Harmful Traditional Practises After Giving Birth

Despite the fact that some traditional birth practices have reduced with western education and civilization, in parts of Nigeria some of the following harmful traditional practises still take place.

In the northern part of the country, one of the harmful practices a pregnant woman in labour may be subjected to is “Gishiri cut” or “Yankan Gishiri”.

A traditional practice that involves performing surgical cut on any aspect of the vaginal wall using razor blade or knife. Yes, razor blade. The commonest site is the anterior vaginal wall or less commonly posterior and lateral walls.

It is commonly done during the first delivery as a solution to obstructed labour. It is usually performed by traditional birth attendants, local herbalist or barber.

At the end, complications such as severe bleeding leading to shock, excruciating pain, vesicovaginal fistula, and spread of infections like HIV and hepatitis and painful intercourse may occur later.

Some other harmful practises is wankan jego which includes taking hot bath, lying on hot bed and taking large amount of ‘kunun kanwa’ [a lake salt rich in sodium. It’s still widely practised although with greater awareness of how hazardous such practises can have on their health the practise is diminishing.

The practise is very rampant in rural areas where literacy is low and firewood is relatively cheap and available. Immediately after the woman delivers, she is subjected to bathing with scalding hot water, morning and night.

After the bath,  the new mother remains in a well-heated room with a fire or fire glowing underneath a specially constructed dried mud bed, which can retain heat for several hours. A special gruel or pap is prepared from guinea corn or millet with potash and pepper is given to the mother regularly as medicine to increase the quantity and quality of breast milk.

Meanwhile, potash has high sodium content but very little potassium and can cause hypertension and heart failure, but do they know this?

Other complications that may occur due to wankan jego include burns injury, severe hypertension, eclampsia and heart failure, and subsequent death.

Finally, these practices do not have any benefit on the women who practice them and in contrast have hazardous effects, and hence our society should abandon them for the better.

These are some of the harmful practises practised in the Northern part of Nigeria, do we have any such in the South and East? And are there such practises with new borns?

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10 Things That Really Annoy Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a wonderful time for mothers but despite the wonders of pregnancy, it’s a time when mothers are often “bullied” by “experienced” moms or even other pregnant women. The experience can either be pleasurable or annoying, below are some of the things that truly annoy pregnant women.


1. Telling her you didn’t have any pregnancy sickness

Telling a pregnant woman you didn’t have morning sickness when you were pregnant after she just told you she had been shuttling between the bathroom and bedroom from morning sickness will definitely not make you her best friend. We all know pregnancy is not the same for everybody so why compare?

2. Commenting on how different your bumps were

Just after she excitedly told you how pitch perfect her own bump is.

3. Asking her ‘if Baby has popped yet?’

While she stands there holding her bump complaining of swollen feet and sweating buckets.


4. Asking her “Is it a boy or a girl?”

This is something no one has a right to know until after the baby is born, so don’t expect her to tell you what her baby’s sex is.

5. Showing her something smelly

Raw fish and any other smelly thing is not a pregnant woman’s best friend, so don’t cook it in her vicinity or show it to her.


6. Telling her what name to give her baby

You can be sure that even after giving birth to her baby, she won’t be using the name you offered. You should wait until your opinion is asked before offering a baby name to a pregnant woman.


8. Telling her “sleep now when you can” 

Of course, she wants to sleep, she’s probably too uncomfortable to sleep though and it will be useless to advice her to get extra naps when she can.


9. Telling her “you should be doing this at this stage of your pregnancy”

You need not expect her to do what you did when you were pregnant, the fact that you enjoyed meditating during your pregnancy doesn’t mean she’ll do the same.


10. Touching her belly

Every pregnant woman hates it when their baby bump is touched by an external being, no one but her husband should touch her bump but if she tells you to come feel baby kick, that’s fine.

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