Parenting

Old Wives' Tales About Pregnancy During an Eclipse

As someone who went into labor during a full moon (along with 19 other women in the same labor and delivery ward of my hospital that night), I do think that there is something to say about the moon’s effect on our bodies. Especially women. Especially pregnant women.

With that in mind, given that the solar eclipse on August 21 is fast-approaching, should pregnant women beware? Should they run for cover or expect to go into labor the moment the moon’s shadow obscures the light of the sun? Or are all of those old wives’ tales a bunch of hocus pocus meant for nothing more than a little fun (or to frighten an unsuspecting expecting mama-to-be)?

Whatever you believe, Romper.com gathered up some of the most far-fetched old wives’ tales associated with solar eclipses in preparation for next week. Can wearing red ward off negative spirits associated with the eclipse? Can magnets negatively affect your unborn child? Will eating during an eclipse have any effect on your or your baby? And what can a safety pin do??

Romper notes that in ancient times, people who didn’t fully understand the phenomenon that was occurring developed all sorts of theories:

Although modern people know about the orbit of the moon and shadows, imagine what eclipses looked like to people even a few hundred years ago. It’s easy to guess the sudden daytime darkening of the sun freaked them the hell out. Plenty of superstitions understandably arose from the event, and many of those concerned the most vulnerable members of a society, such as developing infants. In fact, the Aztecs believed a pregnant lady who witnessed an eclipse would birth a child with a cleft palate, according to Baby Center.

Here’s the full list from Romper.com:

  1. Standing Up Will Mess With Baby’s Joints
  2. Wearing Red Wards Off Negative Spirits
  3. Holding Sharp Objects Could Harm Your Baby
  4. Holding Metal Keeps Your Baby Safe
  5. Touching Magnets Transfers Negative Energy to Your Baby
  6. Staying Inside Keeps Your Fetus Safe
  7. Wearing Safety Pins Keeps Your Baby Safe
  8. Eating During an Eclipse Will Poison Your Baby
  9. The Eclipse’s Rays Can Cause Deformities

Check out the reasons for these old wives’ tales here, and let us know if there are any others that freak you out in the comments below!