The total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another.

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Are eclipses harmful during pregnancy?

In the Indian culture, a lunar or solar eclipse is considered to be harmful for a pregnant woman. It is also believed that if a pregnant woman goes out of her house during an eclipse, the development of her baby might be affected and he/she may be born with a mental or physical deformity. Although there is no evidence to prove this scientifically, but it isn’t possible to ignore the beliefs of our ancestors and take any risks. Pregnant women are forbidden to face the direct rays of the moon or the sun and so the best advice for them is to stay indoors. Many women argue that nothing is proven and that it doesn’t matter but there is definitely no harm in staying indoors for the sake of your child. Getting exposed to the direct rays of the moon or the sun might not necessarily cause a birth defect but it can certainly have an irreversible effect on your eyesight. Apart from staying indoors, there are many other myths regarding eclipses and pregnant women - Myth - Refrain from using any sharp objects such as a knife, needle or a scissors during the eclipse. This is so because it is believed that any wound that you get during this time takes more time to heal. Reality – Since there is no scientific proof of this, your wound will heal depending upon the time your blood takes to clot and nothing else! Myth - Do not eat  or drink anything during the eclipse Reality - Staying without food or water for a long time can affect your health adversely and lead to stomach ache, headache, acidity, and fatigue. Myth - One should not touch their belly during the eclipse as it can give an ugly birthmark to the baby Reality – Birthmarks can be genetic or caused due to pigmentation and not due to an eclipse. Myth – It is essential to take a bath once the eclipse is over so that all negative energy can be warded off. Reality – Firstly an eclipse causes changes in the gravitational force of the earth and not any kind of energies and secondly, just taking a bath doesn’t help to remove negative energies! Myth - Some beliefs say that you need to take as much rest as possible while the eclipse is going on and some say that one should not sleep. Reality – Take rest if you need to. If the eclipse goes on for 4-6 hours, it can be very tiring to stay awake and it won’t always be possible to sleep that long if the eclipse takes place during the day time. Myth - All the food that was prepared before the eclipse started should be discarded. Reality – It might not be possible to do this if you’re packing yourself a lunch for the office! The one thing that you can do is to cover all the windows of your room with a thick newspaper or draw the curtains so that the rays of the sun or the moon cannot penetrate. Now that you know what you can and cannot do during an eclipse, just take care of yourselves and stay happy since that is the real mantra for a healthy pregnancy and a happy baby! Featured Image Source

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