Open Access Beliefs and Practices of First Nation Women about Weight Gain during Pregnancy and Lactation: Implications for Women's Health Les croyances et les pratiques des femmes des Premières nations au sujet de la prise de poids pendant la grossesse et la période d'allaitement : implications en matière de santé des femmes

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Abstract:

Many Cree women in northern Quebec experience excessive weight gain during pregnancy and retain the weight between pregnancies. This contributes to poor maternal-fetal outcomes and increased rates of obesity-related health problems. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to explore (a) Cree women's perceptions of weight gain in pregnancy and weight loss following pregnancy, (b) the barriers that women face in maintaining a healthy body weight, and (c) the sociocultural context of health. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 women who had given birth within the preceding 12 months. Many women spoke of the negative health consequences of excessive weight gain, yet they found it difficult to lose weight due to individual constraints such as lack of time, cultural beliefs about diet while breastfeeding, and community constraints including lack of child care and lack of community programs for mothers.

French
De nombreuses femmes cries vivant dans le nord du Québec prennent du poids de façon excessive pendant la grossesse et conservent ce poids entre les grossesses. Un tel état engendre des problèmes de santé materno-fœtaux et une augmentation des taux de maladies liées à l'obésité. Cette étude qualitative descriptive a pour objectif d'explorer (a) les perceptions que détiennent les femmes cries concernant la prise de poids pendant la grossesse et la perte de poids après l'accouchement; (b) les obstacles auxquels les femmes font face quant au maintien d'un poids santé; et (c) la santé et le contexte socioculturel. Des entrevues semi-structurées ont été menées auprès de 30 femmes qui avaient accouché au cours des 12 derniers mois. Nombre de femmes ont témoigné des effets néfastes que produit une pr ise excessive de poids sur leur santé. Néanmoins, elles avaient de la difficulté à maigrir en raison de contraintes individuelles, tels le manque de temps et les croyances culturelles concernant l'alimentation pendant l'allaitement, et aussi à cause de contraintes collectives, dont l'absence de services à l'enfance et de programmes communautaires à l'intention des mères.

Keywords: BREASTFEEDING; FIRST NATION WOMEN'S HEALTH; PREGNANCY; SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH; WEIGHT GAIN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • CJNR is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published by the McGill University School of Nursing since 1969. With world-wide circulation, CJNR's primary mandate is to publish original nursing research that develops basic knowledge for the discipline and examines the application of the knowledge in practice. Research related to education and history is also welcomed, as are methodological, theoretical, and review papers that advance nursing science. Letters or commentaries about published articles are encouraged. Learn more.
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