Importance of a good diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Below are some ideas about the importance of a good diet in pregnancy, the importance of breastfeeding, and the need for a good diet in the early years of a child’s life.

The baby will be nourishing itself all day from the mother’s stores via the placenta, and it is therefore vital that mum also eats good food regularly so that she has the energy and nutrients to provide for her baby as well as for her own needs. 

Babies who are malnourished in the womb because mum isn’t eating enough during pregnancy are more likely to face lifelong chronic health problems and have a higher risk of dying in infancy. This happens in countries like the UK as well as in poorer countries around the world.    

Breastfeeding a baby for the first six months of life is the most important thing a mum can do to protect the baby’s health and her own health, and mums who breastfeed say it is one of the most satisfying and empowering things they ever do. Age is no barrier and young mums can breastfeed as well as any other mum.  

Everyone wants the best for their baby. Spending money on the whole family eating well makes more sense than spending money on expensive clothes and equipment for a new baby.  

If mums think they might have more children, eating the same healthy food that they give their babies and toddlers will ensure they are able to give the next baby a really good start in life from the beginning. 

Eating together with others is an important part of family life, and getting children used to this when young will encourage them to eat better, and it sets a good example for them when they have families of their own.  

You can start to eat better and support children to eat better at any time. It’s never too late to change habits, and good health is the best gift you can give your children.

For children under the age of 2 years, having a poor diet weakens a child’s immune system and makes him or her more susceptible to common illnesses such as chest infections and diarrhea, and may prevent the child from being as physically strong and mentally able as he or she could be.  

You can’t see if someone is poorly nourished, but it can impact on health and well-being for life. Just because you can’t see a nutrition problem doesn’t mean it isn’t there.   

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