A friend told me that traditionally, after childbirth a new Chinese mother must not get herself wet for six weeks. This includes bathing (although sponge baths are okay), hair washing and food preparation. My mum confirmed it, and my Chinese boss told me it's something to do with the need to rebuild one's Chi.
But wait - there's more...
According to ricebiz:
- use of glue during pregnancy will lead to a difficult birth;
- if you strike an animal during pregnancy your child will look and behave like that animal;
- praise of a newborn baby will attract the attention of evil spirits;
- a baby with wide, thick ears will grow up to be prosperous (lending new meaning to that parental exclamation, "I'll give you a thick ear!".
According to britishbornchinese:
- swearing during pregnancy can cause the baby to be cursed;
- a child's imperfections, deformities etc are blamed on the actions of the mother (yeah, imperfect as in the wrong sex too!);
- continuing to work during pregnancy will ensure an easier delivery (and I thought Chinese society was just treating women as slave labour);
- it is unlucky to name an unborn baby, because it means the parents want the baby to be a particular sex, and may be disappointed (so it must be okay to name the unborn child with a unisex name, right?);
- pregnant women are supposed to be taken care of by their mother-in-law, not husband.
Hmm...but I still don't know why pregnant women aren't supposed to eat lamb.