Why a good nutrition is important for maternal and newborn health.

Why a good nutrition is important for maternal and newborn health.

June 28, 2017

Good nutrition is paramount for mothers and babies

When a woman gets pregnant, on one side is an exciting moment, but ton the other side, is a moment filled with worries. Mainly because now, she has to worry not only about her own health, but also about her baby’s health. So, in this matter, there’s always going to be people trying to give advices o give their own opinion to help the new mother, from partners to family members, and even estrangers will always have something to say, to help a woman take care of herself during this beautiful but delicate stage of her life. And, even though some of these advices can be a little bit annoying, the truth is that many of it are really appreciated, especially those ones related to nutrition. And is just that, if in the daily life of a person nutrition is a crucial aspect to maintain good health, it’s even more important for a woman when she is pregnant; because her nutritional state will influence directly and significantly on the sanitary results of the fetus, the lactating baby and its mother. It is important for pregnant women to have a good nutrition that includes all of the necessary nutrients, or otherwise, there could be severe consequences. For example, deficiencies on micronutrients as calcium, iodine and vitamin A can produce bad sanitary results for the mother and cause complications during pregnancy, putting in risk the life of the mother and the child. Besides, bad nutrition during pregnancy, or a nutrition that is not properly guide by a professional, can cause an unnecessary weight gain on the mother, which could lead to gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, amongst other problems. On the other side, an insufficient weight of the mother during her pregnancy cause by a bad diet, increases the risk of premature labor, low birth weight y congenital effects. So, a good nutrition is an extremely important matter to preserve maternal health, such as newborn’s health during labor and breastfeeding. Because yes, breastfeeding process is also affected by a bad nutrition of the mother. Lots of us know about the benefits of breastfeeding, and why it is important for this to be exclusive during the very first 6 months of the baby’s life, however, very few people know about what a mother truly needs to take the most advantage of this process. Breastfeeding in theory is something simple, because is one of the most natural, primitive and pure functions of the human body, but actually doing it has its tricks and cares. Some women believe that they should restrict their diets, giving the fact that everything they eat passes directly to their baby’s trough breast milk, however, even though somehow this can be true, what it is false is that there should be any restriction at all. Women who are breastfeeding can eat anything they want as long as it is between the food group and with moderation, also checking the reactions of their babies with specific food. Human body is extremely wise, and breast milk has all of the nutrients the baby needs during his or her few months of life, as long as his or her mother is taking care of her nutrition. And yes, many women around the world know about all of these facts, they take care of their eating and have access to healthcare professionals that can give them the necessary counseling on the matter, however, many other women and especially those ones in developing countries, do not count with professionals that can give them counseling, or don’t know anything about this matter, or even worst, they don’t even have access to food to be able to take care of their own health and their baby’s health. According to some facts of the org Women Deliver, bad nutrition amongst pregnant women have as a result that around 800.000 babies die every year when they are born. And this is just because these women don’t know how to eat well, or do not count with the economic resources to have a good nutrition on this stage or any stage of their lives. And is just that programs that give this kind of information and counseling to this women on developing countries, barely exist. If only these women could receive some kind of advice or coaching about nutrition during pregnancy, maternal and newborn health could significantly increase. According to the World Health Organization, during a revision of some studies about programs of nutritional orientation during prenatal period, they found out that nutritional counseling or coaching itself, could reduce the risk of premature labor in about 54%. In another revision of other different studies, they found that the effects of nutritional education and coaching were higher when the mothers with low economic incomes, also receive nutritional support, with food complements, micronutrients supplements, or food safety nets. This should be obvious, giving the fact that if there are low economic income surroundings, they do not have access to a big amount of necessary food, much less medicines or supplements, so if they receive help from this kind of programs, they will have direct effects on their health. Some organizations such as Women Deliver have as their main matter, to increase maternal and newborn health, by creating programs that can provide women from developing countries with Access to nutritious food, proper counseling and nutritional practices, that also include women in the design and implementation of this programs, as context experts.

The most important thing though, is to spread the Word, and that each and every one of us are informed about our possibilities, about why it is important for women and children to have a good nutrition to secure maternal and newborn health, knowing that this could have direct effects on their health and the newborns as well.

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