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Table 2 Reasons for avoiding certain foods and liquids during pregnancy

From: Traditional food taboos and practices during pregnancy, postpartum recovery, and infant care of Zulu women in northern KwaZulu-Natal

Education background
None
n = 23
Grades 1–7
n = 24
Grades 8–12
n = 63
TEd
n = 30
Total
n = 140 (%)
Food and liquid avoided Reason(s)
17 14 46 25 102 (73) Butternut (Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poir.), mango (Mangifera indica L.),
Naartjie (Citrus reticulata Blanco), papaya (Carica papaya L.) , orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch)
Baby will have jaundice, hair loss
11 18 42 15 86 (61) Chili (Capsicum spp.), ice Baby will have burned skin or dark marks, rash and blisters appear before birth, causes diarrhea, causes red spot (ibala), the baby will cry a lot
12 13 38 16 79 (56) Eggs Baby will have no hair, causes jaundice
6 7 34 11 58 (41) Sweets, sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.), commercial fruit
Juice, sweet food, honey
Baby will drool after birth, have too much saliva, and develop eczema
7 9 23 10 49 (35) Alcohol Baby will be born sick, unhealthy, disabled or brain damage
6 6 11 6 29 (21) Imifino (green leafy vegetables) Baby will have too much saliva after birth, burn the skin of the baby, cause dark marks on skin
7 4 12 5 28 (20) Amasi (fermented milk) or Milk Baby will vomit and have heartburn after birth, too much dandruff, baby will be born with white stuff on the head, the baby will be lazy inside and not being clean when born
3 3 13 4 23 (16) Any cold food, drink and ice Baby will get pneumonia, cause kidney problems, may cause the baby to have skin problem and be underweight
2 3 15 2 22 (15) Coke, soft drink, fizzy drinks Burns baby skin, reduce milk production, causes asthma, acid will harm the baby, causes high blood pressure to the mother
2 3 2 1 8 (6) Too much fat (oily food) Mother will develop high blood pressure, increases heart rate, the baby will get fat, causes heart disease to the baby
2   5 1 8 (6) Caffeine energy drinks, coffee Causes abortion or miscarriage, increases blood pressure
  2 4 2 8 (6) Liver Baby will be born with no hair
   1 3 4 (3) Lemon (Citrus limon (L. Osbeck) Will have a small (underweight baby)
  2 2   4 (3) Tea (hot) Burn skin of the baby
2    1 3 (2) Red meat The baby will have gout, allergies, causes skin irritation
1 1 1   3 (2) Bird meat Baby will be very small, will talk too much, mother will have low supply of milk
   2 1 3 (2) Soil Block the tubes, causes jaundice, the baby will come out holding the soil
  1 2   3 (2) Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) Baby will come out with whitish stuff, baby will vomit a lot
1   1   2 (1) Goat meat If the father’s surname is Mathenjwa and you eat goat meat, the baby will be stupid or crazy, if the father’s surname is Dlamini and you eat goat meat, the baby will lose hearing ability
1    1 2 (1) Sour food Baby will have malnutrition or skinny
   2   2 (1) Salt Causes high blood pressure
   2   2 (1) Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Gives the mother heartburn
   2   2 (1) Muthi (herbal mixture) Harms the baby
1   1   2 (1) Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) Increases the baby’s weight making it harder to deliver
   2   2 (1) Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.) Pineapple causes miscarriage in early pregnancy
1     1 (0.7) Rabbit meat Baby’s eyes will always be open like a rabbit
1     1 (0.7) Rice (Oryza sativa L.) No growth value for the baby
  1    1 (0.7) Polony (process sausage) Baby will have no hair
  1    1 (0.7) Drinking too much water Baby’s joints will be weak
1     1 (0.7) Bone marrow Baby will have runny nose
  1    1 (0.7) Intethe (grasshopper) (Caelifera spp.) Baby will have a long head
   1   1 (0.7) Butternut and pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) Baby’s face will be dark black
   1   1 (0.7) Apples (Malus domestica Borkh) The baby will be born bald
   1   1 (0.7) Mganu alcohol (Marula beer) (Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich) Hochst.subsp.caffra (Sond.)Kokwaro) The baby will become a drunkard
    1 1 (0.7) Laxatives Induces abortion
    1 1 (0.7) Chicken feet Baby will have 6 fingers
    1 1 (0.7) Samp (crushed white maize) Baby will be skinny
    1 1 (0.7) Sea food Baby will be born bald
    1 1 (0.7) Isithubi (made from cow milk) Because you are pregnant, no specific reason
    1 1 (0.7) Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Causes heartburn to mother
   1   1 (0.7) Amabele (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) Causes sexual activeness
1     1 (0.7) Meat prepared for ceremonies Considered as unhealthy
    1 1 (0.7) Fruits Causes excess body weight on the baby
    1 1 (0.7) Amadumbe leaves (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) Affects the eyesight of the baby
    1 1 (0.7) Imbati (Obetia tenax (N.E.Br.) Friis) Affects the eyesight of the baby
  1. n number of participants responded, TEd tertiary education, Grade refers to the twelve classes (grades 1–12) that one attends at basic education before qualifying for the senior certificate to tertiary institutions