Becoming a parent is regarded as a crucial event in the life course, inducing changes in dietary behaviors. However, little is known about how the healthiness of diets and eating habits is influenced during this transition. Qualitative problem-centered interviews with 15 Danish mothers were analyzed by content analysis. Three stages within the transition are identified. Pregnancy and birth can be perceived as separate turning points in women’s dietary behaviors. In addition, the child joining the family table affects parental diets. Factors of major influence in the three stages were the following: first, responsibility for the child, pregnancy discomfort, and liberation from weight concerns; second, the baby’s digestive discomfort, time scarcity, and social visits; and third, work environment, child care, the child’s food needs, and prioritizing the child’s nutrition. The results indicate a need to differentiate between transition stages, especially in order to curb a “drop” into unhealthy behaviors after birth.
Journal of Family Issues, 2013, Vol 34, Issue 10, p. 1335-1355
parents; eating habits; health; life course; transition; MAPP