HomeIAMURE International Journal of Health Educationvol. 1 no. 1 (2012)

Culture-Based Beliefs and Practices on Pregnancy and Childbirth among Sorsoguenos, Philippines

Magdalena M. Ocbian

Discipline: Health, Medicine, Culture



This study documented the cultural beliefs and practices of Sorsogueños related to pregnancy and childbirth through interviews to 233 respondents. The cultural beliefs were classified as prescriptive, restrictive, taboos and predictive. Examples of prescriptive beliefs are: conceiving mother is encouraged to be happy for this will have an effect on the baby; food cravings of the conceiving mother should be provided and lactating mother should be given warm bath with water previously boiled with guava and other medicinal leaves. Wearing anything around the neck of a conceiving mother like a shawl and a necklace is a restrictive belief; while watching scary movies or ugly images by the conceiving mothers is prohibited because it would cause the baby to resemble that person or object. A pregnant women should avoid witnessing an eclipse since it is believed to cause stillbirth. Determining the sex of the baby through the appearance and behavior of the mother and shape of her abdomen is a popular predictive belief. These cultural beliefs may be considered in implementing maternal care and other health programs that would fit in with their cultural practices.