Sagam Community Hospital is excited to announce that we will be starting a blog mini-series on maternal health, in partnership with AIHT and our current Ob-Gyn consultant, Dr. Jennifer Makin. We will be doing a series of educational posts to help ensure that the Sagam community can take all the necessary steps towards a positive pregnancy. This week, we are discussing Nutritional Interventions.
Nutritional interventions cover dietary recommendations, lifestyle choices, and necessary supplements. For dietary interventions, the WHO recommends all mothers-to-be receive counseling on their diet as soon as they find out they are pregnant. It is important to discuss your diet with your clinician so they can get a good understanding of the nutrients you and your baby are getting. Maternal weight should be monitored throughout pregnancy. If you are within a normal weight range, Kenya Guidelines recommends gaining 12-15 kg in pregnancy. If you are underweight then an increased weight to 18 kg is recommended, and if you are overweight 7 kg is recommended. Our clinicians at our OB clinic, held every Tuesday, are a great resource for learning more about what nutrients you and your baby need in order to keep you both as healthy as possible.
Sometimes, based on your current diet, your clinician may suggest that you increase your protein or energy intake. Increases of these in your diet can benefit your baby in preventing a low birth weight and even the risk of stillborn death. Your clinician can provide you with suggestions of high-protein foods to add to your diet and can work with your available resources to make sure you and your baby have access to the correct nutrients.
|Recommended List of Locally available snacks (300 kCal) for Pregnant Women|
|Chapati with oil (1)||Orange (1 medium size)|
|Mandazi (2)||Guava (2 medium sizes)|
|Sweet potato (1)||Mango (1 small)|
|Scone/bun (2)||Papayas (⅕ medium size)|
|Ugali (1 cup)||Banana (3 small)|
|Potatoes (3 pieces)||Watermelon 2 small slices|
|Porridge thick (2 cups)||Berries 1 cup|
|Arrow Root (2) medium size|
|Roasted Groundnuts 1 packet|
Dietary recommendations are often based on how active your lifestyle is. Most women in the Sagam community are very active, and there is no need to stop that when you are pregnant. In fact, maintaining an active lifestyle can prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy and lead to better health outcomes for both the mother and baby after birth.
In addition to your diet and lifestyle, the WHO also recommends certain supplements that can assist in the development of your baby. Two of the most widely recommended are Iron and Folic Acid. These two supplements provide many health benefits. They can also prevent maternal anemia, puerperal sepsis, and premature birth. Be sure to ask your clinician about supplement recommendations and the right dosage for you. Some of the other supplements your clinician might recommend are listed below.
|Micronutrient Supplementation for Pregnant and Lactating Mothers|
|Micronutrient||Target Group||Dosage||Frequency||Timing and Schedule|
|Vitamin A||Lactating||200,000 IU||Single Dose||At delivery (within 4 weeks of delivery)|
|Folic Acid||Pregnant lactating||0.4 mg||Daily in pregnancy||From 2 months before pregnancy until 6 months postpartum|
|Iron||Pregnant||60 mg||Daily throughout pregnancy||During 1st-month pregnancy or 1st contact|
|Iodine||pregnant||Iodinized salt in daily meals|
|Calcium||pregnant||Milk, yogurt, cheese with daily meals|
Food to Avoid
In addition to supplementing with essential micronutrients, there are some environmental toxins that should be avoided. Recent African studies have shown high levels of mercury in fish from Lake Victoria. Mercury poisoning can injure the brain of an unborn fetus. It is recommended that pregnant women limit 2-3 servings of tilapia per week. Omena is a better choice than tilapia.
At our weekly outreaches, Sagam Community Hospital helps provide a variety of these services, including family planning consultations and vitamin A distribution. We also have a weekly outpatient OB clinic that can provide you with more information.
Our family planning team at a recent community outreach
Our weekly OB clinic is held on Tuesdays from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
For more information on our upcoming community outreach services, please visit our Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/sagamhealth.org/