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Nutrition in pregnancy and beyond

25 Jan 2016

Consistent and accessible messaging on nutrition for pregnant women and breastfeeding mums is important in pharmacy.

Join us each day this week as Dr Helen Crawley, public health nutritionist, First Steps Nutrition Trust, examines nutrition, pregnancy and the pharmacist’s role.

The importance of ensuring mothers and their babies are well‑nourished is widely recognised.

A pregnant woman’s nutritional status influences the growth and development of her foetus and forms the foundations for the child’s later health.

The mother’s own health, both in the short and long-term, also depends on how well‑nourished she is before, during and after pregnancy.

UK-wide education

Until the coalition government cuts in 2010, every pregnant woman received a hard copy of Birth to Five – the Department of Health’s guide to good health during these years, and while the 2009 edition can still be accessed, it is only in Northern Ireland that this is still given out free to all mums.

In Scotland and Wales comprehensive updated resources have been compiled – Ready Steady Baby in Scotland and Bump, Baby & Beyond in Wales.

In England, information is all now channeled through NHS Choices and the NHS Parent Information Service, but these require online access.

The growth in apps and online information on health means that there is now a wealth of information – and misinformation – available, which can inform and confuse in equal measure.

It is therefore important pharmacists know which sources of information to recommend to women planning a pregnancy or during pregnancy about eating well.

Come back tomorrow to find out what information you should be providing and where to get it.

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