Pregnancy is a blessing and to ensure safety for the mother and baby, there are certain taboos in almost every society. It may not directly reflect the health aspect of pregnancy but many communities believe certain things aren’t good for pregnant women during their third trimester. There are a few interesting taboos from around the world that teach us about cultures’ perception of what can affect a fetus.
The Japanese believe that an expectant mother should not eat seafood with claws (lobster, crab, etc.) or squid as it is believed that the prohibited food will prompt a miscarriage. Persimmons are also off limits for an unborn child because it is believed that a child’s first taste of the fruit will determine their personality in future years as they enter adulthood.
In Bali, there are certain taboos which have been passed down throughout the generations. For example, when a woman is expecting, her husband must not go out hunting since it will be considered bad luck if he returns with the carcass of an animal that resembles the emerging baby. Mocking handicapped people is also considered taboo in Bali, as it’s believed it will cause similar difficulties while giving birth to their babies. Also in Bali, pregnant women are strictly not allowed to eat giant octopus (which apparently has something to do with fertility).
Knitting during pregnancy is common for an expecting mother. However, it’s forbidden in Bolivia to knit while you’re pregnant. The Bolivians believe that it will cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby’s neck.
Chinese women, who are pregnant, are forbidden to attend funeral ceremonies or engage in sexual intercourse. In order to ensure that their babies grow up into strong and healthy individuals, these ladies have to constantly watch over themselves failing which they will be reported to the local body of priests and subsequently undergo a series of intense and merciless prayers meant for uncovering the unborn infant’s shortcomings. If a woman is found guilty after withstanding all suspicion, she and her husband/partner will be asked to birth more children until such time that all evil spirits are discovered.
In the Philippines, pregnant women are told that they should never walk outside without wearing shoes as an old wives’ tale says that evil fairies can hurt both the mother and her child. This belief is related to several other tales which have existed in Filipino culture for quite some time.
A Pregnant Mother in Guatemala is not allow to go outside when the sun is at its peak. Some traditions made in Guatemala say that if a mother broke any of taboos like looking or pointing her finger at rainbow or lunar eclipse, it may be little bit hard for her baby to breathe and it may cause miscarriage too. But there are some factors which help to make pregnant mothers feel good .
In Switzerland, parents or families of the baby are not allowed to reveal the baby’s chosen name prior to birth. Violating this age-old tradition is believed to bring bad luck for the child and his or her family.