Like many Chinese-Americans born and raised here, I kinda live a double life. The American life is what you see here on the blog. The Chinese life is lighting up incense to honor dead relatives, acknowledging your elders by title, passing red envelopes, and gorging on Chinese tamales during the season. As soon as I told my family about Spawn, the pregnancy superstitions and old wives tales began to snowball from my mom, stepmom and mother-in-law. I laughed and then asked around to see if anyone else had superstitions and rules they knew about. Then my other relatives and friends chimed in. Oh boy!
Here are some of my favorite (not) pregnancy superstitions:
1. Don’t lift your arms above your head.
Rationale: You’ll choke the baby with the umbilical cord.
Did I follow this: No, son. I continued to lift weights, and do dead lifts, shoulder presses, and lateral pulldowns until my third trimester.
2. Look at pretty pictures, don’t look at ugly people. (Bwhahahahahaahaha!!!!)
Rationale: Your baby will turn out ugly-looking.
Did I follow this: Hell no. This is LA. People move here to “fix” their faces – they’re all ugly. Plus I watch a ton of Bravo TV, and they’re full of entertaining but ugly people.
3. Don’t bang hammers/nails or do any remodeling in the bedroom.
Rationale: You’ll scare the spirits protecting the baby/bedroom.
Did I follow this: What a janky spirit if hammering scares it. I happened to “follow” this – BUT it was not because of this superstition. We don’t decorate our bare walls in our apartment because we’re lazy and we don’t own our home. Our bedrooms walls are asylum white. (Ok, off-white.)
4. Do not eat bananas, watermelon, mangoes or other “cool” fruit, and don’t drink COLD water.
Rationale: NO ONE KNOWS!!! I asked every relative about this and no one knows the reason. This blog says it’s because pregnancy is a “heat” condition, and eating “cool” food clashes.
Did I follow this: Hell to the nah. Bananas are a go-to snack with nut butter, especially now with my gestational diabetes. I don’t eat watermelon because of its high sugar content, and it messes up my blood sugar score. Organic mangoes are expensive and we’re on a budget, people.
5. Full moon? Solar Eclipse? Wear a safety pin on your shoulder.
Rationale: Everyone drew a blank on this one, so I google’d it. You need to wear something metallic so the baby won’t get a cleft lip.
Did I follow this: #sideeye. Did I mention that The Wife and I stood outside, staring at the blood moon?
6. Don’t walk barefoot on tile floors.
Culture: Middle Eastern
Rationale: Your uterus will fall out.
Did I follow this: Um. Spawn is still all up in my bid’ness. So no. My in-laws have a tiled kitchen, and I walk in there all the time.
7. Don’t look at animals directly in the eye.
Culture: Middle Eastern
Rationale: Your baby will resemble THAT animal.
Did I follow this: I don’t have any pets but I do stare at spiders right before I kill them. Maybe Spawn will turn into Venom?
8. You may not attend weddings or funerals.
Culture: Asian, Jewish, Eastern European
Rationale: If you touch the bride or groom, they won’t have children for a long ass time. Funerals are bad luck and will cause miscarriage. Other reason – nearby spirits are around and may invade your womb. (Er….)
Did I follow this: I just attended a wedding – so no I didn’t. I have a viewing and funeral to attend next week. My dad and other members of family have recommended I don’t show up. (But because it’s my late uncle, it’s ok for me to attend the viewing and pay my respects.) That’s fine by me. I believe in ghosts and I’m cool with not screwing with them. (I am afraid of ghosts. Look at this A-hole below.)
9. After the baby is born, you don’t wash your hair or shower for 30 days.
Rationale: My postpartum body is susceptible to catching cold. It’s got to recover from child birth, and in the old days, that meant no bathing.
Am I going to follow this: Ha! If my body can’t deal with a cold after pushing a butterball turkey out of my vagina… I’ve been told that once you have a baby, you feel like Superwoman. So… I need to look fabulous.
10. Quarantine yourself and the baby for 30 days.
Rationale: Who the F knows. What are we trying to avoid? Germs? Sunlight? Acid rain? Vitamin D? All of the above?
Am I going to follow this: No. Baby Spawn has to get shots, and I need fresh air.
There you have it! I picked 10 of the ones that made me shake my head the most. I know there are plenty of others in other cultures… so now it’s your turn —
What other pregnancy superstitions have YOU heard of??