Safety pin pregnancy superstition

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9 Old Wives' Tales About Being Pregnant During The Solar Eclipse

There are many milestones that inspire a number of superstitious beliefs: pregnancy and celestial events being two of the bigger ones. And when these events occur at the same time, the resulting superstitions are fascinating, if sometimes baffling. The old wives' tales about being pregnant during the solar eclipse will pique anyone's interest, especially those who are expecting at the moment.

If it's been a hot minute since science class, here's a refresher on solar eclipses. According to NASA, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves in between the sun and earth, momentarily blocking out the sun's light, and this causes a solar eclipse. Under certain conditions, this shadow can make a part of the earth as dark as night for a few minutes, even in the middle of the afternoon. Solar eclipses happen about every 18 months, and the next eclipse is set to take place Aug. 21, , according to If the internet buzz is any indication, plenty of people are thrilled to witness this space event.

Although modern people know about the orbit of the moon and shadows, imagine what eclipses looked like to people even a few hundred years ago. It's easy to guess the sudden daytime darkening of the sun freaked them the hell out. Plenty of superstitions understandably arose from the event, and many of those concerned the most vulnerable members of a society, such as developing infants. In fact, the Aztecs believed a pregnant lady who witnessed an eclipse would birth a child with a cleft palate, according to Baby Center. The beliefs about eclipses and their effects on pregnancy spanned the globe, and some are still in practice today. Here are a few old wives' tales about pregnancy and solar eclipses that'll blow your mind.


Standing Up Will Mess With Baby's Joints


Holding Metal Keeps Your Baby Safe


Staying Inside Keeps Your Fetus Safe

Should you stay inside for this event? Because looking at an eclipse is said to cause cleft palates or birthmarks, pregnant women are encouraged to stay indoors during an eclipse, according to Baby Center. Whether you actually choose to follow this idea depends on how interested you are in watching this phenomena firsthand. By all means, go out and (safely) view the eclipse if you want.


The Eclipse's Rays Can Cause Deformities

Close the windows, lock your doors. According to the website for Woman's Day, some pregnant women are told to stay inside in shuttered rooms, lest the eclipse rays cause deformities to her baby. (An eclipse is caused by shadows — the opposite of rays — but the point stands.)


Myths & Rituals Around Eclipse Includes Red Underwear And Safety Pins

Monday’s North American solar eclipse is enthralling skywatchers nationwide. It’s the first eclipse to span the country coast-to-coast since People are traveling from all over the world to the sites of totality.  But, centuries ago, a solar eclipse was seen as a bad omen in cultures around the world.

How did myths surrounding eclipses lead to traditions that carry on into the 21st century?

In a webcast presentation by Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles called “Devoured by the Sun,” Griffith Observatory director E.C. Krupp explains the terror experienced by some Aztec cultures.  He quotes the 16th century Florentine Codex written by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún:

"The sun turned red. It became restless and troubled. It faltered. Became very yellow. Then there were a tumult and disorder. All were disquieted, unnerved, frightened. There was a weeping. The common folk raised a cry, lifting their voices. People of light complexion (this bothers me!) were slain as sacrifices. Captives were killed. All offered their blood…It was thus said if the eclipse of the sun is complete it will be dark forever, the demons of darkness will come down, they will eat men."

Sounds scary, right?

Nowadays, eclipses are anticipated celestial events. But some superstitions about eclipses carry on to this day. 

Credit Norma Martinez

Walking into Papa Jim’s Botanica in South San Antonio, one is enveloped by a sweet, almost fruity smell, caused by the collective aromas of candles, incense, and oils sold in the store.  The store looks like home base for the superstitious.  It sells everything from santos – figures of saints - to Santa Muerte, a personification of death deified by many in Mexico.  Would anything here save us from the ill effects of a solar eclipse?  For an answer, I spoke to Papa Jim’s manager, Yuly Garcia.  She says many of the Mexican superstitions mostly center around pregnant mothers or their babies.

"They say pregnant women should wear a safety pin on their belly.  For babies, when they’re newborns, they say that you could put a pair of scissors opened in the form of a cross under the bed or under the crib.  And it’s basically protection.  For the safety pin on the belly when a pregnancy is taking place, this is going to prevent for when the baby’s born, to be born with a blue eye. That’s what they say." 

Credit Norma Martinez

Garcia also says that individuals who practice some rituals with stones, amulets, or talismans look forward to celestial events like an eclipse.

"People that do rituals, people that do cleansings, people that do basically any type of ritual for any purpose, they want to use these days to get the full energy of it, because it is said to bring more power to it."

Another Mexican superstition is to wear calzones rojos – red underwear - during an eclipse.  An article in the Guardian Liberty Voice shows that this perhaps dates back to Aztec times, when pregnant women would carry a red string around an arrowhead.  But how did that translate into wearing red underwear?

Yuly Garcia says that’s still a mystery, but it’s something that she did when she was pregnant with her children. 

"This is something that my grandmother would tell me all the time.  And as generations change, things like this would tend to be more funny than anything.  But I still did it.  (laughs) Just to prevent.  It’s just something that has been in our culture, and it goes from generation to generation." 

Credit Norma Martinez

If you’re looking to protect yourself from the ill effects of an eclipse, you probably don’t need a trip to a botanica or curandera.  Safety pins are pretty easy to come by.  And, Garcia adds, "of course I think every person owns a pair of red undies."

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Here Are Some Of The Most Random Superstitions That Pregnant Women Actually Follow

Whether you believe in these pregnancy superstitions or not, you&#;ve probably heard either your mom, tía or grandma talk about them at one point.

1. You can determine the sex of your unborn baby by looking at the belly.

If your belly is up high, you&#;re having a girl, and if your belly is wide, you&#;re having a boy. It&#;s that simple.

2. Or just count the number of pimples on the mom-to-be&#;s face.

If you have a lot of acne, you&#;re definitely having a girl. And if your skin is glowing, then you must be having a boy.

3. Thread a needle and hold it over the belly.

Depending on whether the needle spins clockwise or counterclockwise will determine the sex of the baby. At this point, who even needs an ultrasound to find out what they&#;re having?

4. Rubbing toothpaste on the mom&#;s belly button will protect the baby from feeling the mom&#;s stomach cramps or contractions.

Pro tip: The more toothpaste, the better.

5. To make labor much smoother, fill a large pot with hot water.

Once the water boils, place the pot on the floor and squat over it for as long as you can. This will help make your labor a breeze&#; allegedly.

6. If there&#;s heartburn during the pregnancy, the baby&#;s going to be hairy.

Addams Family / ABC

Probably not as hairy as this, but you get the idea.

7. Wearing a safety pin on underwear during an eclipse will ensure the baby doesn&#;t have health problems.

So as soon as you find out you&#;re pregnant, go buy a whole pack of safety pins.

8. Also, if you&#;re pregnant, be sure to wear something red during the lunar eclipse otherwise the baby will have birth defects.

Make sure you&#;re wearing a red shirt, red pants, red underwear, red bra, red EVERYTHING.

9. If the expectant mother is outside during a full moon, the baby will be born with a giant birthmark.

As you can tell, the moon has a lot to do with your baby and this couple doesn&#;t care.

To avoid having an ugly baby, don&#;t give other people ugly looks during your pregnancy.

Or just don&#;t do it in general.

Most importantly, make sure to always satisfy your food cravings while you&#;re pregnant, or else your baby will come out with its mouth open.

Follow this rule even if you&#;re not pregnant.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at [email protected]

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!


Safety Health Protocols in the New Normal

“It’s your first day as an American, and you’ve already gone viral,” I told my husband.

My spouse, who has little use for social media and has never tweeted, looked at me like I was crazy. I had tweeted a photo of the welcome letter he’d received that morning at his naturalization ceremony in St. Louis. Labeled “a message from the President of the United States,” it was a beautifully written, undated form letter given to new American citizens.

It was signed by Barack Obama.

“My British-born husband takes his oath of citizenship today,” my tweet said. “In the packet for new Americans, the welcome letter from POTUS is from Obama.”

He’d done a double-take when he noticed the signature, wondering if he’d misread it. Then he Googled Obama’s signature to compare, and sure enough, it was from 44 -- not

We laughed about it, and apparently the internet found it pretty funny, too.

By the end of the weekend, the tweet had been liked more than , times. Several sites posted “stories” about the snafu, simply reprinting my tweet and some of the rather hilarious reactions to it. The Hill asked the White House for comment, but had not received a response.

George Takei posted one such story on his Facebook page, noting that it was “probably better this way” -- as opposed to what such a letter from this new administration might say, I suppose.

I was contacted by Buzzfeed and Mashable, who wanted more details: Was it an oversight by the current administration? A petty retaliation by an office worker? A typical delay in turnover from one administration to the next?

The packet and letters are distributed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In a statement sent to The Hill, USCIS Press Secretary Maria Elena Upson said that around Obama-signed letters were sent out due to an administrative error.

The unforced error sparked lots of theories and wishful thinking by those who feel alienated by the current administration. Of course, it also prompted some ugly messages from trolls who said my husband should be “deported.”

For the past 17 years, I’ve asked my husband to give up his British citizenship and become an American.

After all, he’s lived here nearly his entire life, arriving when he was just 6 weeks old. Both his parents, now deceased, were Americans. He and two siblings were born in the U.K. while his father, a physician, completed medical training there.

His mother was an American by birth whose family roots in the Midwest went back many generations. His father was a naturalized citizen. All his siblings eventually filed the paperwork to become American citizens, but he was a holdout. Despite marrying a native-born American and having our children here, he held on to the notion that it might come in handy one day to have a U.K. passport.

He had been a permanent legal resident in America his entire life, and the only things he couldn’t do were vote and serve on a jury. For all intents and purposes, he felt like an American, and that was good enough for him.

It wasn’t enough for me.

In this political era, I wanted him to have all the rights and protections conferred upon citizens. So, after years of debate, he finally agreed.

It was a beautiful ceremony, complete with courthouse singers who sang one of the loveliest renditions of “America the Beautiful” we’ve ever heard. Then, like I always do, I teared up during the national anthem. It was more than just that swell of emotion that comes whenever I think about the ideals this country was founded on. It was witnessing this room full of hopeful new Americans, many of whom risked a great deal to come here and share in our vision of what we can be together.

I was so proud to see my husband, who has quietly given so much to this country, finally become a citizen.

His considerable professional contributions are outweighed by projects like the one he undertook a year and a half ago, when he spent his weekends rehabbing an old house his family owned. He fixed it up so that a newly arrived refugee family could have a place to make a fresh start. He’s always finding small, and large, ways to give back without ever seeking credit or anything in return.

He may have just recently made his citizenship official, but he’s long been an example to me of what makes America great.

The first thing he did as an American was register to vote.


Superstition pregnancy safety pin

Mexican Superstitions about Pregnancy

mama monday
This week I wanted to talk about Mexican superstitions, at least the ones I learned thru my Mexican family regarding pregnancy. But before that, let&#;s get some updates out the way.

31 weeks
I&#;m 31 weeks now and while I didn&#;t see my doctor this week, I know baby has moved way up, heartburn is killer, but not as bad as Braxton Hicks! I had a hard weekend full of side pains but I guess at this point it&#;s expected. Also, my hair is killing me. It&#; sounds so dumb but I hate it! It&#;s becoming such an annoyance which is what has made me dig deep into the superstitions of my culture.

Mexican Superstitions: Do you believe them?

I&#;ve shared about Mexican superstitions before and learned so many new ones when I did a Livestream from all our GUBfriends. It was pretty awesome. But now I&#;m back with a few pregnancy ones that continue to make me giggle and haunt me. Pregnancy Superstitions aren&#;t something you mess with, right? Let me know if any of these are new to you or ones you believe too.

Eclipse, Full moons, Safety Pins and Red Chonies

mexican superstitions
I remember being pregnant with Bailey when I first learned this one. My aunt came over with a safety pin. She made me attach it to some red underwear and told me it would protect the baby during the eclipse and full moons.

The belief is that you are protecting your child from diseases, loss, and even deformation by wearing red garments and/or a safety pin. I guess wearing both means EXTRA protection.

No Coloring No Cutting Hair

mexican-pregnancy superstitions
My hair is currently full of grays, super long, and red at the bottom. I look a mess but as the belief goes I&#;m not allowed to color or cut my hair. I didn&#;t dye my hair during any pregnancy but I remember cutting it while pregnant with Cecilia&#; she came out ok. If anything, I looked more like Dora the Explorer with my bangs.Bad move!

Coloring/dying your hair causes harm to the baby making all the chemicals soak right to the baby.

Cutting your hair is like cutting the umbilical cord. Just don&#;t do it!

Baby will look like the one you stay angry at

mexican-pregnancy superstitions- angry

For a long time, I heard don&#;t hold grudges the baby will end up looking like (Insert name of whoever made mad) I can&#;t help it though, I tend to get the most annoyed when I&#;m pregnant. Maybe getting angry in general isn&#;t good for baby, right? For now, poor Marcus is at the end of every annoyance. If this belief is true, I don&#;t mind our little baby looking like him except if this baby ends up looking like his alter ego Pirate Fernando.

Eat all the things you crave or else&#;

mexican-pregnancy superstitions- cravings

This is probably one of my favorites. I mean according to this superstition, I&#;m to give into my cravings or else, Baby will be born with spots, bumpy skin or it&#;s mouth open( I dunno how that&#;s bad but I&#;m assuming it can be *shrug*) I&#;m gonna listen to this one because why not! I&#;m gonna have wings whenever I want and nectarines too because, Better safe than sorry!

Does your family believe in any pregnancy superstitions? Click To Tweet

I&#;m sure there are more but at the moment those are the ones I remember. Let me know of any other pregnancy superstitions?

Filed Under: Culture, mama monday, pregnancyTagged With: , mexican, pregnancy, superstitions

How I Prepared myself for the Solar Eclipse Pregnant (Mexican Taboo?)

Red ribbons or safety pins? Examining eclipse ‘warnings’ for pregnant women

(GMG) – Anyone who’s ever been pregnant, or who’s had a pregnant wife, sister or close cousin, probably already knows: Expecting moms hear some pretty crazy stuff. A lot of the advice is either conflicting, or it can’t possibly be scientifically based, or it makes you wonder what’s true and what’s an old wives' tale.

For example: “You’re carrying low. It must be a boy!”

“You have morning sickness? It’s definitely a girl.”

“Never sleep on your right side.” “Only sleep on your left side.” “No, only sleep on your back.”

“Be careful! Spicy food makes you go into labor.”

“I heard a big Italian dinner makes you go into labor.”

Phew! It can be exhausting.

Ahead of the total solar eclipse in -- the first one to grace the continental United States since and the first to run from sea to shining sea since , passing through 14 states -- we decided to look up all the things pregnant women have been told regarding eclipses.


Needless to say, BabyCenter didn’t disappoint.

A story about pregnancy and solar eclipse superstitions brought many omens to the surface -- and then the article solicited comments from readers at the end, asking pregnant mothers what the craziest things not yet mentioned in the story exactly entailed.

Here’s what they gathered:

Pregnant women “should” …

--Wear red and some kind of metal in order to protect the baby.

Some superstitions specifically recommend wearing red underwear or undergarments. Others say you need to attach a red ribbon to your shirt, preferably near your belly button. Want to kill two birds with one stone? Use a safety pin to fasten the ribbon to your shirt, and then you’ve included the correct color and an appropriate metal into your attire. Or pin a key to your clothes to involve two kinds of metal. Legend has it that these practices guard against birth defects such as a cleft palate.


The Aztecs thought that an eclipse was a bite on the face of the moon, according to BabyCenter. If a mother watched the “bite,” the same thing would happen to her baby (allegedly). So for protection, the mother is warned to carry something metallic, such as a safety pin, and wear it close to her unborn child.

--Lie down flat during the eclipse.

It’s not clear where this belief comes from, but at least one mother was told that her baby would be born with birth defects if she failed to follow certain procedures. One of those involved lying down flat on a bed and not moving until the eclipse was over. Some superstitious people will even advise keeping something metallic underneath a pillow nearby, such as scissors -- perhaps to guard against that Aztec “bite” on the moon? We may never know.

--Don’t go outside. Don’t touch your stomach.

Or the baby might suffer “abnormalities,” the BabyCenter link told us (remember, we’re not endorsing this).


--Don’t keep any sharp objects around.

We’re not quite sure where this one came from. This kind of goes against the whole safety pin, keys or scissors thing, doesn’t it?

--Be careful if you’re approaching your due date.

As superstition will tell you, many women will deliver their babies on the day of an eclipse, due to the changes in atmosphere. 🤷‍♀️

So now we’ll ask you: Are there any superstitions you’ve heard that we missed? We’d love to read about them in the comments below.


Now discussing:

Use of Safety Pin on Garments in Pregnancy: A Belief and Cultural Practice with Potential Harmful Effect

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