Childbirth is one outcome most people expect a few months after the union of a man and woman in marriage. This is because children represent the continuation of a lineage and also one’s status. In the olden day’s, the number of children one had, determined his status. It was something to boast of.
Ghana and other African traditional cultures, the mother in-laws come to stay with the couple to take care of her and teach her some maternal lessons and also help her with chores since she is pregnant and needs to rest.
During this period, the mother in-law cooks for her and boils some herbs for to drink which most believe it would strengthen the unborn child and aid easy labor. After the child is born, it is also bathed with herbs and treated with warm water which is also believed to strengthen the baby and protect it against any evil eye.
Some women also feel vulnerable and weak to evenly spirits so they seek spiritual help to aid them give birth in good health and have beautiful children too. Some even carry akuaba dolls which represents fertility, during birth in order to have beautiful babies that would have the doll’s features. Also many believe that unfaithful women would experience a prolonged labor and would only be able to give birth if she tells everyone the number of men she has been cheating on her husband with. Other practices also included smearing okra on the vagina to expedite delivery and using herbs to aid safe delivery and also to treat women after giving birth.
All these were practiced and are still practiced by most Ghanaians and Africans because childbirth is the basic reason for marriage since children represent wealth, status and the continuation of one’s lineage.