Severe heartburn means hairy baby? Really?
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|   Nov 14, 2016
Severe heartburn means hairy baby? Really?

I was lying on this hospital bed and in pain and discomfort due to my c section delivery the previous night. 24 hours had passed and now though the pain had subsided a bit sideways movement due to stitches was very painful. Next day the doctor had allowed me to have some dalia etc and I was happy. As I took my first bite I missed something. The heartburn, the severe heartburn I had developed during my third trimester and which had become a part and parcel of my life. It was a mixed feeling of relief and surprise as to how a problem with which I had struggled day and night so much has vanished. Chalo, the baby birth had given some relief to the troubled mumma.

I recalled how I used to keep water, eno, antacid syrup, antacid tablet's, mint toffees etc near my bed side and had even with doctor's recommendations taken an antacid tablet.

I remember how I had instructed my mom to cook almost bland or boiled food for me devoid of ghee, oil or spices. I used to eat daal without tadka and anything with much oil or ghee or spices aggravated my situation. Sometimes I was even unable to eat properly. 

It was so severe with me that I used to eat only roti, plain boiled rice,cucumber and soothing fruits like banana, milk, yogurt, coconut water,rose sharbat etc and many times a day. My mom was worried about me and always said that "dekhna, you will get a very hairy baby" , she also went on to say that my husband was very hairy and  the baby will be like him in looks etc and have lot of hair.

I had rubbished her claims and laughed it off and told that it is a myth. I told her that you people don't understand the scientific reasons for things and thus have so many myths related to sex of the child depending on the shape of a pregnant woman's belly, her eating habits and choices etc ,complexion and now hair also. What if I have a girl with so much hair?

I explained her that Heartburn or what we call acidity in pregnancy is due to two major reasons.

  • The release of hormones like estrogen and progesterone which relax the oesophagus (food pipe) sphincter, a kind of valve which prevents the contents of the stomach (mainly acid) to travel back to the food pipe. This causes the burning sensation from the throat to the chest till breast bone.
  • Also as the size of the baby increases usually in the third trimester the uterus expands and puts pressure on other organs and decrease thier comfortable space so the digestion process is affected and the pregnant woman experiences heartburn.
But to my utter surprise my baby girl was born with excessive hair and yes looked like her father. Seems to have acquired his genetic pool. I decided to search on this and found something interesting which I want to share.

Usually pregnancy comes with a lot of amusing advice's, folklore and myth sharing and this is a common myth even in foreign countries that a woman experiencing a high level of heartburn is likely to have a hairy baby. So to prove it wrong in 2006 The John Hopkins University had conducted a study on 64 pregnant woman and surprise! Surprise!  They instead proved that there is a correlation between heartburn and hairy baby. It is not 100% correct and medical theory doesn't prove it but yes it is connected. They took a study on 64 pregnant woman.

Out of the sample 78% of the woman reported average to high degree of heartburn and 23 out of 28 woman who had reported average or above average heartburn gave birth to babies with average and above average hair. Also 10 of the 12 woman who didn't have heartburn gave birth to babies with less than average or no hair. They also looked for the correlation of this with sex of the baby, age and weight of mother but found none.

There is still no medical proof that heartburn causes hairy baby, but this study had shown some correlation. Also genetic factors may affect, like a father or mother having tendency of more hair in thier gene pool and the baby acquiring that and the gene being strong may lead to this as 100% people with heartburn have not given birth to hairy babies.

Also it is known that the hormones like estrogen and progesterone responsible for heartburn are also responsible for hair growth in a person and thier high secretion in the pregnant woman not only leads to digestive woes but results in baby having more hair. These hair are usually all over the body and called lanugo. They slowly dissapear after the first month. 

So though the myth says and people believe that it is the hair of the child which are causing heartburn, the truth is that the hormonal activity in the mother is causing more hair in the child. Also it is seen that these hair actually protect the baby in the womb and keep it warm. They are found in the amniotic fluid also as the movement of the baby in the womb leads to shedding them there.

Thus if you are pregnant and have a severe heartburn it is not sure but you are likely to have a hairy baby.

Site reference: www.health.com and www.mentalfloss.com  

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