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Cultural differences, Beliefs in Pregnancy, Birth in East & West

  Pregnancy is a beautiful and joyous occasion in every woman’s life all over the world. However, there are seemingly different belief and custom about childbirth around the world because these beliefs and custom are based on and derived from cultural values, background and tradition of each country. Therefore, pregnancy and childbirth are universal and unique event at the same time. Read on these interesting different beliefs in pregnancy and childbirth around the world.


  Dutch women believe that childbirth is an experience meant to be related with family at home, rather than in a hospital, therefore, Netherlands has the highest home-birth rate in European society.

  Obstetrician is only needed for high risk cases during Dutch woman’s pregnant time, midwife must be present in birth, pregnant woman consider midwife as her prenatal care.


  Mutterpass (can be translated as "Mother Passport" in English) is a must have thing for expectant mother in Germany. It is sort of document, its each page contains various aspect of mother and child’s health condition. In emergency, all information on Mutterpass can be used by doctor. 


  Expecting parents in Switzerland keep their baby’s name to themselves during the pregnancy. It’s considered bad luck to reveal your baby’s name before he or she is born.


  Chinese pregnant mom believes that state of mom’s mind can influence baby’s personality and temperament, these beliefs are derived from traditional Chinese medicine. Even in recent days, there are many no-no for pregnant woman.

+Mothers try to avoid eating food not properly cut or mashed during pregnancy, because they believe food not in good looking can affect baby to have careless disposition.

+House renovation is severely prohibited during pregnancy, loud noise such hammering, drilling is considered as bad effect to baby.

+Pregnant woman can’t go to funeral. Malicious spirits in funeral can bring bad fortune to baby, so mothers usually don’t attend funeral during her pregnancy time.

+Mother’s emotion, feeling and mind can affect baby in utero. So she should mind her words and behavior during pregnancy. No gossiping, impulsively behaving, thinking negative thought.

+Lifting up heavy object or laughing loud is not allowed to pregnant woman, especially hard physical labor might give too much pressures to baby. But nowadays doctors in china also recommend pregnant women to do regular and light exercise during their pregnancies.


  Japanese women prefer to give a birth without painkillers. This relates to the Buddhist perceptions of suffering, Many doctors these days recommend to use epidurals for a peaceful birth. But this tradition is still widely used among some Japanese.

  Hospital stays in Japan is longer than western countries, mothers usually stay minimum 5 days for natural birth and at least 10 days for c-section delivery. After hospital stays mother tends to stay in her parents’ house or her home at least 1 month for postpartum care. And mother usually stays in bed with her newborn at least 21 days.

South Korea

  Multitude of Korean Women drink special soup called Miyeok guk after birth as her postpartum care. Its main ingredient is seaweed, abounds in calcium and iodine. It helps uterine contractions and makes blood. it’s also well known as birthday soup. According to historical document, origin of this tradition traces back to ancient time.


  pregnant woman only has a bath in warm water during her pregnancy. Mexican people believe extremely hot water can cause circulatory problems and cold water can make the pelvis rigid and result in a difficult delivery.


  In some English-speaking countries, people often say if pregnant mom has heartburn, her baby will be born with a lot of hair.

  In U.S., beige colored blanket is widely used to wrap newborn baby despite some doctors have tried to change this tradition.

  The diet seems to be the biggest different part between east and west pregnant mom during their pregnancies. The diet of Eastern mom is according to their culture: no cold food, consuming lots of soup, and so on. On the other hand, western pregnant mom’s diet is according to the risk associated with the food, for instance: listeria infection through raw milk, raw meat, raw seafood and fish. However, even this big change is changing in Eastern society as well, as all moms entered internet era.

  Even though birth custom and beliefs seem to be greatly varied from culture to culture in the past, but these changes are becoming less and less nowadays. The most important common truth is that pregnancy is considered as beautiful, delightful event in any culture.

Our NEW OASIS OB/GYN doctor and OASIS international hospital will always be there to support your joyful & beautiful life event

OB/GYN Dr. Hubert Debiolles

Language: English, French



  Dr. Hubert Debiolles was born in Caen, France on the 3rd of January 1958. He himself, is now the father of four children. He achieved his MD in 1985, after completing his residency at La Rochelle Hospital in France. He completed his General Surgery License and became the Clinical Chief at the University Hospital of Saint Louis in Paris. In 1997, he completed his OBG Surgery License.


  Dr. Debiolles started his medical career, with a part time job in the Gynie and Visceral Surgery department, at Saint Jacques Hospital in Paris. Upon completing his OBG Surgery License, he became a part time OBG Practitioner at Courbevoie Maternity Hospital, where he delivered 2,000 births per year. In 2001, he transferred to Falaise Hospital where he was Head of the Maternity department. He later became the Head of the OBG Department at Beaumont Sur Oise Maternity Hospital and delivered 1,100 births per year. Whist at Beaumont Sur Oise Maternity Hospital, he also worked part-time at the Army Hospital of Begin Saint Mande. Following this, he became a part-time practitioner at Delafontaine Hopital, where he delivered another 3,500 births per year. From 1998 until 2013, alongside his other work, Dr. Debiolles further acted as a part-time OBG Practitioner at “Les Bluets Hospital” Paris, delivering 3,000 children per year into the world. Most currently, he worked as an OBG practitioner at Meulan Maternity Hospital in France.