In our next installment of pregnancy old wives’ tales, we’re discussing the correlation between heartburn and hair growth. Everyone has heard it… if you have heartburn during your pregnancy, your baby will come out with a full head of hair. Well, heartburn is EXTREMELY common during pregnancy. The hormones that increase during all pregnancies cause relaxation of the sphincter muscle of the esophagus. Thus, most women have heartburn. It just so happens that MOST babies have hair on their head. So is this fact or fiction?
The verdict is still out. I usually try to give a solid answer based on substantial medical evidence. There is only one study examining the issue. Unfortunately, it is a very small study, looking at only 64 pregnancies. This study, out of Johns Hopkins, showed that women with more severe heartburn had babies with average to above-average hair. And, conversely, it showed that women with little heartburn had babies with lower-than-average hair. The author hypothesizes that the hormones that lead to relaxation of the esophageal muscles are the also responsible for a baby’s hair growth; and thus, the relationship is possible.
Based on that small study, I’m not 100% sold that there’s a relationship between heartburn and hair growth, but at least this myth is more plausible than many other old wives’ tales!