On the day your baby is born, he or she will join more than 350,000 other new humans, all of whom will feel their mother’s touch for the first time.
It’s exhilarating to think about, isn’t it?
Realizing that babies share the experience of entry into the world of noise and light and varying temperature, we wondered what else they share, and what makes their first day or week different from one another.
For that matter, how are pregnancies treated differently from one country to the next?
We did some exploring and came up with these folk tales and tidbits around the Internet for you to contemplate as baby grows inside you:
- In some Latin American and Mediterranean countries, it’s believed that, should you deny yourself strawberries or pickles or other foods you crave, your baby will have a birthmark in the shape of that food.
- In Latin American countries, there is a belief that if a pregnant woman gets a haircut, it will adversely affect the developing vision of the fetus.
- In many cultures around the world, it’s considered bad luck to tell others baby’s name before birth.
- Parents-to-be in Bangladesh typically wait until the pregnancy is in its seventh month before telling others the good news. By that time, the fetus is strong enough to resist the effects of anyone casting an evil eye.
- In Vietnam, infants are given odd and unappealing names the first few weeks of life. This is done under the assumption that a pretty or strong name might attract evil spirits.
- Pregnant women in Bali just say no to octopus for any meal, as eating octopus might cause a delivery to be difficult.
- You won’t catch moms-to-be in Bolivia knitting baby booties. To do so might make the umbilical cord wrap around the fetus’ neck.
- Seven days after birth, an Egyptian baby is welcomed with a sebou thrown in his or her honor. At that time, the baby is given a name and lots and lots of presents.
- Families in Japan also wait seven days to name the baby, and after a couple of months of bonding time, the baby is welcomed by everyone outside of the immediate family.
- In Taiwan, perhaps one of the most polite societies in the world, pregnant women do not make a lot of noise during birth so as not to disturb the neighbors.
- In Indonesia, the umbilical cord is buried with a young tree. As the baby’s health goes, so goes the health of the tree.
- Morning sickness is battled in many ways around the world. In parts of West Africa, women eat chalk or soil to fight off the nausea. Some women in Somalia sprinkle ginger on their coffee, and in Mexico they fight morning sickness with anise tea. We recommend slipping a ReliefBand on as an easy fix:).
There are so many colorful and fascinating traditions in folklore (and in fact) that we can’t share them all in one blog post. Stay tuned – we’ll want to revisit this topic soon!
Do you have any traditions in your family that you’d like to share in the comments? We’d love to hear them.