Gini Bu Omugwo: Disadvantages of omugwo

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Don’t get me wrong, Omugwo is a beautiful culture from the Igbo tribe, very beautiful culture aimed at taking care of baby and mother after delivery. Omugwo is a culture that now been copied and emulated by other tribes like the hausas and the yorubas. Just like every other culture worthy of emulation, Omugwo is not without its imperfections, it has its disadvantages which should also be highlighted so that you will not make such mistakes during your own Omugwo or your next one.

Gini Bu Omugwo: Disadvantages of omugwo
A woman doing omugwo for her grandchild. Standing beside her is her daughter that recently gave birth. Image is representative.

Every family and couple has it challenges or problems.As a woman or a man going for Omugwo, your duty is to foster peace, love and understanding to the new parents and not to bring disharmony.

I won’t say more….This passage I culled from Facebook will give you more insight into the potential disadvantages of omugwo.

Omugwo: an interesting culture, but let us talk about its disadvantages.

The word Omugwo, an Igbo word has found its way into our lexicon across the major tribes of Nigeria.

It simply means the art of taking care of the newborn and nursing the new mother back to good health.

This part of our culture has more intricacies than meet the eye.

The grandmother has to be wise, very wise, so as not to serve the death knell of the marriage that brought up the joy she has gone to nurse.

If she has a husband, she has to ensure her home is well prepared for and remain happy, in her absence, because no matter how long she stays with the mother and child, she will definitely return home. She shouldn’t allow discord, no matter what.

While she stays with the new parents, she must adopt the ‘see no evil and speak no evil’ mantra, speaking only when her opinion is sought.

If she is lucky to have a room to herself, she is advised to stay in the room most of the time, with the new baby of course, to give the mother enough room to rest.

The Omugwo period isn’t a time to drag the TV control with bonafide occupants of the home, that’s not why she is there.

Note that the new addition is an added financial responsibility, so she is advised not to add her own burden to theirs.

If she has special needs, for instance, if she is on a special diet, she should endeavour to take care of this to the best of her ability and ask for help only when she really needed it.

The grandmother shouldn’t see herself as an arbitrator. She shouldn’t apportion blame if their is a misunderstanding. She needs a large dose of wisdom to ensure a crisis free stay with her children.

Omugwo can be happy and otherwise, it depends hugely on the grandmother.

May God give us the grace to be blessings to our children and grandchildren.

Some important comments:

Ada Chibuzor

Hmm. A word for those mother inlaws that don’t do anything but to watch TV and cause problem in the house because it is their son’s house. They came for omugwo but the nursing mother will end up taking care of them. You came for omugwo, but the nursing mother will be the one to go to the market,cook,serve her, wash baby clothes,clean the house, keep night watch over the baby while the mother that came for omugwo will sleep peacefully at night and still cause problem before leaving the house.

Moyosere Iyetunji

Don’t go and take charge of their pots. Don’t overstay your welcome.

Written by Omolola Adewoyin and


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