San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Pregnancy, Eclipses: A Risky Combination?

DON’T expect to see any pregnantwomen out and about during next Fridayafternoon’s solar eclipse. Costa Ricanfolk belief holds that mothers-to-be whogo outdoors during an eclipse risk givingbirth to babies with birthmarks.Some take elaborate precautions toavoid sunlight during that time, closingall drapes and not venturing anywherenear doors or windows.An informal survey around The TicoTimes office revealed everything fromfervent belief to outright skepticismabout any cause-and-effect relationship.But even the doubters tempered theirdisbelief with “You just never know. I’dprobably remain inside just in case.”Among the three expectant motherson staff, two said they would be at workthat afternoon, though one insisted shewould remain inside during those hours.The third, whose due date is the nextday and who has begun her maternityleave, said she would not set foot outsideher house during the eclipse.“Well, unless I happen to go intolabor that afternoon,” she added.

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