Traditional postpartum dietary practices and maternal nutritional status
Introduction: In Malaysia, new mothers commonly practice traditional postpartum dietary restrictions, which generally involve food proscriptions and prescriptions. These practices may affect the success of breastfeeding as it may impact the ability to meet the increased nutritional requirements during lactation period. This review examines the postpartum dietary practices of different cultures. It also intends to assess maternal nutritional status during the confinement period. Methods: A literature search was conducted through Mendeley software and PubMed (from year 2001 to 2016) by the keywords postpartum, practices, dietary, beliefs, culture, and nutritional status. Search by bibliography was also done. Results: A total of 30 literatures were examined in this review, which included quantitative and qualitative studies. Typically, mothers in Eastern cultures avoid intake of particular foods perceived to have properties of “cold”, “gassy”, “itchy”, etc. A study found that women in confinement have 19% lower mean energy intake as compared to Malaysian Recommended Nutrients Intake (RNI) and more than 90% of mothers did not meet nutritional requirements for some micronutrients and minerals. As lactating mother needs higher energy and nutrients intake, food restrictions practiced during this period may impact their ability to meet these nutritional requirements. Consequently, the lactation process may be affected. Conclusions: More investigations are needed to determine the potential effects of dietary postnatal restrictions on maternal nutritional status and lactation practices. This is necessary to optimize the effectiveness of breastfeeding, which would enhance the intermediate as well as the future health of the country’s next generations.
How to Cite
All material submitted for publication is assumed to be submitted exclusively to the IIUM Medical Journal Malaysia (IMJM) unless the contrary is stated. Manuscript decisions are based on a double-blinded peer review process. The Editor retains the right to determine the style and if necessary, edit and shorten any material accepted for publication.
IMJM retain copyright to all the articles published in the journal. All final ‘proof’ submissions must be accompanied by a completed Copyright Assignment Form, duly signed by all authors. The author(s) or copyright owner(s) irrevocably grant(s) to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the research article in its entirety or in part, in any format or medium, provided that no substantive errors are introduced in the process, proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given, and that the bibliographic details are not changed. If the article is reproduced or disseminated in part, this must be clearly and unequivocally indicated.