11 Pregnancy Superstitions From Across The Globe

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Once a woman announces her pregnancy, all her near and dear ones turn very caring and cautious toward her. While most of it is endearing, some superstitious beliefs around pregnancy can make the journey a tad unpleasant for a pregnant woman. And guess what? Pregnancy superstitions are not restricted to a region or a country alone. In fact, it’s a global phenomenon. Don’t believe us? Here are a few that we’ve compiled for you. Read along and amuse yourself.

1. No Touching The Baby Bump – Liberia

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Don’t like your baby bump being touched? Then here’s a piece of good news for you (apart from pregnancy, of course). In Liberia, there’s a superstition that pregnant women should not be touched by strangers. They believe that evil spirits steal the baby from the womb, which is why only close family members need to be around a pregnant woman, and her baby bump is to be guarded fiercely.

2. Stay Away From Sharp Objects – China

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In Chinese tradition, the bed is considered a symbol of fertility and sharp objects like needles, knives, scissors, etc, are forbidden anywhere close to the bed of an expectant woman. For the Chinese, sharp objects represent the cutting of the umbilical cord and also cause birth defects. However, a dagger is allowed to be kept under the bed to ward off evil spirits that might be lingering around the unborn child.

3. Looking At Monkeys, Camels, And Bears Is A Big No-No – Turkey

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Often soon-to-be mothers are advised that looking at beautiful things during pregnancy will beget them a beautiful baby. In Turkish tradition, it is the opposite. A pregnant Turkish woman is prohibited from looking at camels, monkeys, and bears so that her baby’s good looks don’t get affected.

4. Don’t See The Moon – Aztec

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The Aztecs believe that if a pregnant woman looks at the moon, she may end up giving birth to a baby with a cleft lip. In order to deflect the rays of the moon, they even make her wear metallic outfits or ornaments.

5. Lunar Eclipse Myths – India

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The moon and pregnancy definitely do not get along it seems. In India, a lunar eclipse is considered a bad omen for an unborn child. During a lunar eclipse, a pregnant woman is put under a lot of restrictions like not being allowed outside throughout the eclipse, not bathing, avoiding sharp objects, etc.

6. Don’t Attend Funerals – Native America (Iroquois) & Jewish Culture

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In Native American (Iroquois) culture, a pregnant woman is forbidden to attend a funeral. It is believed that doing so could result in a miscarriage since the unborn baby would want to travel back to the Spirit world with the spirit of the deceased. Whereas the Jews believe the spirit of the departed soul might linger around the unborn child, thus barring pregnant women from attending funerals.

7. And No Weddings Either – China

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The Chinese believe a lot in luck or ‘Qi Energy.’ This energy surrounds the bride and groom during a wedding and also a pregnant woman. And if they are in the same room, the good luck gets canceled and may also bring misfortune to the unborn child.

8. No Rubbing Of The Belly – China

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While most expecting mothers would love to rub their bellies to feel their baby’s movements, it’s, again, barred in Chinese culture. They believe this act of affection will result in the child being born with a demanding nature.

9. Don’t Open Gifts Of Unborn Babies – Jewish Culture

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So, you’re happy. But don’t announce it to the world and invite the evil eye which can cause a misfortune. This is according to the Jewish belief, which is why receiving and opening gifts of the unborn baby at baby showers is frowned upon by them.

10. Pregnancy Announcement Taboo – Bulgaria

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Of course, we all try and stick to the 3-month rule to confirm and announce a pregnancy. However, in Bulgaria, pregnant women are encouraged to keep it a secret for as long as possible to avoid the pregnancy getting jinxed.

11. Avoid Water Bodies – Hmong Culture

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You might wish to head to the beach for a dip or go on a quiet boating vacay to a lake or a river during pregnancy. However, in Hmong culture, it is believed that evil spirits reside in these large water bodies. They may eventually steal the spirit of an unborn baby.

Aren’t these pregnancy superstitions weird and hair-raising too? However, don’t let them freak you out if you are pregnant already. Remember, that these are just superstitions and need not be taken seriously. Just go by what your doctor advises and you’ll be fine enough!

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Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.