Original Research Article
Year: 2018 | Month: January-March | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 13-25
Food Taboos among Pregnant Women in Health Centers, Khartoum State- Sudan, 2016
Hadil Mohamed Hassan Tahir1, Dr. Abd Elbasit Elawad Mohammed Ahmed2, Dr. Nasir Ahmed Ali Mohammed3
1MSc in Public and Environmental Health (Major; Health Education), 2B.Sc, MPEH, Ph.D.Dean; Faculty of Public and Environmental Health, University of Khartoum Sudan 2016
3Ph.D., Public Health, Head; Health Education and Promotion Department, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author: Hadil Mohamed Hassan Tahir
Background: Food taboos are known in different human societies in respect to harmful, beneficial and optimal food requirements, which is necessary for pregnant women to get successful reproductive outcome. These beliefs may or may not conform to the modern biomedical notion for the standard types and amount of foods needed for pregnant women to safeguard maternal nutrition, adequate for the fetus and safe delivery. This is a descriptive cross-sectional health centers based study. The aim was to study food taboos among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in health centers in Khartoum State.
Methods: The study population covered pregnant women of (n = 331) attending the selected health centers over a period of two months (March – April-2016). Data were collected using questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS version 16. The associations between different variables were checked using Chi-Square, and P. value < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The study revealed that 43.8% of the pregnant women refused to eat some types of food during pregnancy, 65.5% avoided eating red meat, 29% avoided eating eggs, 23.4% avoided eating white meat and 36.5% avoided drinking milk.64.1% of the pregnant women refrained to eat some types of food during pregnancy for personal reasons as 46.2% due to morning sickness, 17.2% for nausea, 3.2% for allergy and 3.2% for vomiting. 35.9% of the pregnant women refrained from eating some types of food for community reasons. 67.3% avoided eating certain foods during pregnancy because they cause difficulties during labour, 15.4% believe that it may cause disease to the pregnant women. 41.1% of the pregnant women have heard that availability of certain foods is preferred not to be eaten during pregnancy as a social norm.36% of the pregnant women preferred to take specific types of foods during pregnancy as 51.3% preferred to take milk and 42% preferred eating fruits. The study showed a statistical association between refraining from eating certain foods during pregnancy among pregnant women and the residential area (P=0.000), also the study showed a statistical association between refraining from eating certain foods during pregnancy among pregnant women and their educational level (P=0.000).
Conclusion: The study concluded that a large group of the pregnant women refrained to eat certain foods during pregnancy due to food taboos, personal and community reasons. The study recommends nutritional education to correct wrong beliefs among pregnant women.
Keywords: Food taboos, pregnant women.