Reaching while pregnant: will it harm my baby?

stretching_pregnant

My pregnant friend’s Oma told her not to reach for something on a high shelf because she said “raising your arms above your head will wrap the umbilical chord around the baby’s neck.” Oh, that’s a nice thought, Oma. My friend was all, “that’s just an old wives tale” then proceeded to grab something off the lower shelf instead.

Who comes up with this stuff? Did somebody see a pregnant woman raising the roof at a party and decide she was having a little too much damn fun so they figured out a way to shit on her toast?

The truth is umbilical chords do occasionally get wrapped around babies’ necks but it isn’t from reaching, stretching or giving high fives at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Unfortunately it seems to be a bad luck of the draw and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Even then, complications from it are still relatively rare.

So feel free to stretch in the morning, do yoga or boldly raise your hand when someone exclaims “who ate all the cake?!”. You won’t be hurting the baby.

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2 Comments

  • I guess my thought wouldn't even be about the umbilical cord but about earlier in the pregnancy, like stretching the abdomen (not reaching, but like doing core work) during the early days of pregnancy. Is there a difference or an I being paranoid?

  • My Russian co-worker told me not to raise my hands above my head after the baby is head down because it will give her room to flip again into breach position. I wisely decided to ignore her 20-year old Soviet medical advice.

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