By Asmau Ahmad with Agency Report
Abuja, Dec. 31, 2014 (NAN) Pregnant women have been advised on the need to eat healthy meals to ensure that they have healthy babies and healthy lives.
Dr Lanre Falodun of the National Hospital said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
“In as much as we advise pregnant women to eat healthy meals, they should eat the right thing, we advise them to eat well but they must eat the right thing.
“Pregnant women need to realise that all stages of pregnancy require that they eat healthy meals, because the healthier they are, the easier the pregnancy and delivery period,” he explained.
Falodun stated that it has been observed that some women consciously avoid food in their attempt to watch their weight.
“Many women erroneously believe that they should avoid gaining weight during pregnancy in the mistaken belief that a small, underweight baby will be easier to deliver, this is a fallacy. “You need to gain a certain amount of weight during pregnancy to ensure that your baby develops properly.
“If you start your pregnancy with a normal body weight, then it’s important to allow your body and the developing foetus and placenta to increase in weight by 11.5 to 16kg,” said Falodun.
Speaking on strange food cravings, Falodun also said that it has been observed that some pregnant women suffer from strange food cravings and are sometimes affected by eating perversions or pica.
He said pica is a compulsion for persistent ingestion of unsuitable substances like sand, asbestos, chalk and stones, among others, adding that these things have no nutritional value.
According to him, there is a connection between pica and iron-deficiency anaemia, stating that this could be avoided with consumption of healthy meals.
“Despite the fact that we are now living in the 21st century, many women still adhere to old-fashioned beliefs when it comes to eating during pregnancy, they avoid foods like eggs, meat, fish, milk, pork and liver, to name but a few.
“Such avoidances are, of course, detrimental to the health of both the mother and child,” he said.
He added that pregnant women should avoid the intake of sugary foods, stating that the intake of sugar could lead to a situation whereby sugar crosses the placenta and increases the insulin level in the child. Falodun said this could give rise to having big babies, which could lead to the woman having a cut during childbirth.