This past weekend was spent with my fellow Velvet Ashes Leadership teammates in our annual planning retreat. Danielle is having a baby in December so in the midst of important meetings, we had a small surprise baby shower (which, I would also argue was important!).

Ahead of time I contacted some folks who live abroad or have lived abroad and asked what advice is given to women who are having a baby in the countries they have lived in.

Culture is interesting and fun! I thought you would enjoy this as much as we did. Because several had lived in China, you’ll see several lists for China.



-Never eat anything cold. Never get cold.

-Eat and eat and eat until the only clothing you can wear are overalls with a bear on them. If you’re still fitting into regular pants with a waistband, you need to eat more.

-Don’t ride a bicycle

Cambodia: Here’s the cultural way Cambodians deal with postpartum, from an old blog post of mine. I find the postpartum practices to be more widespread than delivery practices, which are going to vary according to income.

“After birth mom and baby are wrapped tightly to keep warm and prevent aging. Mom especially isn’t allowed to get cold the first 3 months, so she must wear long sleeves. And for those first 3 months, mom isn’t allowed to do any work – not even climb stairs.  She really and truly rests from the work of pregnancy and childbirth. Dad does the work.”

Also, pregnant women don’t really wear pants here; you always find pregnant women in dresses.

Laos: In Laos, the women who have just given birth are recommended to lie on a bed covered in warm-hot coals for two weeks. They are only allowed off the bed to nurse and to eat, and they are only allowed to eat hot soup. This is a BLAST in the 115 degree heat! If you do this, Danielle, the bad toxins from pregnancy will leave your body, along with any bad spirits that might have haunted you in pregnancy. :)


—Eat eggs every day for a month after delivery.

—Don’t shower for a month.

—And don’t open any windows or go outside.

—And have your mother in law live with you for the next several years!

Romania: In Romania, never go barefoot while you are pregnant. The chill will go right through your feet and give your baby a cold . . . even if it is 90 degrees and the middle of summer. Also, get used to people spitting in the direction of your baby (or you while you are still pregnant). This will trick the evil spirits into thinking your child is ugly   so your family will be left alone.

China: ALL of these I heard after having my boys in China:

  1. Don’t brush your teeth for at least a week after giving birth
  2. Don’t shower for a month after giving birth
  3. Eat a dozen eggs within the first 2 days — and then keep eating eggs non-stop the first month
  4. Don’t let the baby feel ANY breeze


My brother & his family served in the Philippines for many years—and one piece of advice they were given when my sister-in-law was pregnant was that at NIGHT, when the pregnant woman is getting into bed, she was supposed to eat a handful of peanuts and then get into bed by jumping in OVER her husband. Ha! You would not see ME jumping anywhere when I was that big!

Have you delivered in another country? What advice were you given? What other countries could you add to the list?



Leave A Comment

  1. Tammy November 5, 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Had two babies in two different countries. Advice: Okinawa-don’t, whatever you do, conceive from Aug-October otherwise, you’ll be a walking sweating turkey-ball a summer season hotter than Georgia. Germany-if your delivery date is in August or some warmish month and you plan to deliver in a German hospital, bring a fan (no ax in the hospital. That’s right). But don’t be surprised when your German roommate asks you to keep the fan off, so in that case, refer back to my first advice in Okinawa.

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      Amy November 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Love hearing about your experiences, Tammy!!

  2. Dorette Skinner November 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Haha, Amy.. I really enjoyed this. I gave birth in Thailand and first of all there was no one else in the maternity ward on that day, because apparently it was not a good day to give birth. Thais are very superstitious when it comes to numbers and schedule their c-sections for specific ‘lucky’ dates. Newborns have to wear gloves and beanies at all times – no matter how hot it is. I also received more baby powder than I would ever be able to use in a lifetime, because after they washed their babies they cover them all over in powder and even the little ones get send to school later with powder covered faces as a sign that they had a shower.

  3. Phyllis November 9, 2016 at 8:32 am - Reply

    It seems like staying warm and away from drafts is universal, except for in North America? So funny!

    I’ve had three babies in Russia, and one in Ukraine, and I would hardly even know where to start with listing advice. :-) One thing here (other than avoiding cold) is that you can never mention anything sad or upsetting around a pregnant woman.

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