Asian Stories – Childbirth in China Episode 1 – The Mom-to-be

Pregnant Woman In China

Birth is a crucial moment in a Chinese family’s life, and one child policy in china from 1979 to 2015 has significantly contributed to this phenomenon. Therefore, it is quite common to see a total physical and behavioural transformation in women who realize their pregnancies. Whether under social or family pressure, the pregnant woman turns into a Mom-to-be – “准妈妈” (zhun mama). Then, they change all their habits to guarantee an as-safe-as-possible birth to their babies.

1. The behavioural and dressing changes

The gait of a pregnant woman

Regardless of the belly’s size, it is quite common to observe a well-marked gait of a pregnant woman in Chinese women as soon as they know about the pregnancy, even from the start.

THE Apron

The most apparent sign on a pregnant Chinese woman is the famous anti-radiations shield. It is one of the must-haves during pregnancy, especially for working women who protect themselves from computers’, mobile phones,’ and other electronic devices’ waves and radiations.

Pregnancy clothes

Pregnant mothers also change their wardrobe to wear clothes with broad cuts. Thus they let their bellies and their breasts grow enough for their babies’ space and future breastfeeding. The clothing transformation is completed by shoes that radically lose in centimetres in exchange for good non-slip soles.

2.The change of appearance

Zero makeup

Pregnant women’s skin tends to change during all their pregnancies. Therefore, it is usually recommended not to wear heavy makeup of which composition could cause allergic reactions or prevent skin from breathing properly. Often, when in doubt, Chinese women stop all makeup rather than taking risks.

Zero lenses

Due to hormonal secretions, the corneal tissue also changes and becomes thicker. Wearing contact lenses can sometimes cause dehydration or even eye infections. Many pregnant women, therefore, stop wearing contact lenses during this period to return to traditional glasses. In addition to the “zero makeup,” this little detail finishes the pregnant Chinese woman’s total transformation.

New daily skin and lip care products

In China, pregnancy is made up of three phases: the preparation of the prepartum period, the gestation time, and the postpartum period which includes the confinement “yuezi” and the breastfeeding. It is essential to use care products specially adapted to pregnant women’s sensitive skin throughout these phases. These products must be harmless for both the expectant mother and the baby. Particular attention is also paid to the care of the lips that must be adequately hydrated and systematically cleaned before eating or drinking to eliminate all external pollution traces. Given the number of times a pregnant woman eats and drinks every day, it is essential to choose a suitable product for such repeated use.

3. Market shares to take for cosmetic brands

Given the beauty trends followed by the Chinese becoming-pregnant women, there is a big gap between the “ALL” and the “NOTHING” habits (that is, no more trendy looks, no more porcelain skins, no more make-ups). Some brands specializing in fashionable clothing and “clean beauty” products entered the pregnant women market. Nevertheless, there is a significant market share to obtain on this market to get the right balance between the entire ‘All’ by non-pregnant women and the full ‘Nothing’ by pregnant women. It is particularly true for make-up goods.

An Article by Delphine Hœur, a China Expert for Bienvenue Factory in Shanghai, China

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