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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2013 Apr;39(4):799-805. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2012.02035.x. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

Dietary practices of Saudi women during puerperium.

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Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Buraidah, Al-Qassim, KSA.



Poor maternal health sometimes can be a consequence of practicing different myths during puerperium. This cross-sectional study describes the practice of different myths regarding diet among Saudi women.


The study comprised women attending the postnatal clinic at the Mother and Child Hospital in Buraidah from January to December 2011.


Almost 65.9% of women were using a combination of herbs such as ginger (zingiber officinale), hilba (fenugreek) and black seeds (nigella sativa). The multinomial logistic regression of herbs on age, education, occupation, parity and mode of delivery was statistically significant (χ² [48] = 214.645, P < 0.001). Hilba was more commonly used by women with instrumental delivery. It was common for women to avoid different fruits and vegetables (33.89%). Eggs were avoided by 16.5% of women and 11% avoided cold drinks. The multinomial logistic regression of diet on age, education, occupation, parity and mode of delivery was statistically significant (χ² [72] = 389.861, P < 0.001). Individuals below college level education were more likely to avoid fruits, vegetables and cold drinks in their diet.


Health education programs are needed to improve knowledge about dietary malpractices during puerperium. This may help eliminate myths regarding avoidance of certain dietary components.

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