Myth or fact? Chinese dos and don’ts

Most cultures have superstitions surrounding pregnancy. In this, part 1 of 2, we see if there is any truth behind them.

Pregnancy-Myth-or-fact-Chinese-dos-and-donts

Superstition: Do not announce your pregnancy until after 3 months, to ward off any risk of miscarriage
Kind of fact: Dr Tan Thiam Chye, head and senior consultant, Inpatient Service Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, says that it is a fact that most miscarriages occur in the first trimester. He shares, “In a study conducted by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, miscarriage occurs in 25 per cent of women who presents with bleeding in early pregnancy.” Hence, there might be some truth in this.

Superstition: Do not hammer nails or stick anything on the wall, re-arrange furniture, renovate houses or move to a new home.
Mostly myth: Chinese superstition has it that hammering nails, sticking things to the wall or re-arranging furniture will harm the baby’s “spirit”. Chinese also advise against moving to a new house during the pregnancy, especially if the baby was conceived at the former home as they believe that the “luck” was present there. Dr Tan advises pregnant women to avoid carrying heavy things and exercising excessively in pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, so keep moving and major renovation to after bubba is born.

Superstition: Do not eat crab or seafood during your pregnancy
Some fact: Dr Tan says, “It is not recommended to eat raw seafood during pregnancy as bacterial infection, Like Salmonella infection, may cause miscarriages. There is no evidence to show that there are any harmful effects when eating well-cooked crabs during pregnancy.”

Superstition: Do not attend weddings during your pregnancy
Myth: Traditional Chinese wedding celebrations are usually held on an auspicious date calculated from the Four Pillars of Destiny (生辰八字), which is based on the bride and groom’s birth date and time. Chinese believe that the qi energy and the “luck” of the bride and groom are highest on their wedding day. If the pregnant mother’s 生辰八字 clashes with the energy of bride and groom, there is a risk that the counter force or energy will backfire and cause harm to the health and luck of the pregnant mother, thus indirectly affecting the foetus. This is probably a myth as pregnant mums are still spotted at weddings who go on to have smooth pregnancies.

Superstition: Do not sit facing the sharp point edge of a rectangle or square table
Myth: According to feng shui, a sharp point represents “sha qi” which translates to “killing” energy. It is said that bad energy will be directed to the belly in this sitting position and is harmful for the foetus. Myth.

Superstition: Do not look at frightening or ugly images of animals, monsters, or other fictional characters out there
Myth: Superstition has it that baby will resemble animals, monsters or fictional characters if mums look at them during the pregnancy. This has no scientific evidence to back it up as a baby’s appearance is determine by the DNA of parents.

Superstition: Don’t attend funerals, or if you do, wear a red scarf.
Myth: Funerals are considered unlucky in Chinese culture so pregnant women are advised to avoid going to funeral related activities. If you have to, wearing an auspicious red scarf around the belly is said to counter the negative energy from funerals.

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