Thursday, May 14, 2015

TBT -- Heartburn and hairy babies... really?

Today's Throwback Thursday takes us back to February 2010 and a discussion about the correlation between having heartburn while pregnant and having a hairy baby.


Photo by Vera Kratochvil

Not that any of this really matters, but... remember the old wives' tale that said heartburn in a pregnant woman meant she was carrying a baby with a lot of hair? Well, researchers at Johns Hopkins found there to be truth in this.

The findings were published in the journal Birth. Kathleen Costigan, an RN at the hospital, spearheaded the study in which she and other colleagues selected 64 women to observe throughout their pregnancy. The moms-to-be recorded their heartburn symptoms, ranking them according to severity.

When all was said and done, 28 of the 64 participants reported moderate to severe heartburn. Twelve women claimed they had none. So what happened when the babies were born? I know you're scrolling down quickly to find out.

With heartburn: 82% delivered babies with lots of hair.

Without heartburn: 83% delivered little baldies (or at least ones who didn't have enough hair to write home about).

So... maybe the old wives knew a thing or two. My personal experience, from what I can remember, was that I had out-of-control heartburn the first time around and daughter number one came out with a fair amount of thick black hair. Daughters two and three had fine light hair and gave me little trouble in the heartburn department.

Of course, there is scientific speculation as to why this occurs and it all has to do with estrogen. Women with estrogen levels slightly higher than normal tend to experience heartburn more because estrogen works to relax the sphincter at the base of the esophagus, which means stomach acid can work its way up and cause heartburn pain. Well, it just so happens estrogen seems to be the hormone responsible for hair growth in developing infants. Who knew? Oh yeah, all those old wives!

Have a heartburn/hairy baby story of your own? Do tell! That's what the comment box is for!

Keeping it, well, real (in a pregnancy/baby kind of way),

Click here to find out what to do if heartburn is a problem for you!

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