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Pregnancy traditions in China

Pregnancy traditions in China

The Chinese have one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Traditions have been passed down for generations there are beliefs about every aspect of life. As well as being influenced by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism there are also a lot of local beliefs and superstitions. Pregnancy is one of the most special human experiences so you wont be surprised to find that there are plenty of Chinese traditions surrounding this event. It should be noted that China is a huge country and so beliefs differ from place to place, but here are some of the most common beliefs.

Pregnancy traditions in China begin from the moment a couple gets married. In the west it is common for the husband to carry his wife over the threshold of their new home, and the China have this but with a twist. The husband is expected to carry his wife over a pan of burning coal as this is believed to later ensure that her labor will pass smoothly.

The Chinese tend to believe that any thoughts a pregnant woman has will be passed onto the baby growing inside her. This is why she is expected to guard her thinking and make sure that her behavior is irreproachable. The expecting mother should provide the life inside her with plenty of intellectual stimulation and she can do this by reading plenty of poetry and other fine literature. Chinese women are expected not to have sex during their pregnancy. They are also encouraged to avoid looking at anything unaesthetic like clashing colors as this too could have a negative impact on her growing child. If the mother talks softly and swings her arms it is believed to have great benefits for her unborn as well.

The Chinese believe that furniture should not be moved in the house during pregnancy, and that pictures and mirrors should not be hung on the wall. Glue and adhesives should be completely avoided as this could lead to problems with childbirth. Some women will put knives under their bed to ward off evil spirits. Pregnant Chinese women are not meant to attend any funerals.

Food is another important thing to consider during pregnancy. Sour foods are believed to be the cause of miscarriage. Eating food that is not properly cut or mashed will later cause the child to be careless with things. If the mother mostly eats light colored food then this will mean that the infant will have light skin. During labor the mother a special herbal tea will be used to help with the pain, and the mother should completely avoid eating squid as this could make delivery be sticky. There are also special food that the mother will be expected to eat after the baby is born.