maternal nutrition: As it brings a lot of happiness and chuckles to the family, every person in the family must focus on the nutritional status of pregnant women as it relates to the bearing and nourishment of the infant. Insufficient food or the deficiency of a specific nutrient, such as iron, is clearly implicated in contemporary maternal malnutrition.
Often, however, a heavy work-load, limited access to basic resources pushes a woman with marginally adequate food intake into a state of undernutrition.
The pregnancy needs of nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B. Folate, iron, protein, have been assessed by WHO for the betterments of maternity.
The nutritional status of women at the time of conception and during pregnancy are major determinants of the pregnancy outcome as evidenced by the health, growth, and development of the fetus and the newborn.
The most common Nutritional Deficiency in Maternity are:
Iron Deficiency Anemia: This is the most used mineral in the body. It is used to make hemoglobin (a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues). Pregnancy increases the volume of blood present in the body in order to accommodate the changes within the body and helps the developing baby create its own blood supply. Iron deficiencies can lead to the onset of auditory nervous system disorders.
Control of iron deficiency:
- Take iron supplements (if prescribed by a doctor)
- Eat iron-rich foods like meat, fish, tofu, green leafy Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, and importantly dried fruits like date palm, almond, figs, etc.)
Calcium deficiency: Pregnant women should have an adequate amount of calcium for the developing baby to ensures that baby develops with strong bones, teeth, healthy nervous system, and muscles.
Control of calcium deficiency:
- Pregnant women should take calcium supplements ranging from 800 mg to 1000mg every day.
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt should be encouraged.
- The calcium consumption during second and third trimester is most needed along with other Nutrients.
Iodine Deficiency: Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. During pregnancy, thyroid hormone production increases by 50%. A deficiency in Iodine during pregnancy lead to decreased intellect in children.
Control of iodine deficiency:
- Consumption of Iodine supplements (150mcg) daily as prescribed by the doctor.
- Eat iodine rich foods like strawberries, cranberries, fish and eggs.
Zinc deficiency: One of the essential mineral that plays an impact role in all stages of pregnancy is zinc. Deficiency might lead to early miscarriage.
Control of zinc deficiency:
- Consuming zinc supplements ranging from 9mg to 11mg daily are safe.
- Eating zinc rich foods might help to reduce the pre-term birth in early pregnancy.
Vitamin D deficiency: A lack or deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to abnormal bone growth, fractures, or rickets in newborns.
Control of vitamin D deficiency:
- The best intake of Vitamin D is through fatty fish and adequate sunlight in the early mornings.
Omega-3 fatty acids deficiency: Omega-3 fatty acid, which helps in the baby’s brain development and promotes a better attention span and a greater learning capacity. A deficiency can lead to low birth weight and make the mother more susceptible to maternal depression after pregnancy.
Control of Omega fatty acids deficiency:
- Consuming foods like salmon, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, cauliflower, avocadoes may help prevent.
Therefore, all the pregnant women should be counselled by local nurse or gynecologist for the healthy outcome during labor.
All they need is love, care and nutritious food during their pregnancy.
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