Pregnancy in Vietnam

Geography and population

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with an estimated population of about 90.5 million as per census of 2014. It is a part of the Indochina peninsula. Amongst the most populated countries’ in the world it ranks as 13th and as 8th amongst the most populated in all of Asia.

In Vietnamese culture it is preferred that they have large families, although with time this thought process has evolved, but mostly it is still remains a part of their tradition. As per a general Vietnamese belief an expecting mother mostly desires for a son more than a daughter because of the fact that a son supposedly carries on the family lineage.


Vietnamese women follow certain sets of rituals and customs when they are pregnant.

  • They are strictly prohibited to attend any sort of funeral or wedding.
  • It is imperative that the ‘would be mother’ counsels her unborn child by talking to it as though the child is in her company all the time.
  • Women are provided with nutritious food during pregnancy but care the unborn child does not grow too big before it is born.
  • Any person who is about to travel should refrain meeting a pregnant woman before the journey. It is believed to bring bad luck to that person.
  • During the pregnancy the mother should not be stepping on a hammock. If this happens then is believed that her new born child would become lazy.


As mentioned earlier, though Vietnamese culture encourages couple to have a large family, still currently a lot of families opt for abortion. Abortion at any stage is legal in Vietnam and women can make use of this service from any government facility as well. There are majorly two reasons for the ever growing rate of abortion in Vietnam.

Unplanned pregnancy followed by premarital sex without any contraception. Couples want to delay starting a family due to a lot of reasons such as jobs, studies; financial conditions as well the unborn child’s sex. Compared to other Asian countries Vietnam leads the list when it comes to abortion and it is rated amongst the top five in the world. One million cases of abortion are reported every year on an average, in Vietnam. About eighty percent of these cases were from the southeastern part of Vietnam.

The above data was released in Vietnam-France Obstetric and Gynecological Conference.

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