Pregnancy is a very tough physically, mentally and emotional stage. Especially for women who belong to lower-income groups and social groups, diets are often overlooked during all pregnancy periods. At the same time, maternal malnutrition is very common and it is highly responsible for maternal mortality and infants with low birth weight. So, addition foods are important to improve up to 10 to 12 kg of weight in pregnancy and up to 3 kg of birth weight. It is also very important to provide additional healthcare and food to lactating and pregnant women.
Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation
Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to nutrition for lactating and pregnant women:
- Pregnancy is a very demanding period in nutrition and physical level. So, additional food is important to meet the needs of fetus.
- A woman develops body fat during the period of pregnancy in order to meet vital nutritional needs for the baby.
- A lactating woman should be given additional food to secrete the right quality and amount of milk and to protect her health.
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Some Nutrition Tips for Lactation and Pregnancy Period
- Take the right amount of food during pregnancy
- Eat whole grains, fermented foods and sprouted grams
- Eat proper amount of fruits and vegetables
- Take meat, milk, eggs in right amounts
- Avoid food taboos and superstitions
- Consume fol-ate, iron and calcium supplements after 15 to 16 weeks of pregnancy and go with the same in lactation
- Don’t consume tobacco and alcohol and take medicines only when it is prescribed
Food Safety in Pregnancy and Lactation
Food safety is equally important in such periods. Your immunity to ward off an infection or disease is affected during pregnancy and lactation. Along with it, the fetal system is not matured enough as well. Hence, you are more likely to get sick, even by eating unhygienic food. It is known as food poisoning. It is just symptomatic like diarrhea, nausea to the severe level which can also cause premature delivery or miscarriage. So, keep your food safe and avoid food-borne diseases with these steps –
- Clean all the fruits and vegetables properly
- Pay proper attention to the foods which are taken raw like salads
- Keep the area clean where you prepare food
- Wash your hands before and after taking meals
- Avoid cross-contamination. Clean meat and vegetables separately.
- Consider the right temperature for cooking food
- Don’t consume partially cooked food
- Refrigerate the food in closed containers.
- Let the food to get back to room temperature before reheating it.
All in all, you should create a healthy and safe environment when it comes to preparing food. Food safety and hygiene should always be considered.