The significance of good nutrition in pregnancy cannot be overemphasised as unhealthy diets have health implications for the mother and fetus.
According to the United States National Library of Medicines, nutrition involves eating a healthy and balanced diet to ensure the body gets the required nutrients.
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Nutrients are substances in foods that the body needs to function and grow. These include carbohydrates, fats and oil, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water.
Nutrition in pregnancy has to do with the kind of food a pregnant woman eats during pregnancy, and if is it healthy for her and the fetus.
Making healthy food choices daily helps the fetus grow healthy, and have good brain development. It also helps women have a healthy birth weight as well as reduced risk of birth defects.
Nutritious food reduces the risk of anaemia and other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue.
Nutritionists and dietetics, always emphasise the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy because it is the beginning of providing a child with good health. Once nutrition is not adequate in pregnancy there is a tendency that the child will not develop well.
Nutrition in the first trimester is the most important, that is when the fetus starts developing. However, it is of great importance for every pregnant woman to always have good enough food to cater to her nutrient status and the nutrition of the baby she is carrying.
Experts advise that pregnant women should not drink alcohol because it stimulates the contraction of the uterus and sometimes causes miscarriage.
They advise pregnant women to eat fruits and vegetables and attend antenatal clinic.
By Rukaiya Musa Hyera
Hyera is of Department of Mass Communication,
University of Maiduguri.