Did you know that the current maternal mortality rate in India is 174 per 100,000 live births? Improving maternal nutrition can go a long way in reducing maternal mortality. Nutrition of the mother plays a key role in maternal and child health.
The nutritional status of a woman pre-conception and during pregnancy influences the growth and development of the baby, as well as forms the foundation for the baby’s health in later years. Hence, ensuring that expecting mothers are well-nourished is very crucial and important.
Maternal malnutrition and its impact
Lack of adequate maternal nutrition during pregnancy can cause health problems for both the mother and baby. For the woman, malnutrition increases the risk of gestational anaemia, high blood pressure, miscarriage, preterm delivery and maternal mortality.
Poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy has an increased risk of having a baby with a low birth weight. Babies who are born at a low birth rate (defined as
Healthy diet for a healthy mother
A healthy maternal diet should include an adequate amount of protein, calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, iodine, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamins. Taking care of maternal health is important to deliver a healthy baby as well as reduce maternal mortality rates.
Factors influencing maternal and child health include
- Lack of access to healthcare
- Lack of adequate nutrition
- Maternal overweight
- Lack of oral hygiene
- Lack of regular exercise
Expectant mothers should have at least four antenatal visits, where the doctor will check for signs of ill health such as underweight, anaemia or infection as well as monitor the health of the baby. Also, these visits enable the doctor to provide you a diet chart and necessary supplements to be taken during pregnancy.
Maternal and child health care is important as it provides an opportunity to identify existing health risks in mothers and to prevent future health problems for both mothers and babies.
Maternal health is a key factor in delivering a healthy baby. Maternal health can be taken care of properly by visiting your gynaecologist regularly, following the recommended diet with adequate nutrients, and being stress-free. The more accurately you follow your maternal nutrition diet, the more immune and healthy your baby will be.