The birth of a baby In Igboland and other eastern Nigerian ethnic groups means that the nursing mother and child has to be ministered unto by a very close and experienced female relation. In most cases, the person who takes care of her, is her mother. If the mother is not alive or around, her step-mother performs the functions.
both the word omugwo or omugbo and the culture is not perculiar to igbo and the origin is yet to be determined.ijaws and some other ethnic groups use same word.
during omugwo, the person that comes to do the omugwo takes over MOST of the house hold chores and responsibilities.
Cooking (for both husband and wife), cleaning, carrying the baby while the new mum rests, from my side, at night, the new mum actually sleeps while her mum or whoever is there for omugwo stays awake with the baby.
The main reason for the practice is to help the nursing mothers regain ‘her body back,’ this means regaining both her strength from being nine months pregnant and also regaining both her physical appearance especially her skin colour. Most women experience darkening of their skin (Chloasma) during pregnancies and this treatment done at this point would help deal with that. There is also the help with getting the bulging stomach flat again; most young mothers today seem to agree with this tradition especially for this part of losing the pregnancy tummy.
Basically, apart from having to look after the baby, most of the treatment feels like your everyday spa treatment. It involves a lot of massages both the regular massages and hot water treatments. Even the babies get to be massaged too. Massaging the baby is believed to make their bodies more flexible and also helps in structuring the shape of their heads & legs.
What do you call After birth care in your tribe/state? In two words describe your Omugwo experience?