study on the customs of south indian mothers during pregnancy l.
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study on the customs of south indian mothers during pregnancy
Study on the Customs of South Indian Mothers during pregnancy






INDIA : +91505417

  • Customs in a community will play a key role in its health promotion.
  • Some of these customs positively contribute to increase the health of the mother and the child while some affect them adversely.
  • Most of the customs will have a cultural background rather than a scientific basis
  • In this study, it is attempted to bring out the various social customs prevalent among the south Indian mothers during pregnancy
learning objectives
Learning objectives
  • To know the various social customs practiced by the south Indian mothers during pregnancy.
  • To know the reasons behind these social customs
performance objectives
Performance objectives
  • To educate the women ,the elders and dais (dais are old women who will conduct deliveries in villages) about the positive and negative influences of the social customs
  • and to change their attitudes.
study population
Study population
  • 50 urban women who attended urban Maternal child health centre ,Chengalrao peta , Visakhapatnam)
  • 50 women from antenatal clinic at urban slum, kallupaakalu living in urban slums
  • 50 women in rural villages of rural health centre ,Simhachalam
  • =Total 150 women
  • By survey using a pretested questionnaire enquiring about the-----
  • General customs
  • Dietary practices
  • Customs regarding rest, personal hygiene& breast feeding
  • In Indian culture, motherhood is sacred and brings proud ness to the woman and her parents
  • This is exhibited in the form of Seemantham .
  • It is the celebration that the child attained viability
seemantham bangle ceremony
Seemantham ( Bangle ceremony)
  • As soon as the fetus becomes viable by 7th month, the parents of the pregnant woman proudly celebrate by inviting all parous women around .
  • Each of them will put a pair of bangles on the hands of the pregnant woman and blesses the pregnant woman to have safe delivery and healthy child.
place of delivery
Place of delivery
  • Usually women prefer parent’s home for the first delivery .They will have fear for first pregnancy and they feel relaxed at their birth place ,hence the preference.
  • They prefer mother -in-law’s homes for later deliveries. This may be with the purpose of sharing the burden.
travel preferences
Travel preferences
  • For the fear of abortion, mothers prefer to travel only after 7th or 9th month i.e. after the fetus attained viability.
  • After child birth , they return to their husband’s house only after 3rd or 5th month. This may be due to avoid early sexual contact.
waist belt use
Waist belt use
  • Wearing the waist belt is very common custom . The main reason appears to avoid distended pot belly development after delivery.
  • They claim that gas will accumulate in abdomen after delivery and causes protuberant belly, if it is not tied with a towel .
ear plugging
Ear plugging
  • A very common rural custom of covering the ears with a soft cloth or plugging the ears with cotton wool to prevent entry of air into ear.
  • They think that they will get fever and earaches if it is not done.
wearing slippers
  • Rural women, not wearing the slippers antenatally , also wear them when they become pregnant to avoid wet feet and thereby fever.
  • All pregnant women stay indoors during eclipses for the fear of ultra violet irradiation casing congenital defects in the children.
water consumption during pregnancy
Water consumption during pregnancy
  • All pregnant women consume less water during and after pregnancy
  • Antenatally they are afraid of water logging of the body and postnatally they wish to get dried up as soon as possible.
  • Hence mother in laws or elders will allow only hot water, not cold water, to drink as it cannot be consumed much.
food practices
Food practices
  • Antenatally, food quantity is reduced by rural women for the fear of obstructed labour by big baby whereas with urban women this is less practiced.
  • Quantity is increased postnatally by all women to get rid of weakness andtoincrease milk secretion.
food restrictions
Food restrictions
  • Fish is avoided by rural women for the fear of causing pruritis.
  • Papaya is universally forbidden thinking it is an abortifacient.
  • Greendal is restricted for fear of infections in the child and the mother.
  • Green leafy vegetables were restricted for fear of loose motions in the child.
special food items
Special food items
  • Kayam- a special food preparation which is made up of jaggery, asafetida, cloves will be eaten daily for 3 days postnatally by most of the rural mothers to get the uterus involuted quickly.
  • Fried jeera( a spice) rice along with the food to warm up the body postnatally will be taken by rural mothers.
  • Alcohol:-Few pregnant mothers will consume alcohol for the same purpose
  • All the postnatal women think ,if they don’t keep their body warm ,they will go into shock.
Customs regarding:-
  • Rest&work
  • Personal hygiene,
  • Breast feeding
rest work
Rest &work
  • Antenatally, rest will be taken during pregnancy by all women, more so in urban women.
  • Postnatally, all women prefer to take rest to ease their weakness and regain their strength .
personal hygiene
Personal hygiene
  • Rural women will be given head bath on 11th day as the vaginal discharges stop by that day.
  • Till then, they will take sponge bath only.
breast feeding
Breast feeding
  • Colostrum is discarded mainly by rural women due to their illiteracy. They call it witch’s milk.
  • Feeding is commenced on the first day by half of the women only.
  • If feverish, feeding will be stopped.
health role of the customs
Health role of the customs
  • This is difficult to define .
  • Most of the general customs appear to be traditional in nature, intermingled with the culture and carried out as conventions as per the advice of the elders. .
  • Seemantham appears to be having positive psychological health influence as it causes proud ness and self confidence in women because motherhood gives perfection woman hood in Indian culture.
health role
Health role
  • Going to parent’s home ,during the first pregnancy , gives the woman the opportunity to be away from her husband and sex, and to have rest, to learn mother craft and of getting accustomed to the place of delivery.
health role34
Health role
  • Traveling after completion of 7th month of amenorrhea can be approved as healthy as risk for abortion lessens.
health role35
Health role.
  • Eclipse fear and papaya as the causes of fetal damage are so deep rooted even the educated women will not take risk.
  • These are so strong , there is no scope for even studying the association.
health role36
Health role
  • Colostrum discarding,
  • taking less food antenatally,
  • Taking harmful alcohol and Kayam etc,
  • avoiding nutritious dals , leafy vegetables, fish in food , and water antenatally

---are all unhealthy customs

nutritional education
Nutritional education
  • Nutritive values of the various foods to be explained to the women, elders, dais to eliminate unnecessary restrictions.
  • They must think that pregnancy is physiological and there is no need for unnecessary restrictions of food
dais training
Dais’ training
  • The rural women are practicing these customs on the advice of either their elders or the old traditional dais who conduct deliveries in the villages. .
  • Hence it is important first to change the attitude of these elders and dais regarding the customs by giving them proper training.
  • As most of the customs are traditionally based, culture oriented and sensitive , a careful approach of health education of all reproductive women is to be planned for without hurting their cultural feelings.