This report is a summary of findings from a CIHR-funded study Optimizing Food Choices and Practices in the Prenatal Period for Immigrant Women. The main objective of the study was to explore how health beliefs and practices of immigrant women affect their food choices and practices during the perinatal period. To meet the study objective, we employed a focused ethnographic approach combined with photovoice; semi-structured interviews were conducted twice with each participant, the second interview utilizing photos taken by participants. The photos were of foods women were required to eat or avoid during the perinatal period, as well as actual foods consumed. This report uses images taken by participants to illustrate concepts and beliefs.
This report is divided into 4 sections. The first section provides an overview of the study design and a general synopsis of the findings. The following sections provide specific information on food beliefs and practices among three distinct immigrant communities. The intent is that these sections can be used alone while consulting with members from those communities, and will help you, the health practitioner; discover ways to integrate dietary recommendations with unique cultural food beliefs and practices. It is our hope that similar factsheets could be developed for other communities, and be incorporated into materials already in use by clinicians.