There are certain superstitions about childbirth that many Africans still believe in. The African society is generally a conservative one and certain practices that many millennials indulge in when pregnant is frowned upon greatly by the older generation.
In the age of social media, it is not uncommon to chance on one maternity photoshoot or the other. The pregnant woman poses for the camera wearing tight clothing that reveals their bulging baby bump or the stomach is exposed all together and the bare skin of the belly is exposed in the photos.
Also, friends of the pregnant woman organise baby showers for the pregnant woman and there is a section during the party where the woman’s friends offer gifts to the unborn baby.
This is fast becoming a common practice that the older generation frown highly upon. They believe it is an imported western culture that should remain in Europe and America. This is because there are so many superstitions about pregnancy that make pregnancy photoshoots and baby showers the biggest offenders, according to them.
On the motherland, the most common superstition has something to do with evil or bad spirit. Here are some myths that surprisingly people still believe in.
Do not announce your pregnancy at the initial stages otherwise the foetus will be bewitched or cursed by evil wishers.
It is believed that not everyone is excited about your pregnancy and so the child should be allowed to develop past the first trimester at least before it is announced.
Also, there is a notion that one could get miscarriage as a result of the curse or the mother herself will be in harm’s way if she does.
Again, when the baby bump grows big it is an abomination to let anyone touch it or to wear body hugging clothes that reveal the bulge otherwise bad spirits will be transferred to the baby.
Now these feeds into the reason why older women cannot fathom why the younger generation will ignore these warnings and go full on for a maternity shoot that goes against these myths.
Another superstition that makes baby showers unacceptable is that some people may be unhappy people who hide under the guise of friendship to offer cursed gifts to your baby.
Additionally, some believe the gods or ancestors may be angered if the child is celebrated before its birth and the baby or the mother might be cursed with bad luck for the rest of their lives or with illness or even worse death.
All these superstitions may not be logical to most people, but pregnancy and childbirth is very delicate stage in the life of the woman and the unborn foetus.
All the older conservative generation want from the younger ones is for them to prioritise their unborn child, take good care of themselves and not live out every detail of their private lives on social media.
Imagine having a fancy baby shower or maternity photoshoot and losing your baby during childbirth, the grief will be extremely overwhelming because in Africa maternal mortality is still an issue that is yet to be eradicated completely.