Unconventional Childbearing Rituals

Every person has the own history of birth. Each history is different due to experiences and methods for the delivery of a baby. Unconventionalism of a child birth depends on the culture where the child is born. What is considered a norm is some cultures may be unconventional in other ones. For a person born and brought up in a modern society, any birth somewhere other than in a hospital with the help of a doctor is unconventional. Unconventional rituals of childbearing have been all over the world and for many years. There exist lots of the unconventional methods that are culturally specific or are just widespread.

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Some women are convinced that a massage and essential oils are soothing and helpful during the process of birthing. Among the oils that aid childbirth are sage, lavender, rosemary, and rose. Acupuncture is also believed to be another aid that helps to relieve tension, strengthen the uterus, and relax ligaments.

Native Americans who practice Hinduism begin their rituals and ceremonies during the pregnancy to ensure the health of the child and the mother. At birth the father usually touches the baby’s lips with a gold spoon dipped in honey to ensure a rich life. It is advisable for the infant to be fed with solid food, the first visit outside should be to the temple, the first haircut should be done in the temple.

Some midwives from the USA think that the father’s shirt must be placed around the shoulders of a birthing woman and his cap should be on her head. The energy of her husband will give the woman strength and will help in labor. It is also believed that a cat cannot be in the house where the woman is giving birth as the child will not live till the first birthday.  

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 It is believed in Guatemala that if the baby does not come, the woman should drink the liquid from a boiled purple onion in beer. As there is a belief that the placenta may rise into the throat of the mother and choke her in case the cord is cut beforehand, the midwives tie it tightly to the mother’s leg. During the next 24 hours after the birth the mother has to drink hot chocolate, chamomile tea, and hot water.

Mexicans follow the rituals that forbid a pregnant woman to contact with everything death related. Midwives take place between the woman’s legs during the birth process to help her keep the heat. A pregnant woman should use only warm baths, should not expose herself to the heat of the sun or stand near a fire as it may irritate the baby or burn the placenta.

The culture of Ibanag has a variety of childbearing rituals that have been passed from one generation to another and are used even nowadays. Therapeutic massages are often used to lessen the pain and after birth to strengthen her pelvic muscles. The mother should not shower for 7 days after giving birth. During and after birth taro should not be eaten in order to avoid itches on the baby’s body. The mother should also spend 3 months at with the baby to provide health. When going outside during the first month of life, the head of a child must be covered to prevent illnesses.       

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One more unconventional way is giving a birth is home birthing which was a usual thing in ancient times and is becoming more and more popular nowadays. Rituals have a long history and they have long existed in the world. Childbirth has always been a sacred and positive experience, an expected event in a family life. The variety and unconventionality of rituals is strongly dependant on the culture, beliefs and status of the society.

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