Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Old Wives' Tales

I was looking for games for a baby shower for a friend of mine, and I thought it might be fun to look up some old wives' tales about pregnancy and design a trivia challenge.

Myths and legends are fun, right?

Well I was looking at this site expecting it to "debunk" the myths, but instead it offered scientific explanations for why they were TRUE.

And that made me realize that it wouldn't make for a very good game in mixed company. I will share them here for anyone interested, but take a pass if pregnancy is a sensitive topic for you.

Old Wives' Tales Regarding Pregnancy: Worth Taking Note (loosely translated from this article)

Things you shouldn't do:

1) Take up handcrafting (Sewing, Knitting, Embroidery), because it will result in a birthmark on the baby's cheek.

Verdict: TRUE! The birthmark part is hard to say for sure, but this kind of activity done sitting down is bad for the baby because of poor blood flow...

2) Hang laundry

Verdict: TRUE! Not only hanging laundry, but any activity requiring you to lift your arms above your head is quite risky. It could lead to miscarriage...

3) Cross your legs

Verdict: TRUE..blah blah blah (don't feel like translating)

4) Sit in a doorway or climb through a window

Verdict: TRUE! You could catch a cold, and a doorstep is too low to the ground, and window-climbing is too strenuous (well, yeah).

Okay, as I went through these again I realized that they were replacing the more pagan explanations (borders between things are always dangerous) with a more modern twist. So they do sound rather sensible, but I still think there are too many rules. Because as we all know, women in "the family way" are to avoid stress, and scaring them away from each and every activity is not likely to have a calming effect!

I'm sure some more examples have come up in conversation, but I think the weirdest one for me personally was that I was "supposed" to have a C-section because I'm near-sighted and the exertion would rupture my retinas!


  1. Well, I hope your retinas are OK?

    You were being rather bold to try that theme for a party in Russia, surely! The moment I started reading this, I knew that website HAD to be Russian! Now, we probably err on the other side of things....presuming anything "from the past" is "nonsense".

    The vision of a pregnant woman climbing through a window is interesting to contemplate.

    1. My eyes did not explode, thankfully. There were plenty of other body parts that suffered, though! But it is one reason I wanted to give birth in the U.S. rather than be forced to have a C-section in Russia.

      Windows=border territory=danger zone! Yes, it would be a difficult task while pregnant!

  2. thanks for posting. I'm just blog surfing and felt it would be polite to say I visited


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