This study consisted of primary qualitative research on traditional practices around pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium in rural Nepal. A qualitative approach was considered appropriate to examine the views of women and health care providers . Many Indian subcultures have their own traditions after birth. This period of birth is called Virdi (Marathi), which lasts 10 days after birth and involves complete abstinence from puja or temple visits. It took you 9 long months to create a new life. Of course, it will take you some time to recover from the life-changing experience of childbirth. Find out why the first 40 days after birth are so important for you to recover and connect with your baby. In general, Nepalese women rest after childbirth and childbirth, with the length of rest varying from caste to caste. Important dates in Nepal include the date on which the new mother can leave her parents` home (after 30 days) to go to her parents` home for a rest period that lasts from a few days to a month.
At that time, their nutrition becomes a priority. A Tamang respondent describes this time: Nwaran celebrated the 9th day for girls and the 11th day for boys who perform the purification ceremony at the same time. The name is given according to the time, day and date of birth. The jyotishi (astrologer) is responsible for extracting the baby`s name. High caste health workers (Brahmins), interview “Sit the month”: 坐月子 “Zuò yuè zi” in Mandarin or 坐月 “Co5 Jyut2” in Cantonese. The custom, documented as early as 960, is called “captivity” because women are advised to recover from the trauma of childbirth and feed the newborn. Aspects of traditional Chinese medicine are included, with a particular focus on the consumption of foods that are considered nutritious for the body and aid in the production of breast milk. In Guangdong and adjacent areas, new mothers are excluded from visitors until the baby is 12 days old, which is characterized by a celebration called “Twelve Mornings” (known as 十二朝).
From this day on, Cantonese families with a new baby usually share their joy by offering food gifts, while some families celebrate the occasion by paying tribute to their ancestors. Here are some highlights of the changes your body will undergo during the first month of giving birth: A number of cultures have beliefs, taboos, and behaviors regarding women and newborns in the postnatal period, a period that lasts up to 40 days. Among the Maya, the period lasted 20 days and Japanese mothers stayed in a birth room for 3 weeks . In Chinese, the postnatal rest period is called “sitting month” or “doing the month” and lasts 30 or 40 days. This exists, according to traditional Chinese medicine, because postpartum women are considered to be in a “weak” state and the practice is still observed in primiparous women . Keeping mothers with their babies is important medically, but also culturally: in southwestern Nepal, new mothers stay with their babies for 6 days without interruption . Higginbottom refers to a 40-day period after birth during which certain foods are consumed. Cassidy also refers to “upsitting,” in which bedding was changed and on day 10, the mother was allowed to do the housework, and that hard work should be avoided in the weeks following birth for the risk of uterine prolapse . Burmese women have also observed rest in the postpartum period . The 40-day period has often been put into practice as a period of “quarantine” for women, a period of rest and purification .
The word “quarantine” comes from the Venetian dialect quaranta giorni, which means “forty days” for the duration of the isolation of ships in order to detect the symptoms of the plague . This separation of infected people was used to prevent the spread of the disease and dates back to the Old Testament . Culturally and historically, women who give birth are considered “impure” [2, 19]. In many cultures, postnatal women are considered dirty and weak [16, 40, 41]. In addition, the pollution of childbirth is described in detail; for example, Nepal, Maori (Aetoroa/New Zealand), Japan, China, Inuit in Canada, Turkey and Bangladesh [1, 3, 16, 17, 34, 40]. There are also rituals associated with placental burial. For example, placentas are buried at a crossroads in Mexico, similar to the Newari community in Nepal . A possible explanation can be identified from Indian Semitic myths; ancient Jewish texts tell pregnant women not to stand alone at a crossroads, for they “could see the fetus being carried away by evil forces.” It seems that a crossroads is where spirits dwell. Perhaps burying the placenta at an intersection keeps the new baby`s evil spirits away to the “useless”/less important placenta. As in Nepal, the placenta in Laos is considered a dirty object that needs to be buried, and a fire is lit on the buried area to prevent spirits and animals from reaching it. When part of the woman touches the placenta, it is thought that the lochia could dry out, causing damage to her baby and even causing the death of newborns .
Ethnic Lao and Burmese women still practice traditional birth rituals during the preparation for childbirth, cutting the umbilical cord where they “roast” or provide mothers with warmth to stimulate healing [2, 27]; a practice that can also be seen in traditional medicine in Laos . Understanding the birth values and beliefs of certain cultural groups can promote culturally appropriate evidence-based care. Cultural postnatal practices can be harmful or ineffective, but changing deep-rooted practices, often of religious origin, is a challenge, even for educated women. Understanding the socio-cultural environment should be part of the training of health care providers to change these behaviours or integrate them into care. This clearly harmful behaviour requires culturally sensitive rehabilitation programmes that create new understanding among practitioners and women of reproductive age, their families and local communities. Some of the interventions should focus on the physiology of childbirth, which is often misunderstood by rural women and/or people with low levels of education. If locals know how their traditional behavior fits into the physiology of childbirth, it might be a little easier to change some of the undesirable or risky behaviors. This understanding is also important in designing culturally appropriate interventions: such as birth kits in low-income countries . Abstain from sexual relations.
Tradition says that new mothers avoid sex for 40 days – which is in line with modern recommendations to avoid sex after childbirth until your doctor allows you to your postpartum exam. (This is because the uterus is particularly susceptible to postpartum infection in the first few weeks after birth, and sexual intercourse can lead to complications.) I breastfed enough and fed my child breast milk, which of course was the first miracle I saw after giving birth to a baby (which is the ultimate!) I was happy to see a magician in me perform new tricks every day. However, apart from the luck of a magician, there was a lot of fatigue and weakness due to the after-effects of childbirth and sleepless nights. In the first days, the baby pees and poops very often and this task of changing diapers was voluntarily taken care of by my MIL and my husband. In return, however, I learned that I didn`t know how to clean babies because I didn`t. Well, even though I heard this, I relaxed knowing that in the next few days I would be the only one doing this task most of the time. In China, for example, “doing the month” is an age-old belief that new mothers should stay at home at bed rest for a month after the birth of their baby, receive support from older women in their families while following strict nutritional and other traditions. For example, they are asked to balance yin and yang by avoiding beets and bamboo shoots (yin) and preferring chicken and ginger (yang). And in South Korea, a postpartum rest period of three to five weeks for new mothers is known as Sam Chil there. I work with my postpartum clients to help them achieve what makes sense to them and their lifestyle, and also to learn how to prioritize their own self-care. It is a necessity, not a luxury, to receive loving and attentive support for the first 40 days.
As mothers, we become the cornerstone of the family, whether we like it or not. This is a great responsibility that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. You are the queen of your family and this comes with a lot of work, sacrifice and care. Women must learn to proactively care for their mental, emotional and spiritual health so that they can defend themselves and their families. And if you don`t start prioritizing your health and well-being after giving birth, it will bite you later. This may seem like a huge investment of money or too much to demand from your friends and family, but the more you start evaluating and planning your postpartum time during your pregnancy, the easier the conversations and transitions will be.