Ecai birth rites

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An empathic people

The Ecai are an empathic species. They can see the auras which they say all sentient life projects to some degree, and can sense strong emotions in others: this is enhanced amongst their own kind. This ability is present from birth, and as such the Ecai have long standing traditions surrounding the birth of their children. These practices serve to protect the child as well as to strengthen famillial bonds, and they have been done for thousands of years.  

A quiet beginning

During the final days of a mother's pregnancy she becomes overly sensitive to external emotional stimulli, and it is at this time that she will go to a birthing suite, usually accompanied by the other parent. They will remain here until a week after the childs birth. During the few days before the birth immediate family and close friends will be allowed to visit, however after the birth only medical staff will be allowed in the suite, and this only when necessary.    
As part of their training all midwives are taught to dampen their emotional signatures and auras. Most Ecai are able to control their emotional output to varying degrees, but subduing one's aura takes years of rigorous training. For this reason Midwifery is considered quite a prestigious occupation in Ecai society
    For the birth itself only the parents and the midwife are present, and the midwife will dampen her aura and emotional output. This allows the first auras and emotional signatures a child perceives to be those of it's parents. This is important as the child will always remember these first sensations.   Once the midwife has ensured that the child is healthy the parents will be isolated within the suite for a week, with only a midwife allowed into the room. This isolation serves two purposes: it protects the child from too much stimulation as they are hyper-sensitive during this time, it allows the child to form bonds with it's parents.  

Meeting the family

After the first week of seclusion with it's parents, the child is taken back home and introduced to it's extended family unit; this is a subdued yet intimate affair. The family members sit quietly in a circle, on large cushions on the floor, and project strong feelings of love and protection. The child is handed around the circle and each family member will hold them for several minutes, holding the child's attention for as long as possible. Once this has been completed the child is placed in a basket in the centre of the circle, and the family all drink a cup of Movrassa together, and offer toasts to the parents and child.

Settlers and child birth

For those Ecai who have struck out on their own, it may not always be possible to gain access to a trained Ecai midwife. In such situations, if the parents cannot find a medically trained person they trust, it is often up to the other parent to deliver the child. It is not uncommon for settlers to learn the basics of child birth before setting out.    

Primary Caregiver

On the rare occasions where neither parent is available to look after the child immediately after birth, then a previously appointed family member will undertake the isolation period on their behalf, and then take custody of the child. If there is no appointed person, and the child is considered orphaned, a midwife will be appointed and afterwards the child will be given into communal care.  

Midwives duties

The role of midwife encompasses many responsibilities. Not only are they responsible for the safe delivery of the child, and it's associated medical aftercare, they must also act as carers for the family during their isolation; ensuring they have food, supplying fresh bedding, removing soiled diapers and clothing, and seeing to any needs that would require them to leave the room.


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