Even though we live in a world where information is only as far away as the mobile phone in your pocket, there is still an amazing amount of fiction that is passed on as fact; and old wives’ tales are still passed from generation to generation like a virus. In a world where Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis to stop the possibility of hereditary diseases (used as part of treatment in IVI) people still refuse to eat strawberries in case their child has a red birthmark. Funny or dangerous? You decide with these other amazing pregnancy “old wives’ tales”
Keep Away From Mice
In fact, don’t even look at them unless you want a baby with a hairy birthmark. It beggars belief where this tale (they are usually based on something like a fact or opinion) came from. Why a mouse? What about a small rat; would that count? If you look at a buffalo would your baby have horns? Perhaps pregnant women should simply shut their eyes for 9 months as the repercussions could be way too freaky.
Drink a Coffee
This is one for the men. Apparently your sperm will swim faster because of the caffeine. Imagine the performance of sperm these days with all these sports drinks they can feed on. Obviously you will probably need to eat a power bar as well just in case your sperm find the journey a bit too long.
Keep it Dull
Another of the more insane ideas is that you should not think of anything pointy during intercourse if you want a child. Think about it, pencils, knitting needles, sewing needles, knives etc. If you are actually thinking about any of these during intercourse, you probably shouldn’t be planning a baby with that partner anyway. Sex with a life partner shouldn’t degenerate into imagining what you can knit next Thursday.
Alcohol Stops you Getting Pregnant
Try telling that to all the girls who have become pregnant after a wild Saturday night. Even though stopping drinking alcohol is often quoted as one of the best ways to improve fertility, there is no conclusive research that proves this. In fact, caffeine is thought to have more of an effect. Besides which, what kind of advice is it to give to people to get drunk as a form of contraception?
Legs in the Air
One of the most famous tales is the legs in the air trick to aid conception after sex; and it is definitely one of my favourites (following closely behind standing on your head). If this helps conception, does this mean that simply lying in bed is another one of the birth control options? Yes folks, instead of a meaningful discussion about your future and the child you are trying to conceive, or relaxing in that after sex glow, it makes so much more sense for your partner to prop you up while his lazy sperm fall down to where they should swim (obviously no caffeine in him). The most worrying thing about this is that there is no mention of a time frame. This could be particularly disturbing for those who want to stand on their heads.
Sit in a Pregnant Woman’s Seat
Apparently this will help you become pregnant as some invisible pregnancy factor will magically leap to you if you take their place. This is shocking news for those who do not want to become pregnant, and I demand that all pregnant women should leave signs everywhere they sit to ensure women who do not want to become pregnant do not accidentally sit on these pregnancy enhancing seats. Again, nowhere to be found is a time frame on how long the seats keep their magical property.
If you are having difficulty conceiving there are many sensible approaches you can use, and, of course, you should seek expert advice. Don’t rely on old Mrs. Smith’s advice unless she is actually a trained professional.