Diet and lifestyle during pregnancy : pregnant women’s stories

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Agberotimi, Veronica
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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This research project will explore the attitudes of pregnant women towards smoking and drinking of alcohol and caffeine and general lifestyle during pregnancy and will also discusses guilt and justification regarding smoking and drinking of alcohol and caffeine during pregnancy. Qualitative research method was used. Semi structured interviews were carried out with 6 participants, Irish pregnant women. Thematic analysis was used, data was coded and themes were found using NVIVO 10 software. The purpose of this research is to give pregnant women an opportunity to tell their own stories about their experience of being pregnant, why do they continue with their lifestyle, and what are their awareness of the effect of smoking and drinking of alcohol and caffeine and their lifestyle on their pregnancy and foetus. The aim is to examine the attitudes towards smoking and drinking of alcohol and caffeine, diet, sleeping pattern and exercising during pregnancy: guilt and justification as reported by pregnant women and factors that influence them to continue with their habits. The emerged themes highlight a wide range of issues; Participants justify their habit by pointing out some factors that influences their lifestyle during pregnancy such as a need to escape realty, problems with partner and social environment, marketing and craving. This research highlighted a gap in knowledge that ―all pregnant women were aware about the effect of smoking and drinking of alcohol and their general lifestyle on foetus and pregnancy while majority of women were unaware of the effect of drinking of caffeine during pregnancy. The research was based on a small sample and the results cannot be projected onto general population and more research on the issue is needed. Keywords: pregnant women, foetus, diet, lifestyles, unhealthy, habit, smoking, drinking, cigarette, alcohol, caffeine.