Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

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Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

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Article excerpt

Health promotion during pregnancy

The health of the nation depends on the health of its citizens. Pregnancy presents a unique opportunity to positively influence the health of the future generation. The pre-pregnancy and pregnancy health of mothers have a great impact on that of the fetus and baby. It then becomes imperative that preconception strategies be effective and in place.

Healthy eating prior to and during pregnancy is essential for the health of mother and child. Physical and psychological factors that adversely influence the diet of pregnant women are identified in p.227. Pre-conception folie acid supplementation has been shown to be effective in the reduction of neural tubal defects. Unfortunately the uptake in the UK is poor and there is therefore a need to revisit the introduction of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid (p.206). Women in inner-cities, women on low income and ethnic minorities are at risk of delivering small babies and effective and targeted interventions need to be introduced (p.227).

Interventions in pregnancy include breastfeeding promotion, smoking cessation programmes, among others. Breastfeeding is best for the baby and its benefits on blood pressure and lipid profiles are discussed in p.205. The role of the midwife and the need to respond positively to changes to achieve the goal of multidisciplinary patient-centred services is discussed (p. …

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