Chinese people are more than a little superstitious, and the locals here have a reputation for being fanatical in their beliefs. I've written about the number 4, and bus cooties, but a friend of mine brought to light an impressive array of beliefs surrounding pregnancies. He is a Canadian citizen who was born on Taiwan. While working in China, he met his wife, a local woman from Zhanjiang, and they are expecting their first child at the end of July.
Now being a modern Canadian guy who grew up in Toronto, it's a bit disconcerting to him to have to deal with an intelligent, well educated woman who has more than a few alien concepts about what to do regarding gestation and birth. He would like to move to a new place, but you can't do that, it's bad luck. You can't move the furniture around either. He wants to open a restaurant, but that is also taboo until after the baby is born. He told me that after the baby is born, his wife won't wash her hair for a month. (This will be during the month of August in a steamy, tropical climate!)
I verified these beliefs with my wife, who said that some women won't even take a bath for the first month after the birth. I guess that puts my friends wife in the more reformist camp of the local voodoo.
I've known a couple of women here who have given birth since I have moved here. Now I know why I never saw them for the first month after the baby was born.