Every year “April 11” is commemorated as the “National Safe Motherhood Day” an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI), with vision of a country where the right of all women to be safe and healthy prior, during and after childbirth is endorsed. India is the first country to officially declare a National Safe Motherhood Day across the world in 2013.
Nutrition requirements increase during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Additional nutrition support is essential during these stages to maintain proper health and ensure the safety of mother. Need of nutrients such as calories, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals increases. Therefore, a well balanced rainbow diet comprising of all the food groups in an adequate amount is necessary to maintain the good nutrition status.
Key points to ponder:
- Eat more calorie rich foods such as whole grain cereals (whole wheat pasta, bread, Sufi, porridge, etc).
- Consume milk& milk products, eggs, lean meat and calcium rich foods in ample amount.
- Consume seasonal fruits & vegetables in adequate amount.
- Do not drink caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee along with meals and limit the coffee intake during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of water
- Take iron and folic acid supplements during pregnancy and after birth for at least 3 months.
- Always take iron tablets with meals or with citrus juices as it increases the absorption
- Use iodised salt to prevent iodine deficiency related disorders like learning disabilities, poor physical and mental growth of the baby and goitre in the mother.
- Vitamin A supplementation is necessary immediately after birth to ensure that breast milk delivers vitamin A to the baby in an adequate amount.
- Avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco.
Essential Nutrients, their requirement and source