Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lifting While Pregnant, Debunked

My wife was conducting a choir rehearsal at the methodist church and as she gently pushed the piano a bit to one side there was an uproar from the choir seats: two singers gasped and said, "No! Don't do that!"

It was not the piano they were concerned about, but the fetus in my wife's belly. (She is six months along at this writing.) "You can't do any lifting and moving heavy stuff while you're pregnant!" they protested. "You'll wrap the cord around the baby's neck!"

Before there were chain e-mails and internet legends, this stuff was known by the disrespectful term "old wives' tales." I dislike the term because husbands are often unequaled in their own foolishness, and regardless of our sex we can all be persuaded to believe, or half-believe, things that are not true.

So we checked around. First, I went to that eminently trustworthy resource of factual information, the world wide web. It was here that I saw an interview with a physician on the Today Show saying no, there is no link between physical exertion and damage to fetuses. The doctor indicated that in the last stage of the pregnancy, she warns mothers to back off the physical labor some, but even then it isn't about the baby but the mother. Makes sense, really: pregnant women are already carrying a lot of extra weight all the time. Lifting a chair over one's head at that stage is an invitation to back injury.

That was encouraging, but you know the internet. I also learned that Fred Rogers was a Marine assassin. And Obama was born in Kenya. Nostradamus predicted 9/11. And did you hear about Richard Gere's romantic link to a gerbil? A gerbil who, by the way, served with Fred Rogers as a covert assassin?

Anyway. Yesterday we went to Sarah's doctor, a live flesh and blood physician, and ran the cord-and-neck story by her. Nothing doing. The doctor laughed and said, "No no. It's about the mother's health, not the fetus. Just be careful."

So we'll consider that one debunked. And now I thought I would share it. On the internet, of course.

Now then. Did you know Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite? It's GOT to be true. I saw it online somewhere.


Kelly said...

Did I miss this announcement in a prior post? Maybe this IS the announcement.

Either way, congratulations to your family on the pending arrival! What does Gabriel think about it?

Adam said...

I love these "old husbands tales". I recently heard "it's bad luck to put your shoes on the table". I'm guessing that traces it's roots back to a parent that told their child that so they would stop doing it!

On a slightly more serious note, my wife had placenta previa while pregnant with our daughter, and lifting our son at the grocery store during a temper tantrum caused her some serious issues. Baby was fine, but wife was on bed rest for a weekend and had to take it extra easy the rest of the time.

Congrats to you and your family on the soon to be new addition.

Algernon said...

It probably hasn't come up, Kelly, as I keep the family stuff to a minimum following the squabble from earlier this year. I chose to post this story since it might be helpful to others.

quid said...

I love your news. And I loved the post. I had so much energy pregnant with the second one, I was constantly doing stuff they told me not to do. But then, I wouldn't breast feed, either (too much information?)... I just was not interested. Joan Crawford's got nothing on me.

Congratulations on your expected little one, and please don't stop believing in the internet. A veritable font of truth, it is.


Pam said...

With both my pregnancies I got the urge to rearrange furniture during the late stages. I did lots of furniture moving with no ill effects.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family!!

Anonymous said...


Congratulations to you, Sarah and Gabriel on the expected baby!