Sasha Wyatt-Minter
2 minute read
9 Jun 2020
3:00 pm

A look at birthing traditions from across the world

Sasha Wyatt-Minter

From burying the placenta to naming ceremonies, different customs across the globe observe child birth differently.


We wanted to share some of the most interesting traditions with you: some you’ll love so much you might want to adopt them in your family, and some will make you sigh with relief that they’re not part of YOUR culture…

Pregnancy and birth customs vary around the world: these are some of the ones we found:

Turkey – There are no baby showers, celebrations are postponed until after the baby is born. Flour is rubbed on the baby’s eyebrow’s and hairline, which will grant the child a long life.

Latin America – Moms observe a quarantine for 40 days where they recuperate from labour (Yes please!)

Germany – Parents must stick to a list of accepted names approved by government

Japan – Fathers are not allowed into the delivery room unless they have taken a prenatal class

Dominican Republic – Folkloric custom is used to determine the sex of the baby, where a spoon, knife and fork are placed under three different chairs. Mom-to-be sits on one: spoon is a girl, knife a boy and fork means the gender is unknown.

Bali – The placenta is buried as it is believed to be alive and almost like a twin sibling outside the home. For three months after birth, babies are also prohibited from touching the ground.

Holland – Has the highest number of home births in the Western World

Brazil – When guests come to see the mom and baby in hospital she gives them a basket of presents . Moms also dress newborns in red.

Finland – Since the 1930s new moms have received the ultimate care package from the state filled with necessities. The country has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world

Pakistan – Aqiqah is a naming ceremony of newborns that takes place on the 7th, 14th or 21st day after the baby is born. The baby’s head is shaved and an animal is sacrificed

Bolivia – Pregnant women may not knit, as it is believed that knitting causes the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby’s neck.

Nigeria – The grandmother gives the baby his/her first bath.

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