• Olufunke Olufunsho ADEGOKE
  • Ayodele Samuel JEGEDE


pregnant women, postpartum women, health care providers, nutritional behaviour, gestation period, the Yoruba


 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.      


Agus, Y and Horiuchi, S. 2012. Factors influencing the use of antenatal care in rural West Sumatra, Indonesia. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. Volume 12, Page 9: 1471-2393

Ajiboye, O.E and Adebayo, K.A. 2012. Socio-cultural factors affecting pregnancy outcome among the

Ogu speaking people of Badagary Area of Lagos state, Nigeria. International Journnal of

Humanities and Social Science. Volume 2, Page 4

Akeredolu , I.A., Osisanya , J.O., Okafor, J.C and Seriki-Mosadolorun, J. 2014. Pregnancy Outcomes of

Women in Lagos State: Is Nutrition Education Responsible? Pakistan Journal of Nutrition.

Volume 13, Number 1: 7-11. ISSN 1680-5194.

Akin-Otiko B.O and Bhengu, B.R. 2012. Client education experiences and expectations of women at the

first level of maternal and child care in Kaduna state. Nigeria. Midwifery, 28(6):e893-e89

Bamidele, J.O., Adebimpe, W.O and Oladele, E.A. 2009. Knowledge, attitude and use of alternative

medical therapy amongst urban residents of Osun State, southwestern Nigeria. African Journal of

Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. May 7; 6(3), :281- 288.

Bawadia, H.A., Al-Kuranb, O., Al-Bastonia, L.A., Tayyemc, R.F., Jaradatd, A., Tuurie, G., Al-Beitwif, S.N

and Al-Mehaisenb. 2010. Gestational nutrition improves outcomes of vaginal deliveries in Jordan:

an epidemiologic screening. Journal of Nutrition Research. 30(2), 110-117.

Fallah, F., Pourabbas, A., Delpisheh, A., Veisani, Y., Shadnoush, M. 2013. Effects of nutrition education

on levels of nutritional awareness of pregnant women in western Iran. International Journal of

Endocrinology and Metabolism. 11(3), 175-178.

Isreal, A., Sebbag, G., Fraser, D and Levy, I. 2005. Nutritional Behaviour as a Predictor of Early

Success after Vertical Gastroplasty. Obesity Surgery.15(1), 88-94.

Khoushabi, F. And Saraswathi, G. 2010. Association between maternal nutrition status and birth weight

of neonates in selected hospitals in Mysore City, India. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 9(12), 1124 – 1130

Lavender, T and Smith, D. 2015. Seeing it through their eyes: a qualitative study of the pregnancy

experiences of women with a body mass index of 30 or more. Wiley Online Library.

DOI: 10.1111/hex.12339

Lucas, C., Charlton, K and Yeatman, H. 2014. Nutrition Advice During Pregnancy: Do Women Receive it

and Can Health Professionals Provide it? Maternal and Child Health Journal. 18(10), 2465-2478.

Mirsanjari, M., Wan Muda, W.A., Ahmad, A.A., Othman, M.S., Mosavat, M and Mirsanjari, M.M. 2012.

Relationship between Nutritional Knowledge and Healthy Attitude and Practice during

Pregnancy. Borneo Science, 31: September.

Morton , S., Grant, C., Wall, C., Carr, P., Bandara, D., Schmidt, J., Ivory, V., Inskip, H and Camargo, C

Jr. 2014.Adherence to nutritional guidelines in pregnancy: evidence from the Growing Up in New

Zealand birth cohort study. Public Health Nutrition. 17(9) 1919-1929

Nigerian National Demographic Health Survey 2008.

Nigerian National Demographic Health Survey 2013.

Oteng-Ntim, E., Varma, R., Croker, H., Poston, L and Doyle, P. 2012. Lifestyle interventions for

overweight and obese pregnancy women to improve pregnancy outcome: systematic review

and meta-analysis. BMC Medicine,10:47

Perez-Escamilla, R., Hromi-Fiedler, A., Vega-Lopez, S., Bermudez-Millan, A and Segura-Perez, S.

Impact of peer nutrition education on dietary behaviours and health outcomes among

Latinos: a systematic literature review. Journal Nutrition Education Behaviour, 40(4),:208-225.

Perumal, N., Cole, D.C., Ouédraogo, H.Z., Sindi, K., Loechl, C., Low, J., Levin, C., Kiria, C., Kurji, J and

Oyunga, M. 2013. Health and nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices of pregnant women

attending and not-attending ANC clinics in Western Kenya: a cross-sectional analysis. BMC

Pregnancy and Childbirth. 13:146 doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-146

Ramakrishnan, U. (2004) Nutrition and low birth weight: from research to practice. American Journal of

Clinical Nutrition. 79, 17- 21.

Rosenstock, I.M. 1974. Historic Origins of the Health Belief Model. Health Education Monographs.

, 328 - 335.

Sabine, K.K., Li, W. And Jose, M.W. 2013. Behaviour of pregnant women towards the use of prenatal

care services: a comparative study between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

International Journal of Nursing Practice. 19(Suppl. 3), 64-72

Szwajcer, E.M; Hiddink, G.J; Koelen, M.A and van Woerkum, C.M. 2005. Nutrition related information

seeking behaviours before and throughout the course of pregnancy: consequences for nutrition

communication. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 59(Suppl.1) , S57 – S65.

Van Eijk, A.M., Bles, H.M., Odhiambo, F, Ayisi, J.G., Blokland, I.E., Rosen, D.H., Adazu, K., Slutsker, L

and Lindblade, K.A. 2006. Use of antenatal services and delivery care among women in rural

western Kenya: a community based survey. Reproductive Health., 3, 2.

Weber, M. 1978. Economy and Society. Berkley: University of California Press

World Health Organization 2009.World Health Statistics.