Institution: Instructor: Pregnancy, Labor and Birthing Practices of Asia (India) Continuation of the family lineage is one of the most important aspects of any society. Not only is it considered development of a particular family’s generation, but also the development of the society at large…
All societies have their unique labor and birthing practices and India as a society is no different. This paper will be a discussion on laboring practices of Asia, India, focusing on the role of the family and taboos before, during and after birth. With over 375 million children, India accounts for the highest population of children in the world. A majority of these are Hindus but there are other minorities such as Sikh and Muslims. According to Info Change, a non-profit organization that concentrates on sustainable development and social justice in South East Asia, about 36 percent of the population lives below poverty line. Of this percentage, women and children account for 73 percent. These may be attributed to the socio-economic conditions and Hindu beliefs that greatly influence child rearing practices in India. Along with strict rearing practices of children in India come a number of practices that are associated with its coming into the world. First of all, eating patterns of a woman are restricted (NCBI 533). This ranges from the kinds of food that she can eat to the amount that is to be taken. It is believed that when a pregnant woman eats too much, the fetus will not have room to move. This is argued by the fact that the abdomen is supposed to contain both the food and the fetus, however, in this case, the latter’s space should be given more priority. Since women from poor backgrounds are still expected to work in the farm and around the house during early months of her pregnancy, it is believed that eating a lot would make them gain excess weight that would interfere with their productivity while working. There were some directions regarding taking hot or cold foods. In Asia, pregnancy is believed to be a hot condition; therefore foods that are considered hot are restricted. The body is believed to be already out of balance and hot foods would only make the condition worse (Greene 34). Another practice that is prevalent all over India is called the shrimata. When a woman is in the seventh month of her pregnancy, there are special rituals that are performed and special types of sweet are given to the parents to be. This is to encourage the woman for having reached near full term with the pregnancy as well as to give her moral support. This shows the connection that the community has. They all participate in welcoming a child. During this time, the family is especially helpful. They treat the expectant woman with a lot of care and assist her with anything that she may require, ensuring that she is completely comfortable. In the Asian Indian community, the actual birth process is mostly carried out by a traditional birth attendant or other close family members. Most women prefer their mothers’ to attend to attend to them when they are giving birth (Greene 33). However, a certain percentage of Indians go to the government hospital to give birth with an even smaller percentage opting for private hospitals. Men were not allowed to get in the room where the birth was taking place or if it had occurred in the open, they were not allowed to see the birth process. After the birth, there are some rituals conducted on the child. Mothers ceremoniously plunged the infant into the river, this was meant to strengthen the child and rid them of any deforms that ...
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