Ìgbèbí practice is an ancient Yoruba practices handling ante –natal and post-natal services for pregnant mothers.
In Yoruba traditional system, when a new born baby born, their care will be divided in general, family and special care for special babies.
The General care of the new born babies is focused on the special food to be taken until the baby will be 6 month of age and will be able to seat down, which will be breast feeding, infusion of specific herbs and cold water from their father family Òrìsà shrine. After 6 month of age the baby will start eating hot pap and will start to learn how to eat solid food.
The other aspect is about the sickness and diseases of the new born baby as malaria, belly pain, pile, and fever by teeth growing, and refuse breast drink. By this time the family of the new born baby needs again to consult the family Òrìsà with obi (kola nut).
Another important aspect is the family care, because every family is different and has different taboos, which the born babies shall not eat. The taboos from the family of the father should not be given neither to the baby nor to the mother while breast feeding. There are families that it is forbidden to force the new baby to eat; others cannot bath with hot water; others cannot drink palm wine and etc.
Finally there is the aspect of special care to be taken to special babies as:
1- Ìbèjì -Twins
When the father see the twins for the first time, all the cloth that he is wearing need to be given to the twins for them to be sleeping on it.
In the naming ceremony day, they should do the traditional rites with sugar cane, beans, honey, banana, beans cake fried with palm oil and cooked beans with palm oil should be given to all the guests.
2- Ìdòwú (borne after twins)
No need special rites will be done, because they were already performed by the twins and Ìdòwú will benefit from it.
3- Àlàbá (borne after Ìdòwú)
No need special rites will be done, because they were already performed by the twins Àlàbá will benefit from it.
4- Ìdògbé (borne after Àlàbá)
No need special rites will be done, because they were already performed by the twins Ìdògbé will benefit from it.
5- Èta òkò—Triplex
By the birth of triplex the king of the town needs to be informed and the cloth wearing by that day, the king should give it to the children.
Out of the 3 children the king should take care of one.
6- Dàda— Child born with dreadlock.
These children are born with dreadlocks and they will always be surrounded by people.
Their parents should always leave leftover food in the house.
Honey, sugar cane should always be given to the people by these children.
If Dàda wants to shave the hair, before shaving traditional rites and consultation should be performed for them.
It is the name given to the children, who born with their face covered. Special traditional rites have to be performed and they belong automatically to the Òrìsà Obàtálá.
It is believed that they brought Obàtálá from heaven and they don’t need any more to be initiated to Obàtálá .
These babies have borne through the legs and have no feelings for the mother.
After born traditional rites should be performed for this kind of children and for their parents in order not to die young and not to hurt their parents.
These children cry from morning till night, traditional rites needs to be performed.
These children don’t cry today, but starts to cry from tomorrow from morning till night and traditional rites need to be performed.
These children start crying on the 3rd day from morning till night and traditional rites need to be performed.