Things to buy for mother after omugwo…

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Omugwo is a traditional Igbo custom where a woman is properly taken care of after child birth by her mother or a close relative .

Things to buy for mother after omugwo
A grandmother during omugwo

In Igbo culture, Omugwo is always observed immediately after childbirth .

It is a period of time when the mother of the lady who gave birth comes to stay with her daughter just to take proper care of her daughter and grandchild. For the Yoruba culture, omugwo is performed by the mother of the of the man (husband). Either mothers of the spouses can do the omugwo.

The importance of this practice is that it helps the new mother to fit into her new role without stress .

A mother uses this period to pass on to her daughter the knowledge of child upbringing.

It is the duty of the mother to put the new mum through what she needs by cooking for her , bathing her and the baby etc.

Omugwo has both health and cultural significance.

From the cultural side , it serves as a form of social support from the new mum’s family to their in-laws while from the health side it helps the new mum handle the post natal stage of childbirth which is usually very difficult.

During this process,the mother helps her daughter with hot water therapy and sit bath.

Hot water therapy involves soaking a cloth in hot water and using it to massage the new mother’s belly , while sit bath is also necessary for the new mother vaginally so that blood clots in her womb can come out freely .

The new mother will be given very spicy foods such as pepper soup yam (ji mmiri oku) to help flush out unwanted blood clots in her body and help to boost breast milk production.

Pap is also another food(optional) given to the new mother as it helps to boost her breast milk supply.

Palm wine is also served to the nursing mother to ensure proper flow of breast milk for the baby.

The new mother’s mum or representative who came for the Omugwo ensures that the kitchen is stocked with pepper of different types ,fish ,okporoko ,uda ,nchanwu ,mkpuru uziza etc .

Women who have many married daughters are the ones that enjoy Omugwo as they travel for Omugwo regularly even abroad.

Omugwo in Igbo land typically lasts for three months,anything beyond this is overtime , except in special cases when the new mother needs more time to recuperate.

Things to buy for mother after omugwo…

When the mother is returning home,the grateful son in-law buys food and other gift items such as different types of wrapper (lace or hollandis, George, aso oke), shoes, necklace, household consumables, deodorants etc in appreciation. The mother is also given good sum of cash or money (according to your pocket) for the omugwo .

The importance of Omugwo can never be over emphasized as women go through a lot during and after childbirth.


Chimefula research centre


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