Nutrition plays an integral role in maintaining overall well-being, especially for expectant and new mothers.
It is especially important for expectant mothers to get started on a daily regimen of prenatal vitamins as soon as possible to ensure they are getting the right amount of essential vitamins that help in fetal development and maintain the mother’s health, such as folic acid, iron and vitamin C.
A balanced diet with proper amounts of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains is highly recommended for pregnant women to safeguard the health of mother and baby.
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It is also important to be aware of the foods and substances to avoid while pregnant. Women who are pregnant should avoid consumption of alcohol, drugs and caffeine, as well as foods high in mercury, such as king mackerel, tile fish and shark.
Undercooked foods can also pose an increased risk to pregnant women. Therefore foods such as eggs should be served with the yoke fully cooked, and deli meats should be heated before consumption. It is also important to avoid unpasteurized milks, cheeses and fruit juices.
Because of the absolute importance of maintaining a balanced and safe diet during pregnancy, Cone Health Women’s Hospital offers a Birth and Baby education series for expectant mothers in the community. The series of five weekly classes helps mothers and their labor partner prepare for childbirth. Topics covered in the classes include care for their newborn, nutrition, childbirth options, cesarean birth, pain management, and comfort techniques, as well as a tour of Women’s Hospital.
To find out more about the Birth and Baby education series and other new baby and parenting classes offered through Cone Health Women’s Hospital, visit conehealth.com or call (336) 832-6848.
Vicki Nichelson is a registered nurse and certified childbirth educator for the Perinatal Education Department at Cone Health Women’s Hospital. Nichelson received her nursing degree from Ona M. Wilcox School of Nursing at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT in 1974. She received her childbirth educator certification from the Academy of Childbirth Educators in 2007.