Key information for adequate nutrition during pregnancy and breast feeding

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in women's health, Xanit salud | Posted on 10-06-2015



Pregnancy and breast feeding are two very important stages in a womans life. These produce a series of pysiological changes which mean that the woman must pay more attention to her diet. Good nutrition during this period results in a multitude of benefits both for the mother and for the baby in the long term. It is vital to maintain a balanced diet, eating little and often throughout the day (4-5 times), and eating a variety of foods.  It is also important to use healthier cooking methods (boiling, steaming, grilling) and to avoid excess fats (frying).

During these stages the woman requires an increased amount of certain nutrients such as: calcium, folic acid, iron, proteins, and in general higher energy foods (between 250- 500 calories extra). In many cases ensuring that these nutritional requirements are covered without having to increase calories intake is difficult. Therefore it is recommended that the woman is advised by a nutritionist. It is not a case of increasing portion size, but a case of adequately selecting the correct foods. For example, during this phase it is fundamental to increase the consumption of wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables, root vegetables, and pulses. It is important to reduce oil and fat, particularly animal fats.  (sausages, fatty meats, full fat dairy products).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that women follow a healthy diet during pregnancy because in recent years it has been proven that adequate nutrition during the pregnancy and breast feeding stage has positive effects on the baby, both in the short and long term.  It also prevents important problems such as infections, and reduces the risk of the baby developing diabetes and other metabolic related conditions during their lifetime. Adequate nutrition also improves the babys immune system.

Within the Endocrinology and Nutrition Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital there are dieticians who can assess the patient and give them a personalised diet plan. Furthermore, we offer a Service based on the WhatsApp platform which allows the patient to have live, direct contact with a dietician, and to resolve their questions in an instant. This unit is also specialised in dietary disorders such as thyroid problems, diabetes, obesity, and increased lipids, amongst other illnesses. The hospital also has a medical team who care for patients with aflictions of the endocrine system. These pathologies, although less frequent, require highly specialised studies such as hypothalamus, hypophysis, para thyroid glands, and the adrenal and gonads of both sexes.

Dr. Diego Fernández

Nutritionist at Vithas Xanit International Hospital