10 Pregnancy Traditions From Around the World

Pregnancy is a universal experience, but the ways in which expectant parents celebrate this journey can vary massively across different countries and cultures. 

In this article we'll take a look at the diverse customs that shape the experiences of mothers-to-be in different areas from around the globe. From unique announcements to gender reveals and intriguing practices, these traditions offer a fascinating glimpse into the vast array of pregnancy customs around the world.

Pregnancy Announcements

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the announcement of a pregnancy is a momentous occasion celebrated at the end of the seventh month. The belief behind this timing is that, by this point, the developing fetus is considered strong enough to fend off any potential evil influences. It's a remarkable tradition where families share their joy, and the entire community comes together, offering support and positivity in anticipation of the upcoming arrival. The sense of celebration and community involvement is truly heartwarming.

Fiji

In the tropical paradise of Fiji, expectant parents embrace a tradition of immediate revelation. The idea is that by doing this as soon as possible, they gain immediate support and camaraderie from their community. It's this open-book, transparent vibe that gets everyone on the same page, building this awesome sense of unity and excitement. 

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Gender Predictions

UK

In the United Kingdom, the gender prediction takes a traditional turn. Perhaps an old wives tale, but expectant parents use a wedding ring suspended on a chain, which is gently held over the mother's baby bump. According to superstition, the movement of the ring indicates the gender of the unborn child. If the ring swings back and forth it supposedly means you're having a boy, however, if it swings around in a circular motion a girl is on the cards.

Dominican Republic

Meanwhile, in the Caribbean paradise of the Dominican Republic, families engage in a rather folkloric gender prediction ritual. Three chairs, each holding a spoon, a knife, and a fork, represent the potential outcomes. The mother-to-be selects one chair to sit on, and the chosen utensil reveals the gender: a spoon signifies a girl, a knife a boy, and a fork leaves the gender undetermined.

During Pregnancy

Italy

In Italy a more unique belief takes stage during pregnancy. Pregnant women tend to avoid twisting their necklaces, fearing that doing so may twist the umbilical cord. This superstition reflects the deep connection between the physical actions of the mother and the well-being of the unborn child. This emphasises the balance and connection between mother and child.

China

Meanwhile, in China, expectant mothers navigate a whole labyrinth of taboos. Images considered unsightly and the use of foul language is strictly prohibited. Why? Well, it all ties back to a deep-seated belief that such actions could potentially offend the guardian spirits, those mystical protectors watching over the unborn child. This level of cultural sensitivity underscores a profound ancestral respect that wraps around the entire pregnancy experience. 

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Bringing on Childbirth

Central American Tribes

In the indigenous communities of Central America, an intriguing belief is said to bring on childbirth. It is believed that embarrassing the mother can commence the breaking of her waters. This unique approach to encouraging childbirth reflects the cultural connection between emotions and physiological processes. It highlights the connection between mind and body.

India

In India, an age-old tradition involves breaking a jar of grain near the expectant mother. The spilt grains are believed to invoke a response from her body, simulating the breaking of waters. This symbolic act reflects the cultural significance of rituals and their role in ushering in new life.

During Childbirth

Ecuador

Fathers give their wives a shirt damp with their own sweat after a hard day's work. This is a gesture rooted in folklore that promises to bestow strength upon the labouring mother. This act, although potentially smelly, reflects intimacy between spouses and the support they give each other during childbirth.

Japan

Japanese women approach childbirth with a unique perspective deeply rooted in ancient beliefs. The majority aim to deliver their babies without the use of painkillers, a practice derived from Buddhist teachings. This challenging ordeal is seen as a test, preparing women for the difficulties of motherhood and underscoring the cultural importance of endurance.


It becomes evident that pregnancy traditions are not only deeply ingrained in cultural practices but also serve as a testament to the vast diversity of human experiences. Pregnancy traditions around the world truly exemplify the intricate and captivating mosaic of human existence.

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Articles shown are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of this site.