Date of Conferral







Leann M. Stadtlander


Ghanaian women, in their native country, experience a high rate of anemia, malaria, and malnutrition while pregnant. Poor health outcomes for mother and child are caused by a lack of protein in their diet, food taboos, consumption of nutrient-poor foods, and infections. These conditions may cause pregnancy complications such as premature birth, or maternal or fetal death. There is little known about, the differences between the Ghanaian and U.S. birth experience, and foods used by Ghanaian immigrant women while pregnant. The biopsychosocial model was used in this descriptive qualitative study to examine how Ghanaian immigrant women are impacted by pregnancy in the United States. Participants were 25 Ghanaian immigrant women who self-reported having been pregnant in the United States. They were interviewed about their beliefs and experiences concerning the effects of food taboos on maternal nutrition and fetal development. These interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and developed into themes. The results showed traumatic experience in Ghana giving birth while having an easier time in the United States. They perceived their ethnic food to be healthier than American food. In Ghana, cash was required to get medical care while in the United States they had health insurance. In Ghana, they had more family support while pregnant while in the United States they were mainly supported by their husbands. The results of the current study may be used for positive social change by helping U.S. healthcare practitioners understand the needs of their Ghanaian pregnant patients.