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National Nutrition Week is observed the first week of September to increase public awareness of the value of nutrition for well-being, growth, and prosperity. The American Dietetic Association introduced the idea of National Nutrition Week for the first time in 1973 in order to inform people about nutrition. India introduced the idea of National Nutrition Week in 1982 to promote understanding of the value of nutrition for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. When we talk about the lack of nutrition and its effect on the body, the first thing that comes to mind is where it all begins. Well, according to the experts, it all starts from the period when a woman conceives. A woman is more likely to suffer the worst side effects of malnutrition, especially when they are pregnant or breastfeeding. During breastfeeding, it is very important for a mother to pay attention to the intake of nutrients that enter her body. It is not only important for the mother but also helps in the proper growth of the unborn baby inside the womb. Today, in this article, let's understand the science behind why a woman needs proper nutrition during pregnancy and what these nutrients are.
Speaking to TheHealthSite.com, Dr Shobha G, a nutritionist, and member of Rotary Club Bengaluru Platinum City (RCBPC) said, "The term 'acute malnutrition' or 'severe wasting' sounds unfamiliar to mothers from underprivileged and rural backgrounds in India. They not only lack nutritional knowledge but, at the same time, are unaware of how a mother's malnutrition during pregnancy adversely affects her child's survival, growth, and development and her access to nutrition."
The fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) highlights concerns about nutritional status and a rise in anaemia among both women and children. The survey also states that in India, more than half of the children and women are anaemic in all the round-II states and union territories. In India, there are 189.2 million undernourished individuals, out of which, the majority are women and children. According to the Global Hunger Index, malnutrition and the widespread prevalence of stunting, wasting, and nutritional deficiencies among women and children are well-recognized elements of India's profile. This is mostly due to the fact that undernourished moms can start cycles of undernutrition by giving birth to babies who are deficient in certain nutrients and vitamins.
In order to address the problem of malnourishment among women and children, a volunteer-led organization like Rotary is helping underprivileged women through an integrated nutrition project the First 1000 Days programme. The comprehensive, household-based initiative aims to improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age. The first 1,000 days of life provide a unique opportunity to establish the foundation for lifelong nutrition, health, and development of their soon-to-be-born babies.
Speaking to TheHealthSite.com, Dr Shobha explained that "50 55 per cent of both rural and urban women enter pregnancy in an anaemic state." Let's take a quick look at what are some nutritions that are extremely important for a lactating mother.
The nutrition requirements for the breastfeeding mother are very similar to those who are expecting, and therefore women are recommended to continue eating similarly to how they were eating during their pregnancy. Here are a variety of nutrients that are good for breastfeeding mothers and their sources:
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