17 crazy things pregnant women were told to do in the past

Read all about the wacky and weird advice pregnant women were asked to follow in days gone by.

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Congratulations, you’ve just discovered that you’re expecting! But hang on if you think pregnancy is simply about you, baby and hubby.

Quite likely, you are bound to receive plenty of advice (whether you welcome it or not) from the excited people around you on what you should be doing or not doing during this important period of your life.

We are not talking about the usual well-intentioned counsel like visiting your gynaecologist regularly, exercising moderately or resting and eating well. Rather, these are suggestions some people insist you follow (even if they sound irrational) ― otherwise, you risk having some unfortunate thing happen to you and baby.

Some of these precautions date back to many decades ago but these are still being touted today to pregnant women. Are these old wives tales or is there some truth in them? We let you decide if and what to follow… plus, also find out what risks you’re taking by flouting the “rules”...   

These are suggestions some people insist you follow (even if they sound irrational) ― otherwise, you risk having some unfortunate thing happen to you and baby.

How to ensure a good-looking baby

In many cultures, good looks ranks as one of a mum-to-be’s most sought-after traits for her unborn child. It was once believed that everything she did, ate, thought and saw had a direct impact on her baby’s looks.

1. Refrain from criticising Pregnant Chinese women should not gossip about or criticise anyone, or their baby may look just like the person they are targeting. This is why Filipino women aren’t even supposed to think about people they dislike.

2. Gaze only at beautiful things In ancient Chinese tradition, the pregnant woman has to immerse herself in picturesque settings, gaze at portraits of adorable children and read good poetry. She is also supposed to avoid eating dark-coloured foods such as soya sauce in order to produce a fair and beautiful child.

3. Avoid looking at scary pictures and wild animals A pregnant woman is advised against looking at scary pictures or wild animals as they need to see beautiful things, so as to deliver beautiful babies. In Portugal, even domestic pets are kept away, so that the mum-to-be won’t have a hairy baby or one with a birthmark.

4. Steer clear of imperfect foods In South Korean culture, she has to avoid eating foods that are blemished or broken, and also fruits and vegetables cut into uneven shapes. Tofu is to be avoided, if possible, as these fall apart too easily and duck meat, too, lest baby develops webbed feet.