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Food choices and practices during pregnancy of immigrant women with high-risk pregnancies in Canada: a pilot study.

Higginbottom GM, Vallianatos H, Forgeron J, Gibbons D, Mamede F, Barolia R - BMC Pregnancy Childbirth (2014)

Bottom Line: They may encounter difficulties when accessing culturally safe and appropriate maternity care, which may be further exacerbated by language difficulties and discriminatory practices or attitudes.What women choose to eat is also influenced by their own experiences, access to particular foods, socioeconomic status, family context, and so on.The pilot study demonstrated the efficacy of the employed research strategies and we subsequently acquired funding for a national study.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing, 3rd Floor Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405 87th Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 1C9, Canada. gina.higginbottom@ualberta.ca.

ABSTRACT

Background: Immigrant women may be regarded as a vulnerable population with respect to access and navigation of maternity care services. They may encounter difficulties when accessing culturally safe and appropriate maternity care, which may be further exacerbated by language difficulties and discriminatory practices or attitudes. The project aimed to understand ethnocultural food and health practices and how these intersect in a particular social context of cultural adaptation and adjustment in order to improve the care-giving capacities of health practitioners working in multicultural perinatal clinics.

Methods: This four-phase study employed a case study design allowing for multiple means of data collection and different units of analysis. Phase one consists of a scoping review of the literature. Phases two and three incorporate pictorial representations of food choices with semi-structured photo-elicited interviews. This study was undertaken at a Prenatal and Obstetric Clinic, in an urban Canadian city. In phase four, the research team will inform the development of culturally appropriate visual tools for health promotion.

Results: Five themes were identified: (a) Perceptions of Health, (b) Social Support (c) Antenatal Foods (d) Postnatal Foods and (e) Role of Health Education. These themes provide practitioners with an understanding of the cultural differences that affect women's dietary choices during pregnancy. The project identified building collaborations between practitioners and families of pregnant immigrant women to be of utmost importance in supporting healthy pregnancies, along with facilitating social support for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Conclusion: In a multicultural society that contemporary Canada is, it is challenging for health practitioners to understand various ethnocultural dietary norms and practices. Practitioners need to be aware of customary practices of the ethnocultural groups that they work with, while simultaneously recognizing the variation within-not everyone follows customary practices, individuals may pick and choose which customary guidelines they follow. What women choose to eat is also influenced by their own experiences, access to particular foods, socioeconomic status, family context, and so on. The pilot study demonstrated the efficacy of the employed research strategies and we subsequently acquired funding for a national study.

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Illustrates foods that one participant avoided while breastfeeding.
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Fig4: Illustrates foods that one participant avoided while breastfeeding.

Mentions: Breastfeeding affected women’s food consumption practices, dictating the kinds of foods that would foster milk production, but also be healthy and nourishing for the newborn’s sensitive stomach: “Because they said if you eat more of those starchy foods they will make you more gassy and the baby will be more uncomfortable, so try to avoid starchy food - rice, more pitas. Try to fill your stomach with more proteins, even though nuts or whatever you can” [22:2]. Another participant provided images (Figure 4) of foods she avoided while breastfeeding, explaining: “I breast feed my baby, that’s why also I try to avoid any alcohol and coffee and spicy food … stay as much as I can stay healthy, you know. Don’t eat any junk food and not the fat, everything, you know. For my health, also for my baby’s health. … If I eat any, you know the unhealthy food, baby is going to be, you know, take unhealthy milk from me. [laughs]” [4:2].Figure 4


Food choices and practices during pregnancy of immigrant women with high-risk pregnancies in Canada: a pilot study.

Higginbottom GM, Vallianatos H, Forgeron J, Gibbons D, Mamede F, Barolia R - BMC Pregnancy Childbirth (2014)

Illustrates foods that one participant avoided while breastfeeding.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4260194&req=5

Fig4: Illustrates foods that one participant avoided while breastfeeding.
Mentions: Breastfeeding affected women’s food consumption practices, dictating the kinds of foods that would foster milk production, but also be healthy and nourishing for the newborn’s sensitive stomach: “Because they said if you eat more of those starchy foods they will make you more gassy and the baby will be more uncomfortable, so try to avoid starchy food - rice, more pitas. Try to fill your stomach with more proteins, even though nuts or whatever you can” [22:2]. Another participant provided images (Figure 4) of foods she avoided while breastfeeding, explaining: “I breast feed my baby, that’s why also I try to avoid any alcohol and coffee and spicy food … stay as much as I can stay healthy, you know. Don’t eat any junk food and not the fat, everything, you know. For my health, also for my baby’s health. … If I eat any, you know the unhealthy food, baby is going to be, you know, take unhealthy milk from me. [laughs]” [4:2].Figure 4

Bottom Line: They may encounter difficulties when accessing culturally safe and appropriate maternity care, which may be further exacerbated by language difficulties and discriminatory practices or attitudes.What women choose to eat is also influenced by their own experiences, access to particular foods, socioeconomic status, family context, and so on.The pilot study demonstrated the efficacy of the employed research strategies and we subsequently acquired funding for a national study.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing, 3rd Floor Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405 87th Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 1C9, Canada. gina.higginbottom@ualberta.ca.

ABSTRACT

Background: Immigrant women may be regarded as a vulnerable population with respect to access and navigation of maternity care services. They may encounter difficulties when accessing culturally safe and appropriate maternity care, which may be further exacerbated by language difficulties and discriminatory practices or attitudes. The project aimed to understand ethnocultural food and health practices and how these intersect in a particular social context of cultural adaptation and adjustment in order to improve the care-giving capacities of health practitioners working in multicultural perinatal clinics.

Methods: This four-phase study employed a case study design allowing for multiple means of data collection and different units of analysis. Phase one consists of a scoping review of the literature. Phases two and three incorporate pictorial representations of food choices with semi-structured photo-elicited interviews. This study was undertaken at a Prenatal and Obstetric Clinic, in an urban Canadian city. In phase four, the research team will inform the development of culturally appropriate visual tools for health promotion.

Results: Five themes were identified: (a) Perceptions of Health, (b) Social Support (c) Antenatal Foods (d) Postnatal Foods and (e) Role of Health Education. These themes provide practitioners with an understanding of the cultural differences that affect women's dietary choices during pregnancy. The project identified building collaborations between practitioners and families of pregnant immigrant women to be of utmost importance in supporting healthy pregnancies, along with facilitating social support for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Conclusion: In a multicultural society that contemporary Canada is, it is challenging for health practitioners to understand various ethnocultural dietary norms and practices. Practitioners need to be aware of customary practices of the ethnocultural groups that they work with, while simultaneously recognizing the variation within-not everyone follows customary practices, individuals may pick and choose which customary guidelines they follow. What women choose to eat is also influenced by their own experiences, access to particular foods, socioeconomic status, family context, and so on. The pilot study demonstrated the efficacy of the employed research strategies and we subsequently acquired funding for a national study.

Show MeSH