My, What An Ugly Baby You Have!

MY, WHAT AN UGLY BABY YOU HAVE! (fifth in the breastfeeding series) Mariama’s two week old son takes a break from nursing. She had not yet taken a bath nor bathed her son. In her community, mothers wait up until a month after birth before bathing their child for fear making their newborn sick. Potentially, this practice could be attributed to the scarcity of water the community experienced for most of its existence. The small quantity of water that they do have is contaminated, and could prove harmful to the newborn. 
On the day of her child’s baptism, Mariama applied black makeup on his eyes and lips, as is customary to beautify the baby. Ironically, in cultures throughout Niger, including Mariama’s, it is taboo to call a baby beautiful. If God were to hear, God might take the baby back, to have the beautiful child near in Paradise. Instead, the mother prefers when friends and family members comment on how ugly her baby is.

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