International Celebrations of Pregnancy & Birth
No matter where you travel, you’ll find that they celebrate the joyous occasion of pregnancy and/or birth. Across the globe, there are a number of unique customs ranging from gender predictions to celebrations of life. Though very different in nature, these traditions all have one thing in common – life is precious and deserves to be celebrated. Let’s take a closer look at some of the international pregnancy and birth traditions.
The United States
There are several traditions carried out in the US when news of pregnancy is announced. A well-known practice is hosting a baby shower. This is where friends and family gather to shower the expectant mother with love and gifts for the baby. There is everything from food and drinks to games and entertainment. Another tradition that has become pretty popular in the US are gender reveal parties. Friends and family come together to find out the sex of the baby. There’s often food, drinks, and games at these functions as well. At the end of the party, couples use everything from cake to gender reveal confetti poppers to announce the gender. The best part about including Gender Reveal Confetti Poppers is you can have just the “soon to be new parents” pop them or you can include everyone. What makes confetti poppers so tempting at your gender reveal is they are very inexpensive and easy to use!
When couples are ready to announce the arrival of their bundle of joy they place a stuffed stork in a window facing the street making sure the head is facing out. They also prepare snacks like biscuits with butter and sugar-coated anise. The sugar is either pink for girls or blue for boys.
The Chinese have many superstitions and beliefs when it comes to pregnancy in childbirth. From using a Chinese gender calendar to determine the sex of the child to being specific about the foods she eats or the content she consumes, expectant mothers are treated with great care. Chinese Gender Calendars are taken very seriously as an indicator of the sex of your baby. Though they believe having a celebration prior to the birth is unlucky, there are parties after the baby arrives. It is very easy to use a Chinese gender calendar is you simply just need to align the age of your inception and the month of conception.
Located in South American, expectant women in Guyana do not celebrate the pregnancy until after the baby is 9 days old. At that time, a gathering is held where guests can bring gifts for the child. The mother also takes her first bath after giving birth then burns the placenta (which is saved during delivery) as a way of celebrating the separation of the mother and child.
In Pakistan, they hold a naming ceremony called aqiqah. The event takes place on the 7th, 14th, or 21st day after the baby is born. The ceremony includes several infants and their families. The baby’s head is shaved and an animal is sacrificed in their honor.
Indian families come together to celebrate a new pregnancy after she’s seven months along. They prepare a feast and shower the mother with blessings and gifts. Very similar to a baby shower, this tradition is referred to as godh bharai.
A common custom in Bali takes place after the delivery of the child. Believing the placenta is sacred due to its role in providing nourishment to the child, the father takes the placenta, cleans it, puts it inside a coconut shell with flowers, wraps it in a cloth, and then buries it outside their residence. The hope is that doing this will bring the baby good luck.
In this South American country, the mothers are to be put on strict bed rest six weeks following the birth of her child. During this time she is not allowed to do anything strenuous but must instead focus on her health and recovery. During this downtime, however, family and friends are allowed to come and visit the mother and provide gifts for her and the newborn.
Surrounded by the love and support of a community of close family members and friends, Nigeria women have a custom known as omugwo. The grandmother has the honor of providing the newborn with their first bath.
New life, no matter where in the world you travel, is something worth being celebrated. Though each nation has its own superstitions, believes, and customs, what they all have in common is loved ones coming together to commemorate a very precious occasion in a woman’s life. From baby showers and gender reveals to the burial of placenta and first bath ceremonies, there are so many ways to celebrate with those you care about most.