Weird Old Wives’ Tales: True or False?


Once the word is out that you are full with child, senior citizens you never knew you were related to will emerge from the woodwork to share their nonsensical old-world “knowledge.” Some of these superstitions may have a basis in reality. Do you know which ones?


1. If your unborn baby gets the hiccups, stand on your head to make them stop.

2. Wearing a football helmet daily throughout your pregnancy will turn your baby into a great athlete.

3. Don’t let a cat near a newborn baby, as it will lie on the baby’s face and suffocate it.

4. If you feel a burning sensation while you urinate, your baby is angry with you.

5. If you look at a toad while you’re pregnant, your baby will be born covered in warts.

6. If you have sex while you’re pregnant, your baby will be born with a beard.


1. FALSE. Nothing amuses the elderly more than watching a pregnant woman try to turn herself upside down.

2. TRUE. What you eat, your baby eats. What you drink, your baby drinks. What you wear, your baby wears. And wearing a football helmet will naturally orient his tiny brain toward that great American sport. That’s just logic.

3. VERY TRUE. Your ancient relatives are all too aware of the cat’s abilities to suck the fresh life essence from your baby during the night. Before the days of cat monitors, too many babies were lost to the feline lust for new-baby juice. Take heed!

4. FALSE. If you feel a burning sensation when you urinate, your ancestors are angry with you. Or else you smeared Icy Hot in the wrong place.

5. FALSE. This is utterly ridiculous! Toads are not cats. Don’t even get us started on what will happen if you look at a cat.

6. DREADFULLY TRUE. And here’s proof:

Francis Bakoff, 1812-1900, here seen at age 6 months. Once his parents were outed as having “done it” while their son was in such close proximity, the entire family was sent to live as circus freaks: Francis, of course, as the Bearded Baby (then the Bearded Boy, then the Bearded Man, which was less of an attraction), and his parents, Doris and Jules, as The Married Jewish Raving Sex Fiends Who Unwittingly Bearded Their Son.

Things that will nauseate you...

...during your first trimester:


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