Traditional Childbearing Beliefs and Practices among Mothers at a District Hospital in Goa

  • Preksha P Vernekar Assistant Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Goa Medical College, Goa, India.
  • Jagadish A Cacodcar Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Goa Medical College, Goa, India.
  • Minaxi Panandikar Senior Gynaecologist, Directorate of Health Services, Goa, India
  • Ira Almeida Senior Pediatrician, Directorate of Health Services, Goa, India
Keywords: Tradition, Cultural Practices, Pregnancy, Infant, Maternal Health


Background: Traditional health practices are observed by mothers
in every region of the world with varying frequency. They often get
influenced by their peers and elders and follow some potentially harmful
practices during their childbearing period.
Aim: To identify and describe various traditional beliefs and practices
observed during pregnancy among mothers at South Goa District
Methods: This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study. It was conducted
over a period of 3 months (March-May 2019) among postnatal mothers
by interviewing study participants about various cultural beliefs and
practices observed during pregnancy. Data were entered into an Excel
spreadsheet and analysed using SPSS version 22.
Results: Nearly two-thirds of the study participants (68.75%) avoided
going outdoors and laid in bed during an eclipse while 42.5% avoided
sleeping on the abdomen or slept in the left lateral position to avoid
birth defects in babies. To predict the sex of the baby, 12.5% of the
mothers believed that if a pregnant lady craves sweet food, it’s a girl
and if she craves sour/ salty food, it’s a boy while 11.5% believed that
if a pregnant woman is carrying low, it’s a boy. With respect to food
taboos, 53.75% of the mothers believed in avoiding ‘hot’ foods and
eating ‘cold’ foods during pregnancy.
Conclusion: The study highlights the popular traditional childbearing
practices observed among mothers as a means of creating awareness
among health professionals in order to discourage possible harmful
practices and promote beneficial practices for a safe and healthy


How to cite this article:
Vernekar PP, Cacodar JA, Panandikar M, Almeida
I. Traditional Childbearing Beliefs and Practices
among Mothers at a District Hospital in Goa.
Epidem Int. 2021;6(3):27-33.


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