Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research

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The Roles of Yoruba Songs on Pregnancy, Labour and Baby Care in Antenatal and Postnatal Clinic in Southwestern Nigerian Hospitals

Stephen Titus Olusegun


Several studies have been conducted on music and medical discourse especially musical discourse in the hospital. These have lead to several works on music and medical discourse which is commonly regarded as medical ethnomusicology. However, medical ethnomusicology studies particularly used as part of medical literacy in antenatal and post natal clinic are still largely unavailable. This paper therefore, examines the roles of Yoruba health related songs on pregnancy, labour, delivery and baby care during the health literacy classes in selected hospitals in southwestern Nigeria. Interviews, participant observation, cultural history and lyrical analysis of the recorded songs during such training were done. Based on health belief and transformative musicology theories the paper suggests that Yoruba songs used during health literacy classes is very functional, been rooted in socio-cultural life of Yoruba people. It serves as education, caution, entertainment, encouragements and as psychological therapy for the foutos, children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

Keywords: Yoruba Songs, Structure, Antenatal Clinic, Functions, Pregnant women, Nursing Mothers

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