Let's talk about nutrition

- Nuffnang blogger Mymomfriday -

July is Nutrition Month. 

Allow me to take this opportunity to share with you what I’ve learned from a series of wellness and nutrition seminars I’ve attended in the past. The talk was conducted by nutrition and diet expert Joan Sumpio. This is the first of two parts.

Nutrition from pregnancy to infancy

Each stage of our lives requires specific nutrients to sustain our growth and development, promote wellness, and prevent diseases. And it all starts during pregnancy.

Aside from the normal requirements for the mother's health, pregnant women require certain nutrients to meet the needs of the growing fetus, and building reserves in preparation for delivery and lactation. These are:

·         Protein

·         Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, Folate, B6

·         Minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Iodine, Zinc and Selenium

During my own pregnancy, I was taking calcium and vitamin supplements, as prescribed by my OB-Gyn, aside from drinking at least one glass of milk (for preggy women) each day and downing lots of water to prevent common pregnancy-related conditions such as constipation and UTI.

Ms. Sumpio also listed the positive effects of good nutrition on the mother and infant (see slide below), and on lactation. That is why the increased needs for nutrients "has to cover the needs for producing and secreting the milk" and "for wound healing and physical and emotional activities in caring for the child."

She also pointed out the importance of water since 87 percent of the volume of breast milk is water.

I believed this to be true since I quickly recalled my own post-partum diet consisting mostly of: soupy dishes prepared Chinese-style (like lapu-lapu fish soup, pigeon adobo), blood tonics and broths from Chinese herbal concoctions (which smell and taste terrible!), and gallons of water and fruit juices, all for at least one month after birth. I was confident that this kind of diet really helped me produce better quality, and quantity, breast milk while I breastfed my second baby for 18 months.

Aside from breast milk, infants, require appropriate supplementary feeding with gradual introduction of solid foods influenced by nutrition, and physiological development (secretion of enzymes for digestion, gastric acidity, maturity of kidneys). You will see below some general expectations from a well-nourished baby.

An adequately nourished infant exhibits the following:

·         Has steady weight gain and height

·         Has firm, full flesh, pinkish cheeks and nails

·         Happy and active when awake

·         Sleeps well

·         Has normal elimination

Happy Nutrition Month!









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