Solar eclipse is a geographical concept, where the sun, the Earth and the Moon align in such a way, that you see the sun partially or fully covered, from the Earth. The concept is scientific, however, various people associate the geographical positions of the planet and the stars to astrology and health.
Many cultures still see eclipses as a bad omen, especially for a pregnant woman – and there are a lot of myths and superstitions around these celestial events. In India, for instance, many people believe that any food cooked while an eclipse appears can turn poisonous for the body, hence, many refrain from eating during this period of natural phenomenon.
Here is what you should know about how the natural phenomenon can affect your body and health, if they do, at all. Solar eclipse and pregnancy are often associated, and pregnant women should be aware of how a solar eclipse can harm or affect their body, and their baby.
Solar Eclipse: Are Eclipses Really Bad For Pregnant Women?
Talking about the myths and superstitions around eclipses, many cultures, advise pregnant women and young children to stay indoors during a solar eclipse. One popular belief is that solar eclipses can pose a risk to the health of pregnant women and their foetuses. It is thought that the eclipse can affect the developing baby by causing a physical deformity, cleft lip or birthmarks.
However, none of these claims have been backed or proven by scientific evidence. In fact, astronomers and scientists have debunked such claims. Yet, they do emphasise anybody planning to watch a solar eclipse must ensure that their eclipse glasses are safe to help prevent serious eye damage.
Eye Safety Measures During A Total Solar Eclipse
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), one must wear eclipse glasses at all times or use an indirect viewing method when watching a partial solar eclipse.
It’s never safe to look at the sun’s rays directly, even if the sun is partially obscured. The agency added that this same rule applies during a total eclipse up until the sun is completely and totally blocked. However, you must still be vigilant to ensure you protect your eyes again before the end of totality, cautioned NASA.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, looking at the sun for even a short time without wearing the right eye protection can cause permanent damage to your retina, resulting in blindness, called solar retinopathy. Meanwhile, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) warns that you should not use solar eclipse glasses to directly view a solar eclipse.