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Table 5 Food restrictions, cultural beliefs, food production, and food diversification-related barriers found from FGD in Konso district, southern Ethiopia, 2019

From: Prevalence of undernutrition and its associated factors among pregnant women in Konso district, southern Ethiopia: a community-based cross-sectional study

Categories Responses
1. Food restrictions, cultural believe related barriers. A 31 years old age pregnant mother said: “… Culturally, pregnant women are not allowed to eat egg, butter, milk, other milk products, and avocado during pregnancy. The reason why it is not allowed to eat the list of food items above is, we believe when the pregnant mother ate these foods, the baby became very big and our fear is the mother will face difficulty in childbirth.”
Another 31 years pregnant woman said:
There is one quote related to using butter in a meal during pregnancy and this quote is used when people explaining something that is not relevant to be discussed or told before it is real-time or proud with something which is hope but not at hand. This saying is: Why you drink butter before the fetus delivered from mother’s womb”
A 35 years old participant “… The practice and attitude of some specific parts of food restriction is currently changing but commonly practiced in illiterate community and traditional believes followers.”
A 58 years mother in low responded for the time when some foods restricted during pregnancy as:-
“… It is from her early pregnancy or as she knows she is pregnant, mostly since the 4th month or second trimester of pregnancy. She also stated, the Cause for physical health deterioration in my opinion is; there is a food shortage in our area, but food sharing practice within the family in our community has its problem. The community gives priority to husbands and elders in food sharing and mothers who engaged in food sharing and small kids left with residual. Sometimes the remaining food might not adequately support mothers in their nutrition and mother will fall in food inadequate.”
A 38 years old pregnant woman’s husband said:
“… Off course, our area is drought-prone and frequently affected by drought, but besides that, some husbands have not given attention to their wives and family because our community is male dominant and males are the decision-makers for all family-related issues. on the other hand, males are mobile (moves from place to place for work-related purposes) and can have an opportunity to get a variety of foods but mothers and small kids are restricted to stay at home so that they lack the opportunity to get a variety of food.”
2. Food production-related barriers Agriculture and natural resource office head said: “… The area is drought-prone frequently affected by drought. The farming is rain-dependent and the rainfall pattern is inerratic every year, the soil is seriously degraded and the landholding size is also very small which is 0.25–0.5 ha per household which cannot adequately be the source for family food”
Agriculture and natural resource department head said: “… Food shortage is common in our district, currently the district is categorized as priority one district in early warning, four thousand six hundred twenty-seven people included in safety net program,31,570 people are exposed to emergence, almost one-third of the population is in food insecurity status.”
3. Food diversification practice-related barriers A community health worker said: “… The health extension workers in the community are giving nutrition education in food diversification. However, nutrition counseling uptaking and implementation by our mothers is compromised, almost all households have chicken, producing egg and fruits grown in the garden but, most of them used to sell for household income rather than used for consumption. This indicates the poor nutritional status of pregnant women is not only associated with lack of food but also diversification of food is not commonly practiced”
A community health worker said: “… The feeding practice in our community is a little bit different, the food content is not diversified, taking snacks and additional meal during pregnancy is not common and nutrition education activities at the community level are not strong besides to very low socio-economic status of the community”
“… Family meal preparation trend is also totally changed in my observation, the meal for the family is only prepared once at night and the whole day people are depending on a locally prepared drink called Chaka including pregnant mothers itself. community health workers
Again he said, “Our district is supported by therapeutic supplementary feeding program for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children under five years of age, but community-level health services such as screening mothers and children for their nutritional status is not strong.”