Why the Cloak of Secrecy, Fear and Superstition Surrounding Pregnancy in Nigeria?


Hey guys, I think I'm back for good. Sorry about the long hiatus. So, my heading is something I have wondered about for some time. There's so much superstition surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, giving birth( pun intended) to so many ridiculous beliefs and practices. You'll hear things like: " Don't tell someone you're pregnant. Wait till you start showing", "You shouldn't tell someone you are pregnant over the phone" and so on.

Recently, a neighbour told me about this ridiculous practice of wearing a safety pin at all times when you are pregnant. Another neighbour only goes to the market in the morning or evening when she's pregnant. Never in the afternoon. Really!?

Obviously, even your friends should not be trusted with the news that you are pregnant. They should only find out when the baby is born. What? You want to tell who your due date? Don't try it. Haha.

I didn't even know how serious this thing was until I ran into a former roommate. She was now married and heavily pregnant. While we were catching up, she complained about how her dress was tight for her, and I asked if she didn't just get it. She replied that she could buy a dress one week and it would be tight the following week. Curious, I innocently asked, "how far along are you?" To which she replied, "I don't know o". Hian! I didn't quickly understand that  she didn't want to say. Besides, I was shocked and my next question showed it. "How can you not know?" I asked, and she went "Errm.........yadayadayada". Let's just say I finally got the gist.

I kept wondering what danger I could possibly pose to her unborn child. Why so much fear? Why the distrust? That's how this particular childhood friend had a baby and couldn't be bothered to tell me. We were in contact o, chatting on bbm and  Facebook but not once did she bring up the impending delivery. Funny thing is she told me when she was pregnant the first time. Her telling me did not cost her that pregnancy. What changed? Was I angry? Of course not. Was I hurt? Yes. But I shook it off and was happy for her. Babies bring joy, not even secrecy could change that.

So, anybody got answers? Why all the fear, weirdness and superstition surrounding pregnancy?


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