Azerbaijan - Childbirth Traditions
When a girl gets married, people together with blessings and wishing her luck let the bride hold a baby of close relatives. After the young wife comes to her husband's house her veil is removed and thrown on the branches of a fruit-bearing tree. Then they put a baby on the bed prepared for the newlyweds. By all these symbolic rituals people express their desire to see the bride as future mother.
During pregnancy a woman tries to be cordial and affable all the time. She tries to look at beautiful colors, still water, blue sky and so forth. It is believed that this will contribute to the birth of a beautiful and healthy child.
After the baby is born his umbilical cord cut off the baby is bathed. For bathing they add some salt to make sure the child will grow truthful, bold and smart. During bathing the child's mother stays away. Baby is brought back to her after the bathing, for them to be not separated anymore.
Childbirth is a big occasion and celebration in a family. The special role is given to the bride’s mom, who is responsible for making the bed for her grandchild. As soon as a baby is born, grandmother starts getting ready for celebrations: makes a bed from the silk, buys a cradle, and decorates all presents with red ribbon. Newborn is visited in 40 days after birth with gifts; traditions tell to put money into the cradle.
When a child has the first teeth a special meal of seven grains is to be cooked followed by the ritual. People believe this will make teeth grow faster and more smoothly.
Only after the child marks his or her first birthday his fingernails and hair can be first cut.