A Benin-based Gynecologist, Dr Osawumen Osakpolor, has advised pregnant women to have a healthy pregnancy diet to promote the fetus’s growth and development.
Osakpolor gave the advice during an interview yesterday in Benin.
He explained that understanding the nutrients a pregnant woman needed most and where to find them was necessary.
He added that “during pregnancy, the basic principles of healthy eating remains the same.
“Pregnant women should consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.”
He said that a few nutrients in a pregnancy diet like folate and folic acid, however, deserved special attention.
The gynecologist said folate and folic acid would prevent brain and spinal cord birth problems.
He added that “the synthetic form of folate found in supplements and fortified foods is known as folic acid.
Folic acid supplementation has been shown to decrease the risk of premature and low birth weight baby.
“400 micrograms (mcg) a day of folate or folic acid before conception and 600 to 1,000 micrograms of folate or folic acid a day throughout pregnancy is perfect, in addition to making healthy food choices and daily prenatal vitamin.
“Pregnant women should at least take a daily vitamin supplement containing folic acid,’’he said.