Pregnancy is a time of anticipation and excitement, especially for healthy mothers with no known health concerns for their fetus. It is increasingly evident that the lifestyle and health practices of mothers can impact markedly on their own health and that of their fetus. Historically, pregnancy has been associated with ‘blooming maternal health’ and is probably the only period across the life course when positive encouragement for weight gain is given by many.
For the majority of women living in Sub-Saharan Africa, nutrition needs during pregnancy are not met. Many of them suffer from chronic energy deficiency, inadequate weight gain, and poor micronutrient status during pregnancy.
Maternal physiology undergoes many changes during pregnancy that calls for extra nutrients and energy to meet demands of expanding blood supply, the growth of maternal tissues, a developing fetus, loss of maternal tissues at birth and preparation for lactation.
When a woman realizes that she is pregnant, she has to be extra careful with her diet as maternal nutrition affects not only the bearing of a child but also the rearing of the child.
Poor maternal nutrition can lead to:
- Less productive capacity (heavy work-load)
- Increased vulnerability to diseases
- Loss of weight and an unsuccessful pregnancy
An undernourished infant will result in:
- Poor nutrition status
- Frequent illness
Join us in our nutrition series as we guide you on nutrient intake from conception to birth, the dos the don’ts, emerging and reemerging issues and the various misconceptions surrounding diet and pregnancy.