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PREGNANCY OLD WIVES’ TALES #5 AND #6: ARMS UP AND DRANO MYTHS

Time to address two strange old wives’ tales: 

1) Putting your arms over your head can cause the baby to wrap around its umbilical cord.

2) Mixing urine with Drano can help predict your baby’s gender.

I am not joking when I tell you that I have received a page on the emergency line at 2:00am from a patient who was panicked because she reached up to grab a glass off of the top shelf in the kitchen.  She was afraid (because one of her mother’s friends had told her to be careful) that her baby must have done several twists around its umbilical cord.  Her baby became very active shortly thereafter and she was reassured.   

I can’t justify spending a lot of time on this old wives’ tale… it’s just not true.  It is so “out there” that I cannot even think of a way to explain it with medical research.  You will just have to take my word on this… reaching your arms over your head does not cause the baby to twist around its umbilical cord.  Try this real quick for me… put your hands over your head.  Is your body rotating any differently than it was before you did that?  There you go… myth it is.

About 1/3 of babies do have a cord wrapped around some part of their body at the time of birth.  This is just random and a result of lots of normal movement earlier in the pregnancy.  It is unrelated to your arm position during your pregnancy!  So please, do not worry!

The “Drano test” is a new one to me.  The myth is that if you mix urine with a little drano, the color of the resulting solution will let you know the gender of your baby.  A quick Google search about this led me to several websites that swear it works and gives me an “answer key” of colors.  Green means boy, red means girl.  Green means boy, brown means girl.  Brown means boy, no change means girl.  Wait… what?  Did I find that brown can mean boy to some and girl to others?

This test is so bogus.  Please do not do it.  Save yourself $5 and flip a coin instead.  The fumes of drano mixed with urine probably aren’t good for you either :-).

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