This is a bit of an overdue blog posting since I am actually not pregnant anymore, nor am I living in China. However, since I wrote it, I may as well publish it now too.
As many of you know, I’ve lived in China and being pregnant there definitely had its ups and downs; just like being pregnant in any corner of the world, of course. What I want to tell you about is my experience of being pregnant in China.
China is a very old country with rich traditions, beliefs and many superstitions. Sometimes, I was reminded of home through hearing Chinese superstitions actually. You don’t have to live there to know that it is a superstitious country. However, you do have to at least know this to understand the culture/ people a little better. Very much like home in some ways actually. Moving to China was an easy decision for us and something we don’t in the least regret doing. Having a baby in China was never really part of our plan initially but that changed – mainly because of me. If only he had agreed to getting a puppy.
Being pregnant in China was easy, for the most part. There were some aspects I kept note of during my 9 (10 really though, eh/) months though …
Before becoming pregnant, I had heard of some of the ‘pregnancy rules’ Chinese women adhere to as a couple of my co-workers had been pregnant before me. Some of them include the following:
Do not drink or eat cold things – This means no cold water or no ice-cream. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to be doing this. I was a sweaty mess during my pregnancy. It was one of the first signs I had that I was pregnant. I needed cold water. As for ice-cream … well, who doesn’t need ice-cream on any given day, pregnant or not?
Balance your Yin and Yang intake – Some foods are considered to have too much Yin or Yang which Chinese people believe is not good for you or your growing baby so you should avoid these foods. I’m not going to lie, I don’t fully understand this one at all.
Do not go near anything which omits radiation – This is a big one and I have heard of women wearing special ‘radiation jackets’ to stop the radiation getting to their babies. Now, what omits radiation? Photocopiers and microwaves from what I saw and heard. I’m a teacher so avoiding the photocopier is unheard of in my world. I was told a lot of times not to be near the microwave while heating up my food. Ooops!
Husband and wife must sleep in separate rooms during the pregnancy – The whole pregnancy?!?! This is just one I have heard in passing and not actually from any pregnant women. I’m sure my husband would loved to have slept in a separate room during my pregnancy at times.
When the baby is born, there is a whole new set of rules too:
- No washing your hair for one month
- No showering for one month
- No leaving the house for one month
- No exposing yourself or the baby to cold temperatures. Apparently the heating must be on at all times for this first month of imprisonment (obviously I joke when I say ‘imprisonment’. I’m no one to judge the belieffs of another culture. Ireland has some good ones too.
When you think about these ‘rules’, you must also consider the fact that, until very recently, China has had the One Child Policy. So, yeah, of course people are going to want to do everything in their power to protect that little being inside of them and when he/ she comes out too. Would you be the same if you knew you could definitely only have one baby?