- not eating snake (92%),
- not drinking herbal tea (91%)
- not jumping (89%)
- not moving heavy objects (84%)
- not wearing high-heeled shoes (84%)
- no iced food (83%)
- only change bedding on lucky days (11%)
- avoid travelling in bumpy vehicles (15%)
- conceal ugly toys (18%)
- do not break soy sauce containers (19%)
- no lettuce (23%)
- do not use broken bowls or cups (24%)
- 488 participants (59%) said it was for the sake of the baby’s health and safety
- 114 participants (14%) said it was so that the family would not be worried.
- 171 participants (21%) said they observed the taboos for their own sake
- 221 (25%) felt that they had lost some of their freedom
- 220 (26%) felt unhappy about the restrictions and
- 80 (10%) had argued with the family regarding the observation of the taboos
"What harm can it do?" is something you quite often hear said about superstitions. However for many of these womens superstitions or taboos are not harmless, but are actually affecting their health in a negative way.
“On the one hand Hong Kong women are highly urbanized and economically independent; on the other hand they continue to be governed by [traditions] that put their personal welfare behind those of their families and children.
Taboos in pregnancy seem to define health in an essentially negative way. The various prohibitions imposed upon pregnant women may intensify their anxiety in addition to the stress brought about by pregnancy itself... When the taboos are imposed by older members of the family, the inter-generational dispute can also put other family members, such as partners and in-laws, under stress.”