Beliefs During Pregnancy
Beliefs After Delivery
- Don't go a funeral or
baby has no soul yet. This prevents spirits from getting to the baby.
- Don't pick fruits from
the tree will die.
- Don't start a fire, because
will be born with a birthmark on his/her face.
- The sex of the baby could
by the shape of the mother's stomach, if it is high and pointed, it is
a girl. If it was round and low it is a boy. Also if the mother's
is nice the baby would be a girl.
- Don't eat squash, it will
a fever, because it dries you up.
- Eat Gee Grok, (sweet sour
This is eaten at least once a
for the first 2 months after giving birth (This helps to clean out your
- Pigs feet (for
- Chinese red vinegar
- Chinese red ginger
- Chinese sugar (wong tong)
- Hard boiled egg
- Eat Gai Jau (homemade
Gai Jau helps replenish the
loss during childbirth and milk production.
- Ginger (high in fiber,
helps to clean
out your system).
- Black fungus (gives
Naming a Baby
- Don't wash your hair, to
- Don't eat or drink cold
- Don't go outside for one
prevent illness to mother and baby.
- Child's name is chosen by
a Chinese calendar (Toong San) and Bai San (prayer) to ask if the name
chosen is okay. If the name is too strong for the child, he/she will
sick all the time. Doctors won't be able to treat his/her illness.
- Cover baby's stomach so
- In wealthy families,
care of baby and household chores. Mom just rests.
- Wet nurse (mother who had a
recently, usually a sister, or close family member) may be hired to
for baby. They are treated well, and given various gifts in addition to
pay for nursing infant.
- A big party is held one
baby born. This is when mom can get out of bed, and resume her life.
can receive visitors and gifts.
- Birth announcements
includes a basket
circulated by servants which includes hard boiled eggs dyed red, roast
pork, and preserved sweet sour ginger. (Recipients never take all the
but always leave some behind).
- Sons, especially the first
favored. Firstborn sons traditionally took over the families business
carry on the family name.
- Paternal ties are usually
unless maternal side has more power and influence.
This information was gathered from interviews with Chinese women in
and is a compilation of some of their beliefs regarding
The information on this page is meant to be INFORMATIONAL ONLY. The
effectiveness of these practices is uncertain and this information is
to be used for self-treatment. Please seek medical care if
These pages were created by students in the Associate Degree of Nursing
program at Hawai'i Community College. We appreciate your
feedback. Please email
us your comments!
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Updated October 7, 2005