Chinese Pregnancy Don’ts: Part 1

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I’m actually a pretty traditional Chinese gal despite marrying an Irish/Ukranian/random European race American.  We did our engagement and wedding by the book with a few Western flourishes.  This pregnancy has opened up a world of Do Nots for me that pop up every few days from my mother.
Here’s a quick list:
1. Do not buy anything for the baby until it is born. No furniture, strollers, clothing, toys, etc. According to Chinese superstitions, having baby items without a baby in the house is really bad luck.
This was pretty shocking to J’s mom because she didn’t understand how we were going to get a nursery ready if we weren’t allowed to buy anything. We’re going to prep the nursery by replacing the carpet and just furnishing the non baby related items.  Then we’re going to make a list on Amazon and when I go into labor, J is going to order everything via Amazon Prime. It’ll be on our doorstep in 2 days.
2. Do not eat or drink out of dishes, bowls or cups that are damaged.  The same goes for uneven utensils like chopsticks and forks.  I was explained that it might damage the baby energy wise.  Like result in one leg being longer than the other or general disabilities. I don’t mind this one, I don’t like using damaged items anyway.
3. Do not hammer, drill, nail, etc. There’s some fuzziness here in that some Chinese believe there should be none of this done in the house.  There are numerous stories out there about women who miscarried after having work done on their home, from plumbing work to general repairs. 
Others believe that it’s fine as long as the pregnant woman is not in the house.  Others believe that as long as the pregnant woman is not doing the work, it should be fine.
4. Do not reach up high for things or strain in general. I’m not sure what this one is about aside from the fact that when reaching or straining a pregnant woman might pull a muscle or something.
5. Do not get on or under a ladder.  This is supposed to be bad luck but I think it has more to do with the fact that pregnant women tend to get dizzy or light headed which might result in falling off a ladder.
6. Do not wear anything that wraps around the neck, such as scarves or chokers. This is the most message from my mom.  I’m not sure why since I love scarves during cold weather but I’m going to venture to guess that it just reduces the risk of something get caught and choking the future mommy which would then deprive the fetus of oxygen.
7. Do not eat Balut or spicy things.  The Balut is supposed to be bad because it translate in some languages to “Nothing” or “Wrong Egg” and spicy things are supposed to be bad because they heat up the womb.  
This got me curious, so I started looking online for other Chinese Superstitions. I’ll post more as they develop.


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