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Old Wives Tales
Over the years it has become obvious that people with a port wine stain (PWSers and Birthmark Buddies) and other recognizable birthmarks, and those close -- especially their mothers, have had some interesting "stories" related to them about how the birthmark entered their lives. Typically it is attributed to some thing the mother did or did not do during pregnancy. Often these are passed on in all seriousness and concern.

If you have heard of one that is not on our list please send it to the Editor. Credit for this collection goes the folks who frequent Our Newsgroup and our many website visitors.

Without further ado, our ongoing collection of Old Wives Tales:
Your mother had an x-ray while she was pregnant.
A mouse touched your mother when she was pregnant.
A pregnant woman craving a food she didn't get, so her unborn baby developed a PWS, often in the shape of the food she craved.
Your mother liked jam sandwiches when she was pregnant!
Your mother was wishing for wine when she was pregnant. She wished so hard you were born with port wine spilled on your face.
Your mom spilled wine on herself when she was 6 - 9 months pregnant.
Your mom smoked when she was pregnant and held the smoke in too long.
Your mom must have had sex with two men in the same day that she got pregnant (really!).
Your mom must have been with an Indian.
Your mom must have been really scared or frightened about something.
Your mother craved beets when she was pregnant.
I ate too much watermelon, strawberries, etc. while I was pregnant.
My oldest brother ran into a barb-wired fence while chasing a horse when my mom was pregnant with me. His face bled & she gasped while holding her hands to her face. Hence, the red mark on my face.
A person with a PWS told me he was born with it because, while his mother was pregnant, she spilled cold milk on her stomach. He asked me if I had spilled something on my stomach while I was pregnant.
I have plowed my way through famed psychic Sylvia Browne's new book "Past Lives, Future Healing". In it, she describes - among other things - her discovery that people with birthmarks *all* have had injuries in their previous lives, where the birthmark is. She mentions a birthmark on a client's ankle, and it turns out that the client had a previous life where an arrow went through the ankle.
In my country (Croatia) when a child has a birthmark, it is his/her mother's fault: during pregnancy she wished something red to eat or drink (usually strawberries or wine) and she foolishly touched or scrached a part of her face or body damaging in that way her baby. The baby will have a mark (which is called "a wish") on the exactly same place where his/her mother touched herself.
My mom was told by a nurse at Sick Childrens Hospital in Toronto in l964 that they believed in her homeland (West Indies) that the reason why I had the mark was because while she was pregnant she "wished" for something she couldn't have.
Someone told me I must have looked at the eclipse of the moon when I was pregnant.
My mother (in 1947) was pregnant with me and as she arrived at her grandmother's house (in Mississippi) one day was told not to go up on the porch. As it turned out, a distant cousin had been murdered on the porch - (this is gross) the left side of his face had been stabbed. My mother couldn't resist the temptation to just take a peek at this goulish sight. Months later I was born (with a PWS on the left side of my face) and she was told by her superstitious relatives that if she had not looked at the dead man on the porch, I wouldn't have been "cursed" with a birthmark. Mother truly believed what her relatives told her and carried this guilt for 30 years until she finally told me this story. When I heard the story I actually laughed out loud and assured her that my PWS was absolutely not her fault. I'm not sure she will ever fully believe that.
I have a port wine stain on the left side of my face and it is virtually black and very smooth, I am an African American woman and 29 years old. My mother informed me that she was about 6 months pregnant with me and my father slapped her on her left cheek and thus I was born 2 1/2 months later with the "reminder" that he has abused her.
My mother told me my port wine birthmark is there because she got bit on the arm by a horse when she was pregnant with me on her arm, exactly the same place I have my birthmark. It actually looks like the map of the UK.
When a pregnant woman watches something burn (i.e. house, car, building, etc) the baby will be born with a birthmark.
When my mother was pregnant with me, she stared at a man who had a birthmark on his face. They said that was why I was born with one. The saying goes that if you start at someone who is deformed while pregnant, the child will be the same.
I was told when I was a child that as I was born I was kissed by an angel and she left a mark, I have a portwine stain about the size of a quarter on my left cheek. When I asked why my birthmark was red and my father's and sister's were brown (both each have a small brown birthmark on their arms) I was told a white (caucasian) angel kissed me and a black (african/jamaican heritage) angel kissed them. I grew up feeling special because I was kissed by an angel and happy to know that angels came in all colors!!!
I was in a store when my son was 3 months old and a European women asked if I liked red hot peppers (my son has PWS). When I replied no she said that that is what it is from.
My birthmark is where I laid against my mother in the womb.
A friend of ours has a red mark on her hand, and her mother told her that when she was pregnant with her, she burned her same hand in that spot, and therefore she has that mark.
I have a PWS that covers most of the right side of my face. I was told by my Aunt that while my mother was pregnant with me someone left a dead dog on her doorstep rang the doorbell and left. When she opened the door she was holding my older sister with her left arm and when she seen the horrible bloody sight she kinda slapped the right side of her face holding her hand to the right side of her face while she screamed and screamed. This was her explanation for me having the large red birthmark right where my mom slapped herself in fright.
My sister says that when she was pregnant she was craving chocolate covered strawberries, so she asked her husband to get them for her for Valentine's Day. He never got them for her. Low and behold their daughter was born with a bright red birthmark the size of a dime on her neck.
My mom told me that she was eight months pregnant when my oldest brother was hit in the left eye with a rock. He pressed his face against her stomach when he came to her for help. Since I am the only one on both sides of our family with any kind of a birthmark, she truly believes this. I am 35. She doesn't even believe the doctors after all this time.
A friend of ours has a red mark on her hand, and her mother told her that when she was pregnant with Carol, she burned her same hand in that spot, and therefore Carol has that mark (I don't know if hers is pws). Carol told this story to my husband. When our son was born with a pws all down his right arm and under his arm, he remembered this story and thought the stain must be due to a fall I had 2 weeks prior to David's birth, which bruised my right arm badly. Of course, if this were "true" My son should have also had pws all down his left leg and part of his right leg as well, but you know how people are when believing stories like this. Even though the docs assured us it was not due to the fall, I think my husband still suspects it might be.
I have a large portwine birthmark from my fingers all along my arm, up my neck, down to my chest and down part of my back on my right side. Some wives tales that I have heard that I didn't see on your list are: my birthmark is where I laid against my mother in the womb, and my birthmark is where an angel kissed me when I was born, making me special.

When I was a child, people would ask me if I spilled kool aid on myself. I told that story to someone once when I became an adult. The woman looked at me dumbfounded and said--you never washed it off?!
My mother told me my port wine birthmark is there because she got bit on the arm by a horse when she was pregnant with me on her arm, exactly the same place I have my birthmark. It actually looks like the map of the UK .
Here's a good one. Although i never believed these silly stories I did get the hevie gevies when I looked at my ex-husband's birthmark. It was told by his mother to him. He had a wine birthmark covering half of his back. It actually looked like fresh splattered blood. He is very insecure and would never go without his shirt because it was so bad. His mother told us while on a vacation she had stepped on a tarantula and smashed it, therefore blood ran everywhere. It frightened her very much. She has always... had a phobia of spiders.
I have a port wine stain about the size of a silver dollar on my right cheek. It’s shaped like a heart and even looks like there’s an arrow through it. My mother claims that the heart shaped birthmark is there because I was conceived on Valentine’s Day and coincidentally, I was born nine months from Vday.
My birthmark is on my left side. It is a deep red purple port wine stain. It starts as spots like hickies on my neck. It then spreads across my upper chest and down the back and front of my left arm. Thankfully, I can still wear short sleeves, but not too short. My grandma told me that my mom had craved pickled pigs feet when she was pregnant with me.
When Mammaw Roberson was pregnant with Aunt Paige, someone saw a very pretty moth in some bushes. Mammaw Roberson was very interested in looking at the moth. Knowing that she was pregnant and that she could mark the baby if she wasn’t careful, she very cautiously placed her hands on each inside thigh to bend over and witness the moth. Her thinking was that if she did mark the baby it would be in a location that no one would ever see. I was told by mom that when Aunt Paige was born, she did indeed have a small birthmark on one thigh that resembled a moth.
Mammaw Lewis loved peaches. She also canned thousands of jars of them over her illustrious canning days. I recall walking through her basement, lined with shelf after shelf of peaches and other canned produce to include her incredible sauerkraut. When Mammaw Lewis was pregnant with mom, she was at the family store when a bushel of peaches were delivered. They were particularly large and sumptuous looking. She saw the delivery man bringing them in and, before thinking she might mark her baby, grabbed the back of her hand with the other and exclaimed, “Oh, I just love peaches,” to the delivery man. When mom was born, she had a brown, peach-shaped mark on the back of her hand that covered the entire back of the hand. This one, I can attest to, because it stayed with mom all 79 years of her life and she told the story of her birthmark proudly all those years.
Newfoundland Tales: When I was pregnant there was a bad rainstorm going through Kitchener/Waterloo. Thunder and lightening with it. I was sitting on the couch, there was a really loud clap of thunder and I landed on the carpeted floor next to the couch. Got carpet burns on my knees from it. My daughter was born with a birthmark just above her left ankle which looks like either a lightening bolt or a tornado, and it goes a dark scarlet red looking with the strawberry-looking skin with the dots, when we're expecting weather (rain). So happens that I hate lightening and she doesn't like the thunder.

One of my husband's niece's was here in Ontario when she got pregnant and craved ( I can't remember which) either lobster or crab, and was born with a lobster shaped birthmark on the back of her neck.

One of my husband's nephews was conceived while his brother and wife were home in Newfoundland on vacation, and the nephew was born in ontario with the shape of the map of newfoundland on his back. Concidently, one of my husband's other brothers has a map of newfoundland on him as well.

One of my mom's sisters has rabbits on her arm and another sister has rabbits on her leg, don't know if this has anything to do with being newfies!!

One of my friends husband was in ontario to get enough weeks to get his EI, while she was still in newfoundland. The baby was born while he was still here in Ontario and has 1/2 of a heart on her lower back.
My mother always had wondered why I had such a perfect scarlet birthmark on my forehead, being the shape of a three tri-line crown or tiara. In the perfect shape of the bottom part of a tripod with its legs upwards. She often said it was my crown and that was why my father called me princess. When I was young it took rubbing to show, but now well into my 40’s it shows all the time. Her suggestion at the time of my birth was said probably from the forceps that got me out. Though I was Breach I had to be turned. Mother concluded that it was a special mark, hence of our British descent. For years though she thought it to be a special mark of some sort, perhaps of another life time. I still wonder if she was right lol. Mom passed away at age 66. Over 11 yrs ago, but her story still sticks with me.
I have a huge PWS birthmark on my left shoulder that is shaped like a hand. When I was growing up my great grandmother always told me “That’s where one of the Gods put their hand while whispering something in your ear before they sent you to your parents.” She always said that I have “knowledge” that one day will benefit me. I don’t know if she was right but I’ve always been able to understand and figure things out pretty easily and take tests and score really well without studying.
If you made it all the way to the end of the list then we'll leave one last tidbit with you. In several countries, such as in East Europe and Thailand, a common belief is that touching someone with a birthmark brings the toucher good luck!