You must have heard numerous legends warning pregnant women of harm during an eclipse. Some superstitions dictate that a pregnant woman should not step out of the home during the eclipse. It's believed that if she defies the suggestion, the eclipse could cause the unborn baby to have facial deformities or birthmarks.
A solar eclipse is no bad omen moment. It is a cosmic event that occurs when the moon moves in between the sun and earth, momentarily blocking out the sun's light. 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 are not harbingers of any misfortunes as the old wives' tales would have us believe. There are hundreds of myths the world over, especially involving pregnant women and how they must dread the eclipse hours.
Don't watch the solar eclipse with bare eyes:
That said, we admit that there is merit to not looking at the eclipse with bare eyes, though. “Eclipse blindness” is a real thing and none should view the sun for any length of time with a naked eye lest it permanently damages the retina. It is advisable to source eclipse glasses that are certified as safe for viewing the eclipse.
The myth about birthmarks and mother's activities during an eclipse:
But, we absolutely do not subscribe to the theory that if pregnant women go out of the house during a solar eclipse or if the sun's rays during the event of eclipse fall on a pregnant woman's body - it will cause facial birth defects.
It is also claimed that if a pregnant woman uses a knife or any sharp weapon to cut fruits and vegetables, it can cause the unborn baby to develop a cleft palate.
What are birthmarks?
Although the precise nature and cause of birthmarks is still a subject of some debate in the scientific community, it is generally agreed that birthmarks are colourful inconsistencies in the normal pigment of the skin. Most of us have some type of birthmark or the other. We may not see them or they may not be so prominent as to catch the eye immediately, though. There are two main types of birthmarks – vascular and pigmented.
Vascular birthmarks, such as port-wine stains, arise from overgrowths of blood vessels. Pigmented birthmarks, such as moles, are caused by clusters of darker skin cells. According to the BBC's Science Focus Magazine, "Almost all newborn children have some sort of birthmark. They are not hereditary but in some cases can be related to specific conditions caused by a gene mutation (though not a mutation passed on from a parent)."
But not all birthmarks are benign, harmless marks. In some rare and unfortunate cases, birthmarks are indicative of a more serious or malignant problem lying beneath the skin. Your child's doctor is the best judge to guide you on how you should treat the newborn baby's birthmarks.
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