National Nutrition Week: Why Essential Nutrients for a Pregnant Woman

Fresh Fruits and vegetables. Health and diet background

According to WHO, due to iodine deficiency during pregnancy, the brain of a newborn child is not able to develop. Due to this, the child faces diseases like cerebral palsy. The National Nutrition Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 September to highlight nutrition’s importance, especially to make pregnant women and women with newborns aware of nutrients to prevent malnutrition. It is believed that nutrients are essential between six months to two years for the growth and development of infants.

In the last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ program, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that due to lack of information, both the poor and rich are plagued by the problem of malnutrition. That is why the Prime Minister has reiterated the need to tackle the problem of malnutrition by 2022.

According to UNICEF, 5.7 crore children in India are facing problems like malnutrition. According to the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey-4, 38.5% of children fewer than 5 years of age are malnourished across the country, resulting in children being much smaller in height than others their age, due to not being able to develop physically. The situation of women is also not good in this case, pregnant women often ignore cautions they should be taking during pregnancy. Many women also don’t follow proper diet which deprives them of the nutrients they need.

 According to the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, 13 out of 14 cases of cerebral palsy develop in the womb in India or during the first month after birth. That is why cerebral palsy is said to be congenital in most cases, so experts recommend that the mother should take extra precautions along with conception.

It is important to eat a balanced diet for good health. For example lemon is very good for health because it is full of vitamin-C; it gives instant energy to a person. Moreover, along with iodized salt, vitamin-A, iron supplements, breastfeeding awareness is also needed for pregnant mothers. Along with this, supplements should be taken on time. From 6 months onwards, all infants should be given foods other than breast milk. It should be used adequate quantity, frequency, consistency and various foods should meet the nutritional needs of the growing baby while breastfeeding.

BY – Senior Dr. Amar Singh Chundawat at Narayan Seva Sansthan

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