A Child is Born | Heritage of Words



Writer : Germaine Greer

SUMMARY

The writer shows many differences between a traditional and modern society in matters of pregnancy, childbirth and childbearing. The traditional society is full of different customs, tradition~ rituals and superstition. A pregnant woman has to follow all such rites. She doesn’t get proper respect at home and society unless she gives birth to a child. Because of the customs, traditions and the culture of the traditional society, pregnant women are loved, cared and supported by her husbands, members of her family and all the relatives. Because of this, she doesn’t worry much about the possible pain and danger in childbirth.

The traditional behaviors are responsible to increase her sense of security. However, in modern western societies, a pregnant woman is not cared like this. Since the people in the modern western society don’t believe much on different rites, traditions and superstitions, the pregnant woman is not attended by her husband and relatives. She is not free from mental burden. She is always worried about the possible danger and pain of the childbirth. She has to practice pregnantal exercises and make other preparations herself. She frequently visits doctors for advice and to get her pregnancy checked up. Her pregnancy is not given much importance by her family, relatives and the society.

In the traditional eastern societies, the infant and mother mortality rate is higher because of the lack of modern methods and equipments. The traditional childbirths are conducted among various superstitions, customs, rites, rituals and traditions. The pregnant women don’t visit hospitals for check up. Because of this, a large number of women and their infants die untimely in the traditional society. In the modern western society, however, the infant and mother mortality rate is very low. The pregnant women shouldn’t carryon various customs, traditions and superstitions. They frequently visit doctors and follow their suggestions. They practice many modern methods and equipments for the childbirth. If the life of the mother or the infant is in danger, the doctors conduct operations to save them. Thus, the women in the modern society give birth very easily and safely among the modern methods and facilities.

After the childbirth, the women in the traditional Eastern society are respected and praised much for their courage. Many people attend her with gifts to see the child and to congratulate the mother. People organize parties to celebrate the birth ceremony. There is feasting, singing and dancing. The mother is given permission to go to her mother’s house for few months. The whole family helps her to rear the child. However, there is no such system in the modern western society. In such society, there is no one t home to welcome the child and to praise the courage of the mother.