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There is a notion among some Amish that bellyaches (abdominal pain) can be “pulled” from another person. The notion is that, coming into physical contact with a person suffering from a bellyache will cause the bellyache to transfer to the new person.

In a show of empathy and altruism, a grown person will attempt to pull a bellyache from a suffering child or baby. Some Amish parents go so far as to judge the health of their babies by whether or not the parent gets a bellyache while holding the child.

I don’t think this medical superstition is widespread among the Amish, and it is also possible that it’s not restricted to the Amish. It’s just that on the few occasions I ever heard about it, it’s been an Amish person that has told me.

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