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Of course, each indigenous culture had its own unique beliefs and superstitions connected with childbirth, as well as a special set of rituals for close family members to participate in.Scholars share the belief that many First Peoples had similar practices involving select people within the community and family members.The newborn would fall right onto the leaves placed beneath the mother.Post-delivery rituals included ceremonial plunging of the infant into the river or brook that was performed daily during two years.A female relative of the mother would say special words that were supposed to scare the baby and make him be born sooner.According to Van der Donck, Mahican women would drink concoction made of root bark shortly before labor began.Seldom were they sick from child-birth or suffered from any inconveniences caused by the pregnancy.Many other European observers also described solitary, painless births of the Native Americans, but as most of these observers were men who rarely witnessed the birth of children, this information can be inaccurate.
Updated May 29, 2014 For decades, if you lived on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and wanted a drink, you'd have to stroll a few feet south of its border.
Cherokee women used to drink an infusion of wild cherry bark for fast delivery.
Even though some observers describe solitary births, still there are accounts of births where a midwife or a close family member assisted the woman. Women were giving birth standing, sitting or kneeling, but never lying down.
But earlier last August, after furious debate, the tribe members voted to end its century-old prohibition of alcohol.
Supporters hoped to channel the money spent at outside liquor stores back into the community, and its underfunded alcohol treatment programs.