Written by Oluwatosin Fatade
The world’s population is estimated at about 7 billion as at the last time of caring to find out. Going by the high turnover of pregnancies and deliveries I have personally taken record of, 10 billion must be warming up on the sidelines! I also think there are enough Myths about everything to go round a quarter of the world’s population!
Well, let’s talk about Myths surrounding pregnancy, and childbirth. There are tons of them, we all probably practice one or two without even knowing it. Either actively or passively, these have been passed down to us as meat to be chewed, re-chewed and churned out to offsprings like the cud.
I’m hoping your diet will change after reading this, you’ll focus on nutritional meat rather than these unfounded staples.
- The umbilical cord must be heated or rubbed with something.
Abort mission! Do not attempt to heat that newborn’s umbilical cord with lantern, candles or hot knife. Cases of tetanus have been recorded through such practices and yes, it is deadly! Some have done it without repercussions, don’t gamble. A baby’s cord will fall off within a week if it has been properly tied off. All you need do at all is clean it 2ce or 3ce daily within a clean wipe or cotton wool made wet with methylated spirit. And, don’t tuck it in with the pampers please! You don’t want shit and urine traveling up the cord into the baby, do you?
- The baby needs water to quench thirst.
Breast milk contains enough water to quench the baby’s thirst even if the baby is a desert. The breast milk is always served fresh at the right temperature and in the right safest container. Don’t risk your baby’s life just yet with the poor water you’re used to. Breast milk only for the first 4 to 6 months without adding water at all is very sufficient for your baby.
- The mother needs hot body massage so her belly won’t be big after delivery.
El-Oh-El! “Belle wey wan big before go big even if you rub am with fiery furnace”. There’s something called puerperium. It stands for the period after pregnancy that it takes the body to return fully to its pre-pregnant status. Usually 6 weeks, you get where 41 days comes from now, don’t you? The uterus (a woman’s womb) gradually reduces in size after delivery and returns fully to previous state in 6 weeks. Warm compresses or hot massage that won’t burn the skin are good for the skin, it stops there. Don’t turn a newly delivered mother to a burns injury patient.
In the face of probably the most painful experience of a lifetime, someone says to the mother in labour, don’t cry! Ehn? You say what? It is somehow associated with a bad omen, you’ll hear things like, if you cry the first time, you’ll always cry in labour. There’s nothing wrong in crying please, it means you’re normal and can feel pain, no one ever died from crying. There’s much talk about the Hebrew women, nor be only them o. I once had an 18 year old girl, likely Hausa. From the beginning of her labour till the end, we no hear pim! I had heard legends of how people from that tribe can endure pain, or bottle it in, I saw it live! I had to check her more frequently than others. For the sake of your doctor or whoever will take your delivery, please cry if na so e dey do you. Crying is not a sin.
- Safety pins, tying clothes into knots or putting a stone behind your ear will not ward off evil spirits. Evil spirits won’t give a hoot about language, the safety in safety pin is to keep your clothes safely tacked together. It is as impotent in keeping you safe as the status of a federal road safety corps officer in a road accident.
- Eating snails or okra won’t give your baby mental retardation or make them slow when born. Please eat these nutritious delicacies freely.
- Some people think eating Plantain is the cause of the “hole” in the baby’s head. They call it “ọká” and consider it a disease. It is normal for a baby to have this space, it is called Anterior fontanelle. It allows the baby’s head and brain enough allowance to grow and mature before it closes. It usually remains open for up to 1 year and a half normally.
Have any more beliefs that have been passed down and you’re not sure whether to discard or follow? Reach out to us, we’ll be glad to help out.