Right after giving birth the nurse gives biscuit with anise (beschuit met muisjes) to the mother.
Parents send birth cards to friends. Before you come to visit the family you have to call and make appointment. You bring a gift for the baby mostly clothes and flowers for the mother. You will be served this biscuit with anise together with tea or coffee. The mice (muisjes) come in pink or blue.
The base of the mice (muisjes) is the combination of anise seeds and sugar. Traditionally, the anise seeds and anise oil attributed medicinal properties. Anise was also used in the preparation of food, drink and drugs. So the nurse told the mother that she had to eat because anise would be good for producing milk. Around the 17th century, immediately after delivery anisette is given to the mother. Anise that time had the reputation that the uterus after birth soon could return to the original size, it would also ward off evil spirits.
Muisjes in English it is mice. The anise seeds have small tails that's they relate it to mice.
It was long ago that I prepared this one when I gave birth to my youngest child, thus 5 years ago. I like the taste and smell of the anise seeds. Me and my kids sometimes eat this one, they like it too.
Do you also have some tradition or rituals after giving birth?
Do you think it works?
Do you believe in performing some rituals to ward off evil spirits?
What kind of activity/rituals?