Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts from a Korean Mother
When my sister Mia got pregnant with her first child, my mom went nuts with excitement. It was her first grandchild and she drove my sister crazy with pregnancy advice. Normally you’d think that comes pretty standard from a grandmother-to-be, but my Korean and somewhat superstitious mother had some rather unconventional tips for my pregnant sister. Below are a few of the highlights:
Tip #1: “Don’t eat chicken skin when you pregnant or baby come out with chicken skin.”
I think by “chicken skin” she means rough, unattractive skin. The visual element of a freak poultry/baby hybrid caused my sister to get physically ill whenever she’d smell chicken.
Tip #2: “Don’t hate you husband when you pregnant or else baby will look like him.”
Seems logical enough.
Tip #3: “Eat tangerines and oranges while pregnant so baby have pretty skin.”
Seriously, what is with this woman and skin regimens?
Tip #4: “If you look at pretty baby, you have pretty baby.”
Mom sent Mia an Anne Geddes card with a chubby baby girl on it. She hung it in her cubicle at work. Later, Mom called Mia up and asked if she got the card, and Mia said yes and thanked her. Mom’s response: “Mia, you have to look at baby everyday. If you look at pretty baby, you have pretty baby.” Apparently genetics has nothing to do with how attractive your child is — it’s all about the actual physical act of staring at something good-looking. I guess it’s like a pre-natal version of The Secret.
Tip #5: “If daddy give you the baby water when he drunk, baby come out goofy.”
While tipsy (presumably on half a glass of plum wine), my mom randomly asked my sister, “Mia, when you husband give you the baby water, he not drunk, right?” [Translation: "Was your husband drunk when you two conceived?"] Shocked, Mia said, “No!” Mom, satisfied, replied with, “Good. If daddy give you the baby water when he drunk, baby come out goofy. Look at Gene.” Gene is our brother that our own mother was using as proof of her claims.
Honestly, who needs to read What to Expect When You’re Expecting when you have a host of invaluable pregnancy advice coming from a diminutive Asian woman with four kids?