Reaching while pregnant: will it harm my baby?


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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