Beliefs of Childbearing
This web page is designed to share information about pregnancy, labor and birthing beliefs of the Chinese culture. This web page is by no means a source of medical advice, but merely views shared by members of the Chinese community. Please consult your doctor regarding questions about health care.
Furniture in the house should not be rearranged or mirrors or pictures hung on the walls as this is believed to cause harm to the baby.
Rubbing the belly too much will spoil the child.
Mother should not work with glue or adhesives as it may result in birthing complications.
If the pregnant abdomen presents as pointed, it is believed to be a boy, as baby faces forward with his back towards the mother as a sign of independence.
If the pregnant abdomen presents as rounded, it is believed to be a girl, as baby faces her back to the world as if hugging the mother
Mother must eat healthy & avoid sour foods to avoid miscarriage.
It was believed baby would learn most valued virtues if Mother walked without swinging arms and talked softly, avoiding foul language.
LABOR & DELIVERY
With the first baby the father plays no role in labor & delivery, but is present at subsequent births.
The pregnant woman's mom is present with the birth of the first baby.
It is believed that drinking a special tea during labor helps with pain.
The practice of breathing techniques & massage also help to reduce the pain.
Only hot foods & beverages are consumed to keep the balance of Qi (life force or spiritual energy).
Squid is avoided because it is believe to make the birthing process sticky.
The vocalization of pain is acceptable.
Zuoy uezi is a one-month recovery period during which total bed rest is stressed so that the motherís body will be able to recover and not become ill.
Eating plenty of chicken, rice, and fish cooked with ginger and pig knuckle soup is encouraged. It is believed these foods compensate for the loss of calcium and other nutrients.
Anything salty is avoided because it is believed to hinder breast milk production.
Family members (mother and sister) participate in the care of the baby and mother.
Baths and showers are not allowed during the one month recovery period.
It is believed that a sponge bath with boiled water and ginger skin promotes circulation.
Washing the hair is avoided because it may cause a headache.
Windy, cold areas and outdoors are avoided at this time.
Twelve days after the birth of the baby, soups are shared with the family and friends to celebrate or share the happiness.
Moon Yuet is the one-month birthday celebration. At this time, the mother is allowed to bathe.
The family ensures safekeeping of the umbilical cord because if a rat finds the cord the baby may become ill.
Qi Ta (chee-ta) Other Beliefs
Dolls & Lotus seeds placed on the bed of a married couple are used as symbolic items to enhance fertility.
Certain foods eaten days before conception are believed to aide in choosing childís sex: For a boy, Mother eats tofu, lettuce, & mushrooms. For a girl, mother eats meat and fish.
Boys are preferred because they carry the family name into next generation.
An ideal family is a large family.
Women usually follow traditions as long as the family expects it.
If baby has more than one hair circle on the head, he/she will be a rascal.
A baby with wide, thick ears will be prosperous.
Never say complimentary things about baby as it will cause jealousy and baby will get sick.
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Posted October 20, 2006