Cultural Differences on pregnancy and baby care by Connie

One way of sharing the nurturing practices that we give to mothers and babies is through our cultural lifestyles and practices. Please email me at motherhealth@gmail.com for other cultural practices that you know about concerning caring for women during their childbearing years.  Note that most of these cultural differences are present hundred years ago as the new century mothers are now delivering babies in the hospitals and families are spread in different parts of the globe.

In some rural places in the Philippines, a pregnant woman is a sign of  blessings. She brings in good fortune. Children are considered as wealth. Families filled their homes with display of certificates or    diplomas of their educated children. For poor families, children are    viewed as source of income later on when they can earn for a living.

The    mother of a pregnant mother is the doula or    the care giver after the baby is born. The father is viewed as always    the provider. A midwife called     “Komadrona” who attends to the birth. She or another person    massage the mother during pregnancy, labor,    and after delivering the baby.    The midwife only needs boiled water to attend to the laboring mother.

After    delivering the baby, the mother’s stomach is wrapped by a piece    of cloth and massaged every three days for two months to ensure that    the uterus goes back to its proper place. Rice when served to the    baby or red pepper applied to the nipples is used to wean the baby    after a few years of nursing. The average year of nursing    length is four years. The juice from a freshly cut young coconut is    used as a supplemental food for the baby. It is also used during the    last trimester of pregnancy to ease labor.

The    wish of a pregnant woman is always respected. She is not provoked or    argued with since her emotions affect the unborn child. Herbs    are used during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.

The    liquid from boiled guava leaves is used for cleansing the mother    during postpartum. It serves as an antiseptic medication. Coconut oil    is the most popularly used massage    oil. Clams or any shell fish are served as soup to the mother during    the last trimester of pregnancy and during nursing to increase the    milk supply. The breast is also massaged during pregnancy to prepare    the breast for nursing.

When    in labor and the baby is breach    (baby’s head close to mom’s heart), a massage therapist can bring the    baby to its desired position, head first. Incense is used with the sitz    bath remedy while the mother is wrapped in a hot towel during    postpartum. A preparation with charcoal and herbs (indirectly applied    to the mother’s bottom) is used as the sitz bath itself. Boiled    rain water is also used.Sex    is resumed only after three months. In the cities of the    Philippines, the same practice applies depending upon the    availability of the lay midwife, massage therapist, and the environment.


In    Taiwan, a postpartum mother is placed in a communal place with the    care of doulas together with other postpartum mothers. For about two    months, they are cared for. This kind of service exist solely for    mothering the mother.

In    Ethiopia, the mother is also cared for the first three months during    postpartum by relatives or helpers. Though circumcision for girls is    still prevalent in some areas, educated women tend to do away with it.

In Russia, it is common to nurse more than one baby when supply is great.

A mother who is in the same hospital room with other new mothers who    also just delivered babies recalled how one mother volunteered to nurse her baby while her breast is still coping up with its supply of milk.

Advice from folks in the Philippines:

You should not nap in the afternoon that long since you might have    difficulty in delivering a bigger baby.

Drink the juice of a young coconut for easy labor.

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connie dello buono

Health educator, author and enterpreneur motherhealth@gmail.com or conniedbuono@gmail.com ; cell 408-854-1883 Helping families in the bay area by providing compassionate and live-in caregivers for homebound bay area seniors. Blogs at www.clubalthea.com Currently writing a self help and self cure ebook to help transform others in their journey to wellness, Healing within, transform inside and out. This is a compilation of topics Connie answered at quora.com and posts in this site.

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