No matter where you are in the world, the arrival of a new baby is always happy news! But the world is made up of different places and cultures, all of which are interesting and beautiful. A tradition or practice that may seem strange to you may seem completely normal to someone else and this extends to pregnancy related traditions as well. Many countries follow specific rules when it comes to dealing with pregnancy. Some of them don’t allow their women out in public for the entire duration of 9 months while others may require them to eat certain foods or perform specific customs. It’s always great to celebrate our differences and rich cultures by exploring those of people around the globe. Read on!
1. Philippines: Eating A Raw Egg Right Before Delivery
People from the Philippines believe that eating a raw egg right before the delivery of the baby lubricates their birth canal. It is a common belief that this practice makes pushing out the baby much easier for the mother. Therefore, all mothers going into labor are encouraged to eat a raw egg.
2. Mexico: Don’t Eat Eggs
In Mexico women are advised to stop eating eggs. This is due to an old Mexican belief that eggs give the newborns a weird smell! Of course this isn’t true, but this belief is still followed.
3. China: Do Not Touch Your Belly
The rest of the world may see rubbing a pregnant tummy as an endearment but China disagrees. Although this seems natural, and a harmless action to do, people in China warn women from rubbing their belly. It is believed that rubbing the belly too much will result in a fuzzy and spoiled child.
4. Tahiti And Hawaii: Do Not Wear A Closed Lei
Pregnant women in Tahiti and Hawaii are allowed to wear only open-ended leis or garlands. They believe that a closed garland will bring bad luck to the baby. A head Haku or a flower crown is a popular alternative.
5. Turkey: Do Not Eat Ice Cream And Fish
The fish we could understand but ice cream? Certain cultural groups in Turkey warn their pregnant women from consuming fish while expecting and no it’s not because they are worried about the mercury content. It’s because they believe that eating fish will ensure that your baby’s mouth is like that of a fish when it’s born. They also believe that the mother eating ice cream can create a hole in the head of the baby. Again, never are true but Turkish women still skip these delights for 9 months straight.
6. Japan: Eating Raw Fish When Pregnant Is Healthy
Although doctors in several countries tell pregnant women to avoid raw fish as it may bring bacterial infections, the Japanese wholly encourage their pregnant women to include it as a part of their healthy diet. Japan is known for their fresh and clean preparation of raw fish so this little tit-bit comes as no surprise to us.
7. Hispanic Culture: Wearing Metallic Elements During A Lunar Eclipse
Pregnant women exposed to an eclipse may result in a cleft lip for their babies. To protect her baby against this, a metallic element, like a small safety pin, in her underwear will work a charm. As wild as this belief may be, it has been adopted by Hispanic culture for years.
8. China: Place A Knife Under Your Bed
Some of these customs are quite cutthroat. Chinese women are advised to sleep with knives placed under their bed while pregnant in order to fight off evil energies and spirits. Some women even have paper scissors hanging from or above the bed. That’s one way to ensure sweet dreams.
9. Jewish Culture: Do Not Accept Gifts Before The Baby’s Arrival
Well, there goes your baby shower. Jews believe that accepting gifts before the birth of the baby will draw evil spirits to it and will beget bad luck. So no presents for the baby until after the delivery.
Every country and culture is diverse, interesting and beautiful in its own way. And it turns out, that every belief and custom, no matter how out-of-the-box, just wants to keep their expecting mothers healthy and safe. Although our techniques and practices may vary, the goal is the same. What are some of the pregnancy customs in your country? Let us know in the comments below.