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Socio-cultural beliefs among antenatal females in Aligarh

Author: 
Uzma Eram and Tamanna, Z.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: There are a lot of misconceptions and cultural taboos relating to breastfeeding practices .Cultural practices are related to food avoidance, restricted diet during pregnancy and after childbirth. Some of these problems can be overcome if the woman is informed antenatally about the benefits of breast-feeding and other important things .Cultural factors and household food security situation have been identified as underlying factors that influence the nutritional status. The aim of this study was to find out the socio-cultural beliefs among females during their pregnancy in rural areas of Aligarh. Material and Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted during May –July in 2015 in the rural areas of registered villages of Rural Health Training Centre of the Department of Community Medicine, Aligarh. The study population comprised of mothers who had just delivered a baby. Informed consent was taken from each participant. A total of 70 mothers were selected for the study. Questionnaires were prepared for the study. Data was collected and analyzed using SPSS software. Results: More than half of females under study took no special care during pregnancy of their breasts. Some of them clean their breasts with soap and water everyday while bathing. About 60 % of females were given milk with ghee to facilitate easy delivery. Extra pulses or eggs or meat were given in 30% of females during pregnancy. In 10% of females no extra food was given as it increases the weight of the baby. More than half of females were told to do the household work like sweeping and swapping the floor.4.2% of the females under study told that they were asked not to sleep in the afternoon as it will increase the size of the baby.7.2% of females told that they were asked not to walk for a long distance as it causes premature delivery. Sexual intercourse was avoided during the first 3 months in 61.4% of females and during first one month only in 22.8% of them. In 8.5% of females under study, it was avoided till delivery and there was no restriction on it in 7.1% of females. Conclusion: Usually the socio- cultural practices are imposed by elderly females in the family. So they should be given proper information and education regarding pregnancy. Misconceptions should be removed. Exclusive breast feeding should be done till 6 months. Healthy practices should be promoted.

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