Pregnancy rituals from around the world

African mum with baby

Each country and family has its own pregnancy rituals.
Free image courtesy of

We all have our own little pregnancy and birth rituals, like wearing blue so our baby will be a boy, but have you ever wondered what other rituals there are out there in the world? We did too! So we looked them up and thought we’d share them with you.

Bali: For the first 105 days after birth your baby’s feet can’t touch the ground so he or she has to be carried at all times. Sounds like royalty in the making!

Guatemala: For the entire 9 months of pregnancy mum cannot leave her home in order to protect herself and her baby from evil spirits.

China: Mum’s disposition during pregnancy shapes her baby’s personality, so temper tantrums are a big no-no or you could end up with a very angry baby.

Polynesia: Throughout her pregnancy mum is pampered by the entire community, including regular professional massages. In Indonesia these massages are daily for a whole month after birth. Have you already started packing your bags?

Tibet: You don’t choose your baby’s name. Rather, a few days after your baby’s birth there is a cleansing service and the most respected person in attendance gives their name to the baby.

Mum getting a massage

A Polynesian pampering
Free image courtesy of

Morocco: During labour mum’s belly and vulva is massaged with olive oil and she is fed herbal infusions of mint, thyme, cloves and cinnamon in order to ease labour pains. Anyone feel like their being prepped for Sunday Roast?

Taiwan: During labour mum can’t cry out, because it will disturb the rest of the village. Clearly, only men live in this village.

Bulgaria: A strong mother-child bond is important, so mums are given 2 years fully paid maternity leave with the option of an additional year! Yes we wish we were Bulgarian too.

Latin America: Drinking chamomile tea throughout your pregnancy leads to an smooth, easy labour. To Sainsburys we go!

Ireland: The top tier of mum and dad’s wedding cake is saved to be served at their first baby’s christening. Year old cake, can you say yum? Actually, from personal experience I can tell you it is yum!

Nigeria and Ghana: This ritual is a little bit sad, but we thought it was touching. Some traditional tribes believe that the placenta is in fact

Tiered wedding cake

Wedding cake or christening cake?
Free image courtesy of

the dead twin of their baby and so it is buried in a traditional burial ceremony.

Hmong in Southeast Asia: Mums in this group of people lose their names at marriage and when their first child is born they are named in according to his or her name. For example, if you have had a baby boy named Tom, you would be known as Tom’s Mum until your next birth when you would become Sarah’s Mum. And your name continues to change with the birth of every child and grandchild!

What’s amazing is that these are only some of the many rituals and traditions associated with pregnancy throughout the world. There are hundreds, possibly thousands more. Do you have any rituals of your own?

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