Baby birth traditions are some of the most interesting practices that reflect the beautiful and diverse cultures. Canada has a small but growing population of Brazilians, providing us with a beautiful and comprehensive look at their culture from food to celebrations.
Brazil is the country in Latin America that boasts the largest population. It is a culturally diverse and biodiverse nation that is home to Carnival and the Amazon rainforest. Through a history of colonization and more recent mass immigration, Brazil is now home to one of the world’s most diverse populations.
This blog will examine the baby birth traditions of Brazil.
So, what are the popular baby birth traditions in Brazil?
With its long history and diversity comes a wealth of traditions for one of the most memorable times for a family — the birth of a new baby. These traditions are not only cultural but also have been affected by trends in childbirth and medicine.
Giving Birth Through C-Section
This method of giving birth is more of a modern occurrence due to changes in medicinal trends in Brazil. C-sections are so common that the Brazilian government has had to promote the benefits of natural birth in recent years due to concerning trends.
In private hospitals, 82 percent of births are cesarean sections. In public hospitals, approximately 50% of births are cesarean sections.
There is nothing wrong with C-sections. But many people, doctors and researchers included, think that they are overused in Brazil. Like with any surgery, it comes with risks for complications and problems in future births.
Nevertheless, there are some cases where this procedure is unavoidable, and women should not be shamed for needing it or electing to do it.
Researchers have found the trend is less about preference and more about the influence that certain parts of Brazilian culture have on medicine. For example, some people believe that birth is primitive and inconvenient, so they find ways to speed it up.
This leads to doctors sometimes pressuring women to have c-sections for convenience rather than out of medical necessity. A movement of women attempting to take their autonomy in the maternity ward back is rising in Brazil.
Dressing the Baby in Red
This tradition speaks to Brazil’s strong religious culture. When parents have newborns, they often dress them in red clothing. This practice brings good luck to the child in their new life. Red also wards of evil spirits to protect the child in this new world they occupy.
Giving Gifts to Family and Friends
In most cultures, when a mother and newborn baby are visited in the hospital or at home, they are showered with gifts and, in some cases, money. However, the opposite happens in Brazil.
Mothers give little trinkets and candy in baskets to family and friends on behalf of the baby. It is a way of thanking them for their support and congratulations. These packages usually include a sweet note from the baby thanking them for coming.
It can be interesting to analyze long-held baby birth traditions. Still, it can also be helpful to research and analyze how birth and newborn lifestyles can be affected by trends in more recent history.
Brazil is one country where both of those things can be done. As with any country, the welcoming of a new baby is a beautiful miracle in Brazil.
Check out our Baby Birth Tradition blog series – Baby Birth Traditions – India
Written by: Gabrielle Goldson