When you speak to an Irish woman about her birth experience there is a strong possibility that she will mention THE tea and toast she was given after she gave birth
When you speak to an Irish woman about her birth experience there is a strong possibility that she will mention THE tea and toast she was given after she gave birth. It doesn’t happen for every single woman due to specific circumstances or hospital practices but it is an extremely popular ritual that tends to occur in Irish maternity hospitals.
Many of those fortunate enough to experience it will actually claim that it is perhaps the nicest morsel of food that has ever touched their lips. I speak from experience when I say that there is just something incredibly special about this simple combo after you have given birth. I am convinced it’s a special kind of post-birth bread and butter that they make for this very reason.
I recently started to wonder about the post-birth rituals that happen all over the world. Here are some of the most interesting traditions I came across.
- La Cuarentena is a tradition in Latin America. It is the name given to the first six weeks following a woman giving birth. It is essentially a “quarantine” that involves abstaining from sex, eating certain foods or doing strenuous activity. The idea is that during this time the woman focuses on breastfeeding the baby. It generally involves family and friends helping with the cooking and cleaning. We like the sound of this one.
- In Bali lives an ancient tradition of burying the placenta after it has been delivered. It is considered to be a sacred organ and an extension of the baby and birthing experience. It is cleaned, placed in a special container and buried outside of the woman’s home as part of a ceremony.
- Much like with Latin America, Japan views birth as a beautiful and sacred experience that requires a lot of care and consideration after it has occurred. For 3-4 weeks after the birth it is common for the mother to recover in her parents home. It is traditional for everyone to chip in and help so that the mother can focus on bonding with her baby.
- In Turkey, there is a traditional drink made with cinnamon, sugar and red food colouring. It is served to the new mother at the hospital and is then offered to anyone who comes to visit the baby.
- In Nigeria it is common for the grandmother to give the baby it's the first bath. An aunt or female relative may do so if the grandmother is not available. The symbolism behind the tradition is to show the mother that she is supported and cared for.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.