People love to give out free—and many times unsolicited—words of advice. You have the right to choose which to follow, but you won’t always know which are based on true facts. That’s why, should you decide to follow a certain piece of advice, we strongly suggest you double check the information you get, especially if it has to do with your health—let alone your pregnancy. Check out these poor pregnancy advice that have been given through history and make sure you don’t listen to any of these.
DID ANYONE SAY CORSET?
Most 19th-century women in the western world wore one, but is a corset really necessary for moms-to-be? They allegedly help with support, but you don’t really need to tighten up your core like that—especially when you have a growing fetus inside!
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
Some people take this piece of advice a bit too far. Some claim that pregnant women shouldn’t eat beans because flatulence can suffocate the fetus. Others even advise moms not to eat soft cheese because it can cause boys to grow with an abnormally small penis and girls with large vaginas.
Legend has it that pregnant women should not eat fish heads or else their babies would be born with mouths more pointed than normal. That smells as fishy as fish, so we wouldn’t pay attention to that if we were you.
Greek physician Soranus believed women shouldn’t bathe during their first seven days of pregnancy because their fetus could get weak. No, this is no valid excuse for not bathing, ladies! The only valid piece of advice regarding baths is that you shouldn’t keep water too hot, especially in the first trimester.
YOU SHALL NOT LUST
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg warned expecting moms not to have sex, especially during the months when the baby’s character is formed. He claimed that sex could pass on a sort of lustful behavior to the unborn child, who can end up being a sex addict.
EXPECTING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
In the early 20th century, it was believed that cocaine, champagne or beer could help with morning sickness. In fact, Pabst Brewing Company marketed their beer by saying that it would do moms more good than regular medicine.
INDULGE IN CRAVINGS
It was believed that if a mom-to-be did not give into her food cravings, there were high chances that her baby may be born without an organ. Doctor John D. West not only concurred, but also added that not indulging could mean a baby with birthmarks.
LAUGH LIKE A HYENA
Greek scientist Pliny the Elder had a piece of advice that will make you laugh like a hyena: have a hyena present during birth. He believed the animal’s fat would stimulate delivery, helping the mom have an easy birth.
WATCH YOUR SIGHT
Be careful who or what you lay your eyes on: it is believed that whatever a pregnant mom looks at will then be reflected in the appearance of her child—wait, so mine can be born looking like a smartphone? No moms, not true.