The One Thing That Sets African Mothers Apart
Despite being modernized and highly influenced by Western cultures
Women in Western cultures carry their babies in baby carriers or strollers in front of them but across Africa, women can be seen carrying their babies on their backs swaddled in cloth.
In many African countries, front-facing baby carriers and strollers are available. However, women prefer carrying babies the traditional way.
Many people argue that carrying a baby in the front is the best way to keep the child safe because they can keep an eye on the baby at all times. But Africans have a different way of looking at it because of the traumatic things they have lived through.
Africans have lived through the slave trade, colonization eras, and wars. Bullets, arrows, and boulders are typically aimed at the front, so the back of the body is most secure. The mother is positioned in front of the child and acts as a shield against any incoming danger, thus ensuring the child’s safety. “I’ll jump in front of a bullet for you” comes to mind. An African mother would rather lose their life than see their child get hurt.
Besides the argument of incoming danger, the back seems like the most comfortable position, especially for small babies. Though baby pacifiers are available, most African women do not use them. When an African baby cries, their mother’s back is the best pacifier. It is soothing for fussy babies to move and rock to the sway of their mothers’ hips. This is comforting to the baby as not only are they surrounded by their mother’s warmth, but they are also cradled and cuddled when they cry. It doesn’t take long for the baby to fall asleep on the mother’s back as she shakes herself and sings a soothing lullaby.
You will see many babies cooing and playing on the back of their mothers, observing the world around them, and interacting with the people nearby.
Mothers carrying their babies in this way have the added benefit of creating a bond with them. They give their babies a sense of security and protection due to close…