Traditional Beliefs and Practices Regarding Pregnancy of Acehnese Woman: A Qualitative Approach
Cultural beliefs in pregnancy exist in almost various cultures in the world. Health practitioners must be aware of these issues so they can contextualize health practices. This study aims to explore the existing cultural beliefs and practices within Acehnese pregnant women. This qualitative study involved data collection through Focus Group Discussion of 24 pregnant women in Aceh Besar District, Aceh. Furthermore, the data were analyzed with Inductive Content Analysis method. From the discussion, the results were grouped into 3 themes and 7 sub-themes, which are: 1) Outlawed attitudes (restricted food items, restricted behaviours); 2) Cultural beliefs (special pregnancy custom, relying on traditional leaders) and 3) Maternal responses on the cultural values (positive motivation to follow cultural beliefs, doubt in following cultural beliefs, rationalizing cultural beliefs). There are many cultural beliefs and practices affecting pregnancy, which are still maintained. Some of these beliefs are acceptable and give positive effects on the pregnancy, but there are some must be replaced with better beliefs. Understanding this complexity is the first step to improve the pregnant women awareness so they can carry out pregnancy more properly. Health workers are expected to understand and to combine these beliefs and practices with the health service settings.