‘Proper nutrition during, after pregnancy ensures mothers, babies wellbeing’
Inadequate nutritional intake during and after pregnancy can lead to adverse health consequences later in life, the National President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Dr Bartholomew Brai, have said.
Speaking during a Media Workshop organised by Nestle Nigeria plc. in Agbara, Ogun, recently, Dr. Brai, advises all nursing mothers to eat balanced and varied diet with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.
“They should maintain normal weight prior to pregnancy, and healthy weight gain during pregnancy should be encouraged. After pregnancy, all mothers should practice six months exclusive breastfeeding; no other solids or liquid foods should be given to the baby. Feeding on colostrum is a health benefit that comes from breast milk, because, it supplies the essential nutrients needed for baby’s cognitive development. Exclusive breastfeeding also protects against gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, slow infant weight gain and lower risk of obesity,’’ Brai said.
He said that breastfeeding was very relevant toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three.
According to him, SDG three seeks to ensure health and wellbeing for all, and it addresses reproductive, maternal and child health, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, as well as environmental diseases.
Brai said that appropriate complementary feeding was also a proven intervention to significantly reduce stunting during the first two years of life.
Also, Mr Chukwuma Muanya, the Deputy Editor, Guardian Newspaper, urged companies that were into nutrition products and services to support or partner with research firms to conduct surveys on nutrition.
According to him, research findings on nutrition issues attract high media interest and coverage, and should be publicised to members of the public.
On the challenges of reporting nutrition stories, Muanya said, “most nutrition studies and stories are sponsored by the industries or manufacturers.
“There is lack of specialised training in reporting science, nutrition and health, as well as poor funding for logistics, field visits and investigative stories.