In the second installment of our weekly feature Dr Helen Crawley, public health nutritionist, First Steps Nutrition Trust, examines what advice you should be giving.
Unicef Baby Friendly accreditation
The majority of births in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in fully accredited Unicef Baby Friendly maternity units, and while this is still not at 50 per cent in England, the number is increasing rapidly.
Overall, there are currently 90 per cent of maternity services and 84 per cent of health visiting services working towards Baby Friendly accreditation in the UK, and it is important pharmacists provide information to women consistent with what they receive through this scheme.
This means information sources must be expert and independent – and free from commercial involvement by companies who sell breastmilk substitutes in line with the World Health Organisation Code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes.
Pharmacists can access information through Unicef Baby Friendly or any of a number of excellent free and independent organisations and public bodies.
Pregnant women do not need to eat more during most of their pregnancy, with current guidance suggesting an increase of 200kcal a day only during the last trimester.
Many women, however, reduce their activity levels and do not eat more during the last stages of pregnancy, and eating a good variety of foods throughout pregnancy remains the most important advice.
Do you know what supplements to recommend to pregnant women? Come back tomorrow to find out.