Cultural curiosities Part 1

I’m fascinated by tradition and rituals surrounding pregnancy and birth.  This tends to raise some questions as to why we do things in our culture and society and why we don’t.  So I’m sharing some of my curiosity with you.

Why do we keep pregnancy a secret for the first 12 weeks?  Where did the code of behavior come from?  This is something I don’t understand.

The initial response is “in case something goes wrong.”  What if it does?  Surely the parents will need some sort of comfort and support.  How will they get it if no one knows they were pregnant?

Miscarriage and terminations due to medical reasons are scary, painful and very, very lonely.  In the case of termination, this is an extremely hard decision to make.  They both involve a degree of anger, disappointment and grief.  And this applies to both parents, not just the mother.  Maybe if the family were supported, this process would become easier.  Or are we all too scared and embarrassed to deal with these emotions?

What if nothing goes wrong?  Wouldn’t morning sickness be easier to battle through if you were supported by understanding people?  Wouldn’t the hormonal emotions be easier to navigate for all?  Wouldn’t the early fatigue be better managed?

When I was in the early stages of pregnancy (when I didn’t know I was pregnant), I felt sick, tired and grumpy.  I remember the subtle resentment by colleagues that I wasn’t working to the norm.  Maybe this could have been managed better if we’d known.

Then again, some parents like the idea of having something special or just their little secret.  They like the idea of surprising everyone and making a huge announcement.

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