tue 24-Sep-13 08:54:08

listen to radio 4 it workd for a poster upthread grin miswives used to advise sex to get things going

goldenlula Tue 24-Sep-13 08:54:29

I used to enjoy doing the old wives tales gender predictors online, each month mine changed the percentage they were boy compared to girl! We didn't store the pram here, but we only got it a few days before I went into hospital anyway as I had to go in 3 weeks early.
I always laughed at the 'I am never wrong, I get it right every time you are having a ...' This happened at my brother's wedding, 2 different people insisted they were always right, one said girl, 1 said boy. As I wasn't expecting twins one was definitely wrong, apparently for the first time ever!
Sil was pregnant and a family member, straight faced and totally serious, said I know what you are having, do you want me to tell you? I can if you want up to you, but I do KNOW what you are having, it came to me in a dream. Sil said go ahead, given me a 'look' that said it all. She was a having a little girl that looked just like mil as a child etc etc. That was that. She was having a girl, no arguments. Her little boy is gorgeous!

purrpurr Tue 24-Sep-13 08:54:48

We had the pram one, erm, my husband managed to nip it in the bud by saying 'but we're Jewish' and people would go 'oh okay'. I know already that we live in a little pocket of weirdness so maybe this superstition has a weird religious undertone here only, but maybe it was simply the act of countering rubbish with rubbish.

If I was going to avoid buying something in case I came home with no baby, it would be the cot, surely. The cot and the bedding and the matching curtains, in my case. The room would break my heart. But you can't live like that.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Tue 24-Sep-13 08:56:41

I think sex is the only thing with an ounce of credibility in terms of getting Labour going. Worked twice for me!

GroupieGirl Tue 24-Sep-13 08:57:54

I went into labour after having a massage. Thus, every pregnant woman must have regular massages after 38 weeks. Sound fair?

goldenlula Tue 24-Sep-13 09:01:13

My nan used to say you must never tickle a babies feet 'As it would turn the mad' apparently hmm

roundtable Tue 24-Sep-13 09:01:56

I intend to make a few up mrsjay!

Actually, in all seriousness, especially since I'm more likely to have dil's, I'm going to keep my gob shut if it's not said in support or in mutual good humour. I'd like to have a good relationship with my future dil, not just my grandchildren if I should be so lucky.

DoJo Tue 24-Sep-13 09:55:32

NO NO NO! Having a roast dinner and watching Lovejoy induces labour as anyone who was in my house the night my waters break should know! It's a shame that he's going to be mad though - I had to tickle his feet to get him to feed for the first week or so, and nobody warned me...grin

Dobbiesmum Tue 24-Sep-13 09:58:11

I had a doctor telling me to not put my arms above my head for any length of time while pg because I suffered from low blood pressure, he specifically used hanging out washing as an example..
Sex worked for me twice blush grin
And out of my 3 DC's, the 2 who caused the worst heartburn came out with a mass of hair, the only one who only caused a couple of weeks worth was bald as an egg...
On the flip side I got a weird one from some random in the street who told me that because I was all bump it was obvious I was carrying a hidden twin who was probably on top of the other baby. It happens all the time on her planet apparently.

Whowouldfardelsbear Tue 24-Sep-13 10:15:00

Ooh well maybe some logic behind the hanging out washing thing then.

Roast dinner worked for me, but I hadn't watched Lovejoy. Can't remember what I watched, but remember vomiting in the early hours and thinking what a waste of a naice beef joint that was.

CostaLady Tue 24-Sep-13 10:18:31

When I was pregnant, a male work colleague slapped my legs because I had them crossed in a meeting, as it causes the cord to wrap round the baby's neck. hmm

Mind you, this is the man who used to make his poor, previously tee-total wife drink a pint of Guiness and glass of red wine a night, even when suffering terrible sickness. Prat.

When my pfb was teeny I was told many times (by my deranged then MiL and her even more deranged sister) not to look at the baby from over the top of his head from behind him as "when he looks up to see you, his eyeballs will roll right over in his head and he will go blind" hmm
With hindsight, that turned out to be one of their more rational, saner pronouncements, hence the divorce... grin

SarahStrattonIsBackForJustABit Tue 24-Sep-13 10:46:48

My MIL was insistent about that too, Pom. Never make a baby look upwards. hmm

digerd Tue 24-Sep-13 10:56:11

The pram/pushchair thing is a " don't tempt fate" thing, when infant mortality was much higher than it is now.

charleyturtle Tue 24-Sep-13 11:18:26

My MIL told us not to keep the pram in the house and kept it in her house until about 2 weeks before my due date when I was told "its probably ok for you to have the pram now" I didn't get it at all, but didn't mind too much as our house is little so having the pram at hers gave us more room.

the day before I was due to be induced she invited us round for dinner, cooked a massive curry and for dessert everyone got fruit cake except for me who got an entire pineapple. the whole way through dinner she kept saying to dp "don't you think you should have sex with Charley tonight, you wont get another chance for weeks after the baby comes" she really kept on about it, which was weird. I didn't put it all together until SIL told me that MIL had spent the entire day googleing "how to bring on labour" and actually planned the entire meal around getting me in labour. Bless her.

I actually had been having slight labour pains all day but didn't want to make a fuss over dinner.

Sparrowfarts Tue 24-Sep-13 11:23:00

The potential effects of going into labour shortly after consuming a whole pineapple scarcely bear thinking about grin

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 11:32:41

When I was pregnant, a male work colleague slapped my legs because I had them crossed in a meeting, as it causes the cord to wrap round the baby's neck

There is something about crossing your legs that must be founded in science, when I was 7 months pregnant with one of mine I was in hospital due to bleeding, I was laying in bed with my legs crossed at the ankle and the midwife told me I shouldn't do that...Ive forgotten the reason why though!

I think some old wives tales are based on something that is right, but many are just silly.

Re gender predictions, has anyone looked at the chinese gender prediction chart thing? My youngest child is 10 and Im not having any more, but I looked at theirs retrospectively and the chart was right on all of them. A few friends have done it too and it was right with theirs too.

Someone 'sciencey' please come and debunk it for me grin

TheSmallClanger Tue 24-Sep-13 12:06:06

My mother gave a Moses basket to a friend before the birth, and the baby died (late 70s/early 80s, I think). She is the least superstitious person on earth normally, but she adheres to the baby equipment rule religiously. She means well.

juniper9 Tue 24-Sep-13 12:17:00

I'm happy for my LO to pop, so let's run through this list again, just in case:
sex, pineapples, walking, drinking tea, farting, driving over bumps, a curry, singing mama mia whilst doing the hula, roast dinner, the Archers, radio 4...

anything else?

I've done at least 5 of those in the last 24 hours. I'll be the group's guinea pig.

TinyTear Tue 24-Sep-13 12:17:07

I think parents and maybe grandparents are ok with buying things, but i won't buy a present for a friend's baby until it's born...

with mine, there was the heartbeat thing - if it's a horse it's a girl, if it's a train it's a boy...

In my case it was a horse and a girl, but a friend of mine with 4 children said she has different things for each genter each time

Sparrowfarts Tue 24-Sep-13 12:22:39

You know you have to do them all at once, don't you Juniper9?

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 14:04:56

I was told that if you carry a boy your hair will grow faster.
but only on your legs! grin

yes, coz carrying a boy will raise your testosterone levels in your legs.confused what a load of bollocks! grin

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 24-Sep-13 15:22:33

I think it's about fear and control.

fear of bad things happening and the need to fool yourself that something that you can do can protect you against these things.

So salute a magpie, don't walk under a ladder, chuck salt over your shoulder, don't put shoes on the table, don't buy baby things...

and fool yourself that by doing so, you are in any way controlling an outcome.

LaQueenForADay Tue 24-Sep-13 15:41:33

Oh, this drives me mad, especially as family member lives and breathes such stupid superstitions.

Don't put new shoes on the table
Don't wash your hair when you have AF
Don't do anything on Friday 13th
Don't walk under ladders
Don't buy the pram before the baby is born
Cross yourself if a black cat crosses your path
Salute a magpie

Oh, and other similar, endless, pointless shit.

I actually think it a sign of limited intelligence and a woeful lack of understanding of how the world actually works

LaQueenForADay Tue 24-Sep-13 15:42:59

Yes, and I agree with Hecsy it's the sign of quite a frightened mind, and they adhere to all these stupid rituals because it makes them feel they are in control. Muppets hmm

frogslegs35 Tue 24-Sep-13 15:56:37

smile this takes me back.

I remember being given a few of these gems of advice while pregnant with my 3 dc. Particular favs were the heartburn = lots of hair hmm
After suffering terribly with all 3, to the point of actually being surprised the path from my throat to stomach wasn't melted/burnt away - 3 dc all had a minimal smattering on their little heads.
Another I got told from good old Great Grandma was don't, under any circumstance, carry heavy bags as this will automatically wrap the cord around the baby's neck AND it's even more dangerous if you carry said heavy bag in the crook of your elbow wtaf Grandma? Same lady also advised me to eat lots of liver and drink guinness everyday with my first :@

Like some others, the only one I've any belief in is the sex to start you off, worked twice for me.

CostaLady Tue 24-Sep-13 16:10:16

Oh, the bloody magpie thing. Why is it that I scoff at the idea that walking under ladders or smashing a mirror might bring me bad luck, yet each time I see a magpie I have to stop myself from saluting the fucker?

MothershipG Tue 24-Sep-13 16:15:28

Juniper9 Cumin tea with a cube of raw potato, was the last thing I tried before DD2 finally decided to put in an appearance, so that must be what works.

I'd already done sex, curry, pineapple, reflexology, raspberry leaf tea; I badly didn't want to be induced! wink

charleyturtle Tue 24-Sep-13 16:19:06

The crossing of the legs thing I think (but can't really remember it properly) that it is because there is a main artery in your leg so when you cross your legs you squish it a little and it can make you feel faint. Its the same one that runs behind your womb which is why they warn you about sleeping flat on your back because your bump squishes it. I had really low blood pressure when I was pregnant so the doctor gave me lots of advice on how to avoid fainting and those were the ones I remember best.

I guess the guiness thing is because of the high iron content. (because obviously there is no other way to get iron in your diet)

SonorousBip Tue 24-Sep-13 16:20:41

Ah, mine is even better than that.

A lady in the village post office told my aunt, who mentioned that my baby was breech, that I needed to go int othe cupboard under the stairs with a torch...


juniper9 Tue 24-Sep-13 16:20:49

I have a black cat crossing my path every ten minutes or so. She hears cross words, that's for sure.

I've tried doing them all at once, but the raspberry leaf tea scolded me whilst I hoola hooped and the farting put DP off sexy times. The archers definitely helped restore the mood.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 24-Sep-13 16:22:28

DS2 came home and put his new shoes ON THE TABLE yesterday shock doomed we are... all doomed. smile

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 24-Sep-13 16:25:49

sonorous confused wtf was that supposed to ahieve grin

garlicbaguette Tue 24-Sep-13 16:29:44

!!! Don't go into a meeting while pregnant. It will prompt a miscarriage. This is obviously true, as it happened to me twice.
!!! Don't go to Tottenham Court Road while pregnant. It will prompt a miscarriage. This also happened to me!
!!! Don't go the beach while pregnant. It will prompt yet another miscarriage.
!!! Don't stand in the queue at Sainsbury's. It will prompt ... you guessed it.

I rather suspect the only way I could have prevented those mcs would have been not to get pregnant! But, hey, why let common sense get in the way of some new folklore creation? wink

Love the laptop one. YY, my great-grandmother was always warning against laptops while pregnant grin

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 16:30:52


DS1 was born on the 13th.
so sometimes his birthday falls on a Friday.
I'll tell him we can't celebrate him then!grin

garlicbaguette Tue 24-Sep-13 16:33:10

Now there's a mental image to relish, juniper!

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 16:35:16

yes, the laptop one is actually from ancient Greece, oracles spoke against the use of technical devices as such - dontcha know?

They found some vases decorated with hand painted mobile phones crossed out and these were given to pg women at their what we now call baby shower.
ancient wisdom that was.wink

garlicbaguette Tue 24-Sep-13 16:49:10

Brilliant, Zing grin

specialsubject Tue 24-Sep-13 16:53:35

rising to feet cheering and applauding at

"I actually think it a sign of limited intelligence and a woeful lack of understanding of how the world actually works"

people should be embarrassed at this kind of thing. Such ignorance of basic science is terrible. Roll on the day when it is perceived as dumb to mention luck, superstition and all the other crap that clutters those empty heads.

lagertops Tue 24-Sep-13 21:41:13

My OH's grandmother obviously didnt even have the infant mortality thing in mind, as she said it was fine to buy my cot but not the pram. I even asked her what the meaning/ origin of the old wives tale was and she didnt have a clue.

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 09:02:21

oh and the crossing the legs one is what someone else said upthread.

plus I think I heard somewhere that it is to do with ligaments and the spine and nerves getting trapped - so best avoid for that reason.
I certainly couldn't cross my legs at the knee when I had PSD!

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 09:02:49


grin true story! grin

Dobbiesmum Wed 25-Sep-13 09:52:00

I think it's rather sneery and a touch nasty to question the intelligence of anyone who believes in what are basically harmless oddities tbh, it surprises me that people can get so worked up about it. Unless it becomes obsessive where's the harm? If you don't believe it fair enough but some do. I have friends who are far from empty headed who have certain superstitions (exceedingly rich and intelligent owner of a company who wears the same pair of socks to important meetings for example) it harms no one.

mrsjay Wed 25-Sep-13 09:54:16

I agree with you dobbiesmum I think it is sneery and mocking

fuckwittery Wed 25-Sep-13 09:58:19

I know the sex of my baby, pretty much 100% as we had it clearly confirmed on a 4d scan at 30 weeks but we are keeping it secret, so I am having a good laugh at those who confidently predict the wrong sex due to bump size, way I'm carrying etc. its sweet people are interested, I'm not mocking.

I still get a few people at the dentist who believe pregnancy steals the minerals from their teeth or that you lose a tooth for every pregnancy you have.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 25-Sep-13 10:05:45

The crossed leg thing is to do with dvts and blood flow in pregnancy.

Think there maybe some truth in blood preasure and arms up as well.

My mw said boys heartbeat tends to beat slightly faster than girls, although im not sure if thats true!

Most of it is just crazyness

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 10:11:00

moomins the heart beat thing seems to be true

girls heartbeat is slightly higher - but it is difficult to examine and test.

our mw got it right with DD!
each time we listened to the heartbeat she said it's a girl.
we'd had 5 boys already so I was very much doubting her!

she also said to a mum of 5 girls that her 6th is going to be a boy - based on the slower heartbeat. she got that right too!

AmberLeaf Wed 25-Sep-13 11:06:28

Thanks all who cleared up the leg crossing things.

I still do it even now though, its a comfy way to have my legs!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 25-Sep-13 11:11:59

I don't find other people's superstitions annoying.

I find it annoying when they tell me off for doing normal stuff because of their superstitions.

If someone slapped my legs to stop me crossing them my hormonal rage would ensure that I slapped them back I would be very offended.

edam Wed 25-Sep-13 11:23:13

Wow, a colleague really slapped Costa's legs because she had them crossed in a meeting? I'd have been furious and slapped them right back.

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 11:28:36


exactly. and if someone slapped me when pg I would have kicked them.

ShowOfHands Wed 25-Sep-13 11:32:04

Flisspaps and I have spent a lot of time tag teaming each other on 'what brings on labour' threads. Because none of the old wives tales work yet we persist in recommending that heavily pregnant women eat spicy heartburn inducing foods, going on long walks and having uncomfortable sex with the promise of something which doesn't hold true. I note people on here are saying sex worked for them even. No it didn't. You had sex and then had a baby. Millions of people had sex and didn't. I ate rice and my waters broke. I also had a nap and then my waters broke too. I am 99.9% sure that both are a coincidence. My favourites are when people say 'well I had sex on the Wednesday night at 40+7 and labour started on the Thursday lunchtime'. Well yes, you were 41 weeks pregnant, the labour starting is hardly a shock is it? And between the sex on the Wednesday and labour starting 18hrs later, did you do nothing? What about breakfast? Why not claim it was the muesli or loading the washing machine at 10am or hiccuping into a light breeze at 11.45am?

I do understand that people like to feel in control and we do like patterns in things which is why we see Jesus in burnt toast and bulbous frogs in the clouds, but so many old wives tales surrounding pregnancy and labour are about telling a woman what she must or mustn't do with no basis in fact. I've known too many demoralised women try and bring on labour and then feel like failures when consenting to chemical induction.

Can we invent lots of new wives' tales that involve making people feel good about themselves?

WilsonFrickett Wed 25-Sep-13 11:37:51

It's training for the shite useful advice you'll get when the baby comes.

I was overdue with DS and went to our normal curry place. Ordered a very hot curry. Concerned waiter (they did know us very well, we were there every week blush) said 'That's hotter than normal Wilson, do you think you'll like it?'.

I said 'it's to bring on labour.'

He said, very gently 'love, if that really worked, every woman in Pakistan would have premature babies, wouldn't they?'

blush blush blush

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 12:07:21

show arrogant much?

you are not in a position to decide what seemingly worked for me or anyone else!

feel free to add me to your spreadsheet, because having sex to bring labour on worked for us 3 out of 3 times.

when the cervix is favourable the sperm does help dilating it by acting the same way as the gel that is used when inducing labour.
a smaller and weaker version of the drugs, but it works for a lot of people.

and sometimes it doesn't. similarly sometimes the gel doesn't.
will you discredit that too?

and before you ask me to link for studies and research - do find it for yourself.
I know it works and I don't need to prove anything.

LaQueenForADay Wed 25-Sep-13 13:56:12

"rising to feet cheering and applauding at

"I actually think it a sign of limited intelligence and a woeful lack of understanding of how the world actually works"

Thank you special smile

Bizarrely my MIL (who peddles this arrant nonsense) displays no shame that all she is demonstrating is her embarrassing lack of knowledge of really simple science/human physiology/physics and social history.

Just. Shut. .Up.

juniper9 Wed 25-Sep-13 14:07:59

Well I tried 'doing the rude' last night and ended up leaking some unknown clear water all over the bed. Rang triage and they said to go in.

Ended up in a delivery room, about to be induced by the obstetrician, when I asked her to actually check my waters had gone. Apparently they're still intact and that was my 'back waters' my back has water?!

So I'm adding eating rice, having a nap, muesli, doing the washing and hiccuping to my list now. It's getting quite hard to co-ordinate them all.

I hope you all appreciate my dedication to exploring these myths. It has nothing to do with being sick of being pregnant; I'm doing it for the MN collective. In the name of science.

juniper9 Wed 25-Sep-13 14:09:55

I don't understand how people can be superstitious / believe old wives' tales and yet claim to be atheist. If you believe that something is controlling life's events, then you believe in something 'higher', surely?

kinkyfuckery Wed 25-Sep-13 14:09:58

Oh yes, all the old wives tales pointed towards me carrying boys with both of my DC. Their penises obviously fell off in-utero, poor willi-less boys sad

Dobbiesmum Wed 25-Sep-13 14:11:01

Anyway a good old shag in the hope of getting labour going is more pleasant than other ways!

I'm fairly certain that it's possible for people to have a good understanding of the way the world works but still have a sneaking respect for old superstitions. I'm also fairly certain (and hopeful) that the majority of people don't get so nastily patronising to loved ones who hold with these beliefs in real life. I assume you feel superior to those people who hold religious beliefs as well?
This has annoyed me more than I thought it would. The arrogant nasty tone in some replies are pretty breathtaking!

Dobbiesmum Wed 25-Sep-13 14:12:33

Juniper it'll be hind waters, mine came out first all 3 times (after sex. So there!).

drmelons Wed 25-Sep-13 14:26:33

I will start a new old wives tale......
Drinking tequila makes you pregnant!

Well it certainly did in my experience anyway!

garlicbaguette Wed 25-Sep-13 14:42:26

Dobbies, these stories are about adults interfering in other people's lives. That isn't a pleasant thing to do to a person, even when the interferer believes they have good scientific cause. When they're doing it on the basis of some old gobshite that possibly made sense 300 years ago, it's even harder to shrug off gracefully.

The real miracle, to me, is that most of us do manage a degree of grace!

Some of them really are dangerous, too. What about all the people who still believe you can't get pregnant the first time you have sex, if you have sex standing up, if you douche with vinegar afterwards, and so on? There are a lot of very young mothers who've found out the hard way ...

Folklore is responsible for elephants being killed for their tusks, tigers for their teeth, monkeys being eaten alive, and a host more atrocities. In South Africa, folklore says men can rid themselves of disease by having sex with a virgin sad It's not all harmless shite and I reject it all.

garlicbaguette Wed 25-Sep-13 14:43:08

Drmelons, that must be true, it happens so often wink

juniper9 Wed 25-Sep-13 15:13:47

garlicbaguette the belief in some African cultures is that you're born with luck, and so a younger person has more luck. A virgin, in particular, is luckier, so a young virgin is the best way to secure luck. Therefore, if you have sex with them, it will clear your VD.

There was a horrific case a few years ago about a mother who left her newborn in the care of two AIDS sufferers, knowing what was going to happen.

LaQueenForADay Wed 25-Sep-13 15:18:52

But sadly, dobbie a lot of this nonsense can actually be highly annoying and potentially harmful.

I had to quickly intervene when my MIL offered my baby DD sugar water because apparently 'it would keep her nice and warm'.

And many moons ago, my poor little SIL was cruelly teased at school because her personal hygiene wasn't great - thanks to my MIL's assertion that 'too many baths weaken you' hmm

It's just silly and stupid nonsense, and just like garlic I reject it all out of hand.

nickelbabe Wed 25-Sep-13 15:39:10

in general superstition, I always say to a single magpie "morning Mr Magpie how's your wife?"
I was thinking about this on monday when i saw a single magpie and decided not to say it. then as i passed him, I thought how fucking rude of me to refuse to say hello to this magpie, what's he done?!

so I turned round and said it to him.

nickelbabe Wed 25-Sep-13 15:40:30

the arms above head thing:
I get low blood pressure, so not clever anyway, but UI was bellydancing right until the week before i gave birth - lots of arm raising. and DD's cord was wrapped round her neck twice.

so nur

nickelbabe Wed 25-Sep-13 15:46:40

ohh, that might be true - my tooth had to be repaired when i was pg.
and it got a crack down the front
nothing at all to do with the fact it had been broken by a toasted sandwich 9 years before and i decided to get it repaired properly while it was free oh no

Dobbiesmum Wed 25-Sep-13 18:02:46

I totally agree that it can cause distress LaQueen it was more the tone of some posts that was getting to me (granted I've had a bit of a 'do' recently with someone about my own fairly unsuperstitious beliefs which may have coloured my view somewhat, sorry if I sounded snitty blush).

I think I've actually been misunderstanding what old wives tales are. I've always assumed that they are connected to folklore, the black cat being unlucky type thing rather than what people are talking about here. I am, in a word, a dick..
Fwiw I googled the sugar water thing, the amount of forums I've had a look at where parents are being advised to give it to babies by HCP's is bizarre. It seems to be given for colic, constipation and the hiccups! Never heard of it being given to keep a baby warm though, what's wrong with a blanket?
Am now slinking off into the distance feeling an utter numpty...

CruCru Wed 25-Sep-13 18:50:18

Re the lifting washing above your head - my trainer wouldn't let me lift weights above my shoulders. Partly because of sudden changes in blood pressure and partly because my stomach muscles were being separated, making it harder for me to rely on my core to safely lift (I think).

Lifting sopping washing is very heavy, not hanging up loads of sheets just before you give birth would have been sensible once.

juniper9 Wed 25-Sep-13 19:06:13

I struggled to lift the washing machine above my head too

ShowOfHands Wed 25-Sep-13 21:02:55

Zing, I'm not being arrogant. I'm not telling anybody what did or didn't start labour. I simply don't know. What I'm saying is that you cannot categorically say what started labour, nobody can because they don't actually know how labour starts. We do know that in every conceivable trial or test carried out, sex has shown no cause and effect link to labour starting. What you're talking about re prostaglandins in sperm is theory only. There are prostaglandins in semen just as you'll find a specific enzyme in pineapple which is also associated with the beginning of labour. But we know they aren't found in significant enough quantities to make any difference. And as far as the theory is concerned, the prostaglandins you find in semen are far more likely to have an effect on you if ingested orally and interestingly, research has shown that a slightly higher percentage of people have started labour after ingesting them orally than after sex but still absolutely no evidence whatsoever to suggest anything other than coincidence.

So no, I'm not being smug, I'm being honest and realistic. I'm not saying people don't have sex and then have babies some time afterwards. I'm saying people have sex all the way through pregnancy with no ill effects, people have sex right at the end all the time and no labour. And research tells us that it doesn't work as well as logic. It's the time old MN adage of anecdotes not equalling data.

And I'm aware of the research. My friend did a PhD in it and I helped her out quite a lot!

Sorry you think I'm being arrogant. I'm not. I truly see no harm in people believing what they want about their own bodies. They may even be right. As I said in my earlier post, what I don't like is that all the old wives' tales (which is all they are as science has found no basis for them) being used to tell pregnant women or any women what to do. I know too many women who have ended up thoroughly demoralised, sore and unhappy because they've been told categorically that x has been found to start labour and you should do it when it simply isn't true.

GroupieGirl Wed 25-Sep-13 21:13:52

Drmelons what a crock of shit. Everyone know it's cider.

FrightRider Wed 25-Sep-13 21:16:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DaleyBump Wed 25-Sep-13 21:21:09

Shit. I'm getting married on the 5th of November. I'm due on the 30th. I'm not going to my wedding, am I?

AndHarry Wed 25-Sep-13 21:31:25

My favourite ridiculous 'tip' was when I was pg with DS and not-so-DSIL was Very Concerned because I was eating poppyseed bread and so DS would be born with a heroin addiction confused

purrpurr Wed 25-Sep-13 21:50:20

Daley grin you like a deadline huh?

Juniper, seconding the hiccups. I hiccuped at random like a drunk tramp at the start of my labour.

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 22:11:43


grin ah for getting that wrong! there's opium in poppyseeds, not herion - do correct them!shock

AdaProgrammer Wed 25-Sep-13 22:25:06

I think "Gain a child, lose a tooth" must have some basis in fact, otherwise why would we be given free dental treatment during pregnancy? Mind you, I lost a tooth despite the free treatment.

Pregnancy hormones give an exaggerated response to plaque so an increased risk of gum disease. Losing a tooth for every pregnancy is just a wives tale.

I thought that the same hormone that triggers ligaments to loosen also affects gums and that was the cause of the lose-a-tooth thing.

garlicbaguette Thu 26-Sep-13 02:02:15

Ooh, you're right, Bitchy! Never knew that!

"Your hips and pelvic area may begin to ache as pregnancy hormones relax the ligaments (tough, ropelike bands of tissue) that hold bones together. The bones will begin moving in preparation for childbirth. ... Pregnancy hormones also affect the ligaments and bones in your mouth, so teeth may loosen. This will go away after pregnancy."


MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 26-Sep-13 06:27:57

I dont think the really bad hg I had during pg helped my teeth

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 26-Sep-13 06:41:44

Showy, your advice helped me a lot when I was overdue with DD2, actually. I suddenly realised that not only was trying to bring labour on making me crazier crazy, but all of the things recommended (except sex) would go a long way to ensuring that when I did go into labour, I would do so when tired and uncomfortable. So instead of spending my last couple of days slogging up hills, eating spicy things and drinking horrible tasting tea, I spent them napping and watching TV. It didn't help, but it was far more enjoyable.

That was two years ago, and I'm still grateful!

sashh Thu 26-Sep-13 07:30:14

I still get a few people at the dentist who believe pregnancy steals the minerals from their teeth or that you lose a tooth for every pregnancy you have.

There is a grain of truth in that though, when you are pregnant your body will try its best (yes I know internal organs do not have a personality) to give the baby all the nutrients it needs and if calcium is lacking in your diet it will be taken from an existing source.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Thu 26-Sep-13 08:39:08

My mil lost teeth through her pregnancies. Why do you ght free dental treatment when you're pregnant?

VenusDeWillendorf Thu 26-Sep-13 08:53:17

I think old wives tales abound because childbearing and childbirth are so fraught with danger, and a lot of the processes are hidden.

It makes sense to me to have 'wisdom' passed along which might help <even if it's off the wall>

More women have died in childbirth than in any war, and there's no tomb of the unknown mother, or Poppy Day for her. Why not? Maybe time for a pink poppy?

TheWickedBitchOfTheBest Thu 26-Sep-13 10:14:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheWickedBitchOfTheBest Thu 26-Sep-13 10:18:58

i think there's a fine lione between superstitions which are rooted in actual folklore, and then just pretty shit advice which has been handed down over the years.

But I think much of it is very innocently done. after all it's only just over 10 years since my HV assured me it was absolutely to fine to wean my hungry baby at 12 weeks. But by the time my next DC came along suddenly 12 weeks was considered a crime and 6 months was the minimum.

Mrsmorton Thu 26-Sep-13 17:26:02

sassh that's like saying you can lose protein from your hair. Your body can't take your tooth tissue away once it has made it just like it can't ungrow your hair. Complete bollocks I'm afraid

nickelbabe Thu 26-Sep-13 17:29:57

Ilethimkeep - you get prescriptions free too - during pregnancy and until your child is 1year old.
I presume it's because it's expensive having a baby.

fuckwittery Thu 26-Sep-13 18:31:30

Its true that pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease, its called pregnancy gingivitis and presumably in ye olden days, when people had worse oral hygiene and no free dental treatment, it was common to lose a tooth in pregnancy. My gums absolutely piss blood everytime I brush them during pregnancy.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Thu 26-Sep-13 18:45:35

I assumed it was because you are more vulnerable to illness and ailments. Like how you get offered the flu jab

Mrsmorton Thu 26-Sep-13 19:09:02

But gingivitis (hormone driven) is very different from your child sucking calcium from your teeth. Pregnancy gingivitis is widely recognised as a side effect.

I remember reading in the local paper about a woman who'd saluted a magpie whilst on her driving test, and (quite rightly) subsequently failed for not paying due attention to the road!

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