Old Ugandan woman standing in her cane sugar field

Postpartum Cultural Comparisons

I love that the world is shrinking. We have access to each other – other cultures and places – like never before. I first travelled to East Africa when I was 20 (a wee babe!) and it blew my whole world open. To see people happily living so differently than me was something I needed to see and experience. This experience, as well as others I was able to get since then, has taught me that differences are good and we can learn from each other. Maybe, even, we need to learn from each other!

As we’ve been developing our business, it’s been eye-opening to learn about the various lying in customs around the world. The thing is: it’s all mother-centric. It’s a foreign thing to me because we don’t have anything formal like that in our modern-day America. Most of it is about baby. Hopefully, we have friends and family who are intentional. But can you imagine being visited by your midwife for the first two weeks, like la cuarentena of Latin American cultures? Can you imagine living with relatives who give you constant care and warm-oil massages, like in India? Can you picture having others cook your meals, expecting you to nap while they bathe and dress your baby, like in the Ivory Coast? Can you picture a light burning in your home to honor the new life (what a ritual!) and having your midwife massage you, feed you, and wrap your abdomen, like in Indonesia? Can you imagine being banned for your kitchen until the cord stump falls off baby, like in Zambia? Can you imagine not having to introduce your newborn to strangers until six weeks, like in Vietnam?? It’s all so interesting and wonderful.

We could learn about these customs forever, but for now, we’ve put together a small graphic outlining the general idea of this throughout the world. Take a look, and maybe you’ll be inspired in ways to honor your next new mother friend.

A comparison of cultures around the world and the postpartum phase

How does Marabou support women?

Moms who used to “lie-in” for forty days now have to pick themselves up within a week to get back to work. Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood now live too far away and often can’t take time away from their full time job. Household chores and caring for older children fall on the woman who just delivered a new life and whose body needs rest. But we live in a sprawled world and helping hands are plentiful but often too far to be of benefit. 

Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. How can you give you daughter living in Japan married to a Navy sailor a helping hand? How can you lend a hand to your best friend who moved to California? How do you ask for help when none of your family lives near you anymore?

Start a Marabou Gift Registry!

With a Marabou gift registry you can ask for any service you know will be of benefit during postpartum recovery.

Postpartum doulas for a first time mom

House cleanings for moms of multiples

Childcare for moms with older children!

Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask that your friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.

More and more moms find they have to figure out postpartum alone. Women don't have the same support like they used to. Is it any wonder why PMDs are on the rise? Women are embittered by the journey through motherhood simply because no one was there to lend a hand.

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