Opinion: The Importance of Maternal Nutrition and Its Impact on Future Generations

Maternal nutrition is the cornerstone of a child’s growth and development. It is necessary for a woman’s health and well-being throughout her life.

Women’s nutrition during, during, and after pregnancy, as well as during breastfeeding, is crucial in determining the health and survival of both the mother and her unborn child.

Pregnant women who are malnourished face greater reproductive risks. They have a higher risk of having an obstructed labor or dying during or after childbirth. Poor nutrition during pregnancy causes kids to grow slowly in the womb, resulting in underweight babies who are more susceptible to diseases when they are born. These women’s breast milk is almost often of poor quality.

Maternal Nutrition’s Intergenerational Effects

The foundation stone for a child’s growth and development is maternal nutrition. It is essential for a woman’s health and well-being at all phases of her life. Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR) is one of the most common causes of stunting (a short stature for one’s age) in the world. The FGR is responsible for one-quarter of all neonatal fatalities worldwide. Stunting of the foetus can be seen as early as 8 weeks of pregnancy. In addition, 70% of the brain develops in the mother’s womb. This physical and mental development will be impaired if the diet is insufficient.

Effects of proper nutrition

The following are some of the important consequences of a mother’s proper nutrition:

A mother’s micronutrient condition improves, and the number of kids born with low-birth-weight decreases.

Reduced maternal mortality rate (MMR) due to postpartum hemorrhage; reduced maternal anemia, sepsis, low birth weight, and premature babies; reduced maternal anemia, sepsis, low birth weight, and premature babies

Abortion/stillbirth, brain damage, and congenital malformations are all reduced when MMR from pre-eclampsia/eclampsia is reduced.

Improved Maternal Nutrition Interventions

Primary preventative strategies to avoid toxoplasmosis infection should be taught to pregnant women, such as washing hands before handling food and properly cleaning all fruits and vegetables, including ready-made salads; thoroughly boiling raw meats and ready-made cold meals before consuming. They should wear gloves and wash their hands completely after handling soil or gardening, avoiding cat faeces in the litter box or in the soil.

Dietary Guidelines for Pregnancy

There is an extra dietary need of 350 kcal and 23g protein during pregnancy. In the second and third trimesters, three complete meals and two nutritious snacks are suggested. Diet quality is linked to diet diversity, which is linked to micronutrient adequacy.

Minimum diet diversity is defined as consuming food from at least 5 of the 10 food groups on a daily basis. Pregnant women who are very underweight are encouraged to have one more high-energy snack (350 kcal).

Women who are overweight or obese should eat modest meals throughout the day and replace two small meals with two nutritious low-calorie (100-150 kcal) snacks. Fried, fatty, and sweetened foods should be avoided.

Obstacles to Good Nutrition During Pregnancy

Many mothers experience nausea and vomiting, as well as a loss of appetite and strange desires. All of these factors may have an impact on the mother’s nutrition. The majority of problems can be dealt with over time and with the help of a doctor’s prescription.

Obesity or being overweight might make it difficult for a woman to eat properly. Medical history of bariatric surgery or other malabsorption-causing diseases. Substance abuse, worm infestation, and long-term illnesses such as tuberculosis can all exacerbate nutritional inadequacies.

Our Take

Request a referral from your doctor. Finding help for an emotional wellness issue can also help you with your care. Ascertain that you are in the care of Safe Hands.

We provide Personalized, Class Leading Care Taker Services for specialized cases like: 

  1. Normal Baby Care
  2. Twin Baby Care
  3. Premature Baby Care
  4. Low Weight Baby Care
  5. Mother Care 

Disclaimer: This website’s content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Such information is provided solely for educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a doctor or qualified health care professional.

Maternal Nutrition

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