Eclipses During Pregnancy-Are They Really Harmful?
Almost every woman in this world takes immense pleasure and pride in becoming the creator of a small life, irrespective of the arduous path that she has to walk on in order to do so. To earn this coveted title called mother, almost every woman has to endure immense pain and deal with tumultuous emotions. This is also the time when she feels overwhelmed with all the advice she can get. Once you break the news, instructions start pouring about all the do’s and don’ts that you need to follow during your pregnancy. Sometimes, this may make you highly confused about what to follow and what to skip, especially if it is your first pregnancy.
Among the several myths and truths of pregnancy care, eclipse is one thing which is highly talked about. Eclipses, especially in India, are considered harmful for the unborn baby. It is considered that if a pregnant woman goes out in eclipse, her baby will have some physical or mental deformities.
Is it really harmful to step out during an eclipse?
In several cultures and religions, it is believed that eclipses can harm the unborn baby. Many people believe due to superstitions while some follow it just to not get blamed for any complication later on. However, there are many people who do not believe in it at all. However, the scientific studies say that there is no such evidence yet.
Busting the Myths:
There are a bunch of other instructions for a pregnant woman during an eclipse apart from not going out. Pregnant women are asked –
- Not to use any sharp object like knife, scissor, etc.
- Not to eat anything during an eclipse
- To take bath after an eclipse
- To throw away all the cooked food
- Not to get involved in any physical activity
Now we cannot say everything said above is wrong. Eclipses can be harmful, but it will be wrong to say that they are harmful only for a pregnant woman.
During an eclipse, sun rays can be harmful as the sun, moon and earth comes in one direction changing the angle of rays. Therefore, every individual is suggested not to look at the eclipse directly because the intense visible light can damage your retina. Hence, there is a scientific logic behind not looking at the sun and going out.
As far as refraining from eating or throwing away all the food is concerned, we all know that we get all the energy from the sun. As during an eclipse, the sun rays get blocked, resulting in a sudden dip in temperature which gives rise to microbes, bacteria and harmful germs. Therefore, the leftover food before the eclipse is suggested to be thrown as it may develop harmful bacteria. Similarly, eating during an eclipse is avoided for the same reason.
What should you do during an eclipse?
If you are educated, try to understand the science behind the eclipse and follow the relevant instructions carefully. Even then if your family is concerned for the effects, just follow the instructions for their sake as it is a matter of few hours.
However, you should keep in mind that while following instructions, you are careful with your health. Don’t be without food and water for too long as it can lead to dehydration. Long hours of fasting can lead to several other problems such as headaches, fatigue, fainting, dizzy spells, severe acidity and so on. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your obstetrician immediately.
Don’t get extra conscious and don’t panic during an eclipse as it can pump your blood pressure. The only thing that you should take care of is your eyes. Though, there will be no discomfort in looking directly at the sun but it can cause severe damage to your eyes.
Eclipses are not omens!
Eclipses are one of the most spectacular phenomenon of nature and thus, they should not be looked as an omen. The only thing to keep in mind during pregnancy is to go for regular checkups and to take good care of yourself. Especially, do not miss your vital prenatal genetic screening tests. Sometimes, a fetus may have some kind of chromosomal abnormality which if not detected on time can lead to serious complications and who knows! Somebody may blame you for not following proper instructions during an eclipse for these complications.
All in all, try to differentiate between the myths and the facts of everything. Just don’t follow everything blindly.