On Becoming A Mother: Welcoming Your New Baby and Your New Life with Wisdom from Around the World

Edited by Brigid McConville. Oneworld (PGW, dist.), $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-78074-389-9
“Traditions of celebrating pregnancy, supporting birth, welcoming and naming children are richly varied but universal,” writes McConville. This collection of international mothering rituals is a treasure chest of ideas on ceremonies, gifts, and practices to enrich the process of gestation, birthing, and mothering. Produced and inspired by members of the nonprofit White Ribbon Alliance that advocates for maternal health, the book combines narratives, quotes, photos, illustrations, and lists. It includes descriptions of useful but meaningful objects, such as a cradleboard, used by the Navajo to carry the baby, or the Japanese haraobi (belly sash) inscribed by a monk. In addition, the book touches on the roles and responsibilities of the father, from the care provided by Tanzania fathers to the close involvement of Quechuan (Andean) fathers during birth. Every mother and mother to be will be jealous of the Finnish Vauva Laatikko, the government’s gift to new mothers, which includes clothing, bedding, toys, and bath supplies —even condoms for the new parents. The American baby shower, Islamic naming ceremonies, and first birthdays in Korea sit comfortably next to each other in this global celebration of motherhood. Illus. Agent: Rebecca Winfield, David Luxton Associates. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-78074-390-5
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