Women around the world are united by the miraculous act of giving birth says Kim Henry. Within this shared experience are many different customs, rituals and beliefs. Each one may hold a little pearl of wisdom for us all.

Pregnancy Rituals and Beliefs

The prospect of a new arrival is traditionally greeted with joy and excitement but the right time to make the announcement differs greatly from culture to culture. The first detectable movements of the baby - what was originally referred to as the ‘quickening’ - is often the point at which the pregnancy can become common knowledge. It is then that a mother-tobe in Bulgaria will bake bread and take it to the church as a signal to all that she is pregnant.

For Jewish and Vietnamese people the fifth month is considered to be the wise time to share the news. However, in Fiji it is traditional to make the announcement immediately, with the idea that should anything happen to the baby, the mother will have the full support of her community in dealing with her loss.