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Why Pregnant Women Should Imbibe Regular Monitoring Of Their Food Intakes | Physician, Dr. Philip Ogwu

Why Pregnant Women Should Imbibe Regular Monitoring Of Their Food Intakes | Physician, Dr. Philip Ogwu

It is sadly very common that when a woman is pregnant, friends and families urge her to go ahead and “indulge” or eat whatever they crave for.

I remember once attending a wedding and I was seated close to this pregnant woman, and she ate everything served. Of course, she was quick to defend herself about her excessive food consumption because she was “pregnant.” There’s nothing she didn’t eat: Small chops, roasted fish, rice, moimoi, semo, etc.

Unfortunately when you begin to look at the evidence, bad eating habit doesn’t seem to help mother or child. Instead, you increase the risk of obesity, hypertension and many more.

In light of this, a consultant physician, Dr. Philip Ogwu advised pregnant women to imbibe regular monitoring of their food intakes to avoid complications of gaining unnecessary weight during pregnancy.

The expert made the call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

According to him, heavier mothers, especially those who are overweight when they conceive and gain more weight during pregnancy are at greater risk for gestational diabetes and hypertension.

“Their babies tend to be larger in the process and can cause serious difficulties during delivery or child-birth,”

he said.

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The medical expert disagreed with the old belief and tradition that eating plenty of food would produce healthier and stronger babies. Dr Ogwu also advised pregnant women to do regular exercises to keep fit and guard against overweight.

“You don’t need to gain a great deal of weight to have a healthier baby. A fetus generally requires only an extra 100 calories a day in the first trimester and 300 calories in the third trimester,”

he added.

Ogwu also emphasised the need for pregnant women to prioritise dental examination to prevent mother-to-child transmission of bacteria and infections during pregnancy.

According to him, such a procedure is necessary, especially at the early stage of pregnancy to ensure better health status for both mother and child.

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“One possible reason is that oral bacteria harbours prostaglandin, a labour inducing hormone. Fluctuating hormone can cause swollen, bleeding gum.

“This, if left untreated can lead to periodontal diseases, which in turn can raise the risk for low birth weight and premature delivery.

“If you reduce the bacteria in the mouth, you reduce the low-level infections that can cause preterm labour.

“So, pregnant women are advised to undertake clinical examination and cleaning of their teeth at least once to have a clean bill of health,”

he said.

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