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Cultural practices and beliefs are important factors that could influence a woman’s dietary choices during pregnancy. We investigated food beliefs among pregnant women in Northern Ghana. In-depth interviews were conducted with thirty women, selected from three districts. We describe food beliefs regarding ‘recommended’ and ‘prohibited’ foods during pregnancy. There was a general agreement among participants about the recommended foods but not on the prohibited foods. For example, for some banana was regarded as prohibited, while for others it was recommended. Hypersensitivity to smell was attributed to nausea, vomiting and spiting and was largely the most important factor that could modify dietary habits of those who experienced it. Pregnancy is a sensitive phase and thus requires critical care and attention. Therefore, individualized counseling during antenatal clinics instead of the ongoing mass education is recommended as this will help address conditions peculiar to individual pregnancies.
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