Following the cultural norms as an effort to protect the mother and the baby during the perinatal period: An ethnographic study of women's food choices

Vella Yovinna Tobing, Yati Afiyanti, Imami Nur Rachmawati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: An ethnographical approach was applied to explore cultural practices that influence women's consumption behavior in the perinatal period in Pulau Godang Kari, a village in Riau, Indonesia. Methods: This study involved 27 participants consisting of pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, family members, a traditional birth attendant, a midwife, and community leaders. This study used observation, focus group discussion, and interviews and applied thematic data analysis. Results: The findings identified some rules and taboos about food consumed during the perinatal period. There are “good” and “bad” foods to consume, as well as the prescribed time for restriction and amount of food intake. Pregnant women choose to conform to the beliefs to protect themselves and the baby. Conclusions: Culture has a strong influence on food choice decision-making. These findings highlight that family participation in perinatal care is essential to address.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnfermeria Clinica
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019



  • Cultural practices
  • Food choices
  • Nutrition
  • Perinatal period
  • Traditional food restrictions

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