THE LIMIT OF CHANGE: CONTRADICTIONS ON NUTRITIONAL BEHAVIOUR BETWEEN PREGNANT WOMEN AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS IN OYO STATE, NIGERIA
Nutritional Behaviour of pregnant women is in response to food intake beliefs, food handling practices, health related nutritional practices and access to nutritional information irrespective of nutritional health policies. While studies exist on nutritional behaviour with focus on food intake beliefs there is empirical gap on contradictions between health care providers and pregnant women nutritional behaviour. This study thus, examined the socio-cultural context of these contradictions among Yoruba ethnic populace in Oyo State, Nigeria. The study was cross-sectional and retrospective, adopting a qualitative method of data collection. In-depth Interviews and Focus Group Discussions were conducted with postpartum women, their significant others, community members and health care providers. Multi stage sampling technique was adopted in the selection of study area and population. Thematic and content analyses were used to analyse the qualitative data. Household structure, kinship system, social network, belief systems, marriage patterns and pathways to care influenced nutritional behaviour during gestation. Nutritional information accessed during antenatal visits contradicts nutritional behaviour of women during gestation. Teachings of the healthcare providers didn’t have effect on their nutritional behaviour as this was immersed in socio-cultural factors. Nutritional policies targeted at improving pregnancy outcomes should recognise and integrate socio-cultural context of nutritional behaviour.
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