Religion Past and Present

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(379 words)

[German Version]

As part of an extraordinary transitional phase that includes birth, pregnancy is surrounded by taboos and rituals in ethnic religions, but also in Hinduism and the popular religion of most cultures. The rituals serve in part to ward off malignant influences that might issue from the pregnant woman, but primarily to protect and preserve intact the developing child and assure an easy birth. Pregnancy rituals intended to guarantee the birth of a son are also known. Taboos primarily i…

Cite this page
Heller, Birgit, “Pregnancy”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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