Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The purpose of the present study was to identify traditional practices and the extent to which they are practiced by mothers during pregnancy, birth, the postpartum period, and newborn care. Materials and methods: This study was conducted in the city center of Konya (Turkey). Data were collected through questionnaires completed by volunteers. The research sample comprised 450 mothers, all of whom had given birth to at least one live baby. The forms were completed during face-to-face interviews. Results: Some traditional pregnancy practices were followed by 70.7% of the participants. Of the women who performed these practices, 57.4% consciously chose foods they craved, tried not to take nutrients believed to be unsuitable in pregnancy, and took nutrients believed to influence the sex of the baby; 85.6% reported breastfeeding their babies in the first 4 h after birth and 9.7% waited for the first call to prayer (azan) to start breastfeeding. Additionally, 72.2% of the mothers reported performing kırklama (making the forties), a ceremony performed to celebrate the 40th day after a baby's birth. Conclusion: Most of the women who participated in the study still followed some traditional practices and rituals during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Therefore, health care professionals should provide health education that accounts for the women's cultural and social environment.


Traditional practices, pregnancy, birth, postpartum period

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