Among the Igbos, nothing is comparable to a childbirth. Each time an Igbo person think about marriage, what first comes to mind is childbirth.
The significance of childbirth to Igbos is reflected in the kind of names Igbos give to their newborns. For example: Nwakaego means “Having a child is greater than having money,” Ginikanwa means What is great than a child?” Nwaamaka means ” childbirth is beautiful, Nwabueze means “Every child is a king,” etc
They are several beliefs Igbos hold concerning childbirth. First, they believe that it is not just the parents of a child that own the child. again, names reflect this belief. Take for instance; Adaora means “Daughter of the community,” Obiora means “Aspiration of the community” etc Another r way this belief is reflected is in the greetings among Igbos. For some example, look at these Igbo greetings and their meanings;
- Kedu maka Ada anyi? meaning “How is OUR daughter?”
Another deep-rooted belief Igbos have concerning childbirth is that Childbirth unites families, streets, and communities through marriage and the institution of the home.
To further indicate how important childbirth is to Igbos, lets mention five (5) customs and traditions of the Igbos that revolve on childbirth. They are:
- Child Naming Ceremony
- Shopping for a newborn.
- Payment of homage to newborns