6 Filipino superstitions and myths about pregnancy
As we’ve already established, Filipinos can be quite a superstitious bunch. There are superstitions for almost everything. Life, death, marriage, and even pregnancy. While some people may choose childlessness, there are still many people who look forward to welcoming a bouncing baby into their lives and families.
Here are a few Filipino superstitions surrounding fertility and pregnancy for people looking to build families (or excited relatives looking forward to greeting their newest family member).
Pregnancy cravings are common across the board, but the Filipino superstition “lihi” dictates that whatever you’re craving has a direct effect on the baby’s appearance. So, for example, a pregnant person craves vanilla ice cream. The baby might come out very white and sweet. Or if the craving is chips, the thought goes that your baby might come out of the womb with a salty personality.
No two bodies are alike, and that fact is heightened during pregnancy. Pregnant people experience a multitude of changes during the process, but a protruding belly is the most common. There’s a belief that whatever shape your belly has determines the sex of the baby. If the belly is rounder, that means the child will be born female. If it’s more pointed or cone shaped, the baby will be born male.
In some places in the Philippines, it’s believed that the first solid food a baby will eat has an effect on their personalities. A common first solid food is charred pig lady parts (no, that’s not a joke). The dish is commonly grilled and given to the infant to nibble on. It’s believed that this will make for a talkative baby growing up. We’re not sure how effective this is, but some people believe it to be true.
If you want more than one kid with the least amount of stress and pain, having twins is the way to go. You can’t really plan twins the natural way because genetics plays a huge part in whether twins are in the cards or not, but Filipino superstition says that eating twin bananas will increase your chances. Same goes for twin yolks and other twin types of food.
Necklaces and scarves are common accessories, but if someone’s pregnant, anything that wraps around the neck must be avoided. Or at least that’s what the older generation believed.
The thought behind this superstition is that if a pregnant person wears something around the neck, the baby’s umbilical cord will follow suit and wrap around the fetus’ neck. There’s no medical proof behind this superstition (and pregnant people can get cold easily), so wear the pretty necklace and warm scarf anyway.
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Wakes and funerals are a big no-no for pregnant people. It’s believed that attending someone’s wake will bring harm to the pregnant person and the baby. The thought behind this is that there can be dark energies surrounding the funeral (since it is a matter of death), and that might cause harm to the attendee and the little baby growing inside their belly.