Healthy eating guarantees baby’s well-being at birth, beyond — Experts
A dietician, Mr Olusola Malomo, on Thursday advised pregnant women to imbibe the healthy eating habit during pregnancy for proper growth and development of the foetus.
Malomo, who works at the Massey Children Hospital, Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that adopting the healthy eating habit at any stage of pregnancy would be beneficial to the mother and the foetus.
“Adopting a healthy eating plan before pregnancy is the best; a pregnant woman should begin to eat good food so as to keep the mother and baby healthy during pregnancy.
“A nutritious, well-balanced eating plan can be one of the greatest gifts you can give to your developing baby and it will pave way for easy labour.
“The food which expectant mothers eat determines the basic nutritional health which her child is born with, and provides a model for eating habits during childhood and thereafter.
“Try to incorporate vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, lean protein, and other wise food choices into your eating plan before and during pregnancy, to give your baby a strong start in life.
“The food a woman eats on daily basis during pregnancy will affect how her body works, and how she maintains energy and strength for years to come,’’ he said.
Malomo said that mothers who do not eat good food during pregnancy place their babies at risk of severe complications such as premature birth and could cause lung and heart problems.
“Eat protein such as chicken, fish and lean beef. Calcium-based foods are milk, eggs, yoghurt and cabbage. Iron foods are bread, cornmeal, cereals, among others.
He also advised pregnant women to drink more water and avoid alcoholic beverages.
Also, a gynaecologist, Mr Oriola Idris, who works with the White Waters Hospital in Ikorodu, said that pregnant women should avoid tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption.
“Reduce caffeinated beverages from your daily intake, maintain a healthy eating habit throughout your pregnancy and do reasonable exercises, to ease labour and delivery.
“Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any strange step during pregnancy,’’ Idris added.
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