The state-run maternity hospital at Petlaburj in collaboration with city-based NGO, Helping Hand Foundation has been running an exclusive program on “Healthy eating during pregnancy” which is aimed at helping the expecting mothers improve their Nutrional health during pregnancy for the past one year.
In this unique program perhaps first in a public maternity hospital, about 150-200 pregnant women visiting the ante natal care in the state-run maternity hospital are being provided healthy snacks & fruits, every alternate day by the counsellors of Helping Hand Foundation.
Healthy fruits & snacks like bananas, dates, peanut chiki is distributed to the expectant mothers while they wait for their ante natal consultation.
The whole concept is just not to distribute the healthy snacks but to inculcate the habit of healthy eating during pregnancy as expecting mothers are counselled by the volunteers of HHF on the benefits of eating bananas, dates and other healthy snacks regularly during the course of their pregnancy.
The Volunteers who are well versed in local language particularly for Urdu speaking women, go on to explain how bananas are a rich source of folic acid, potassium and antioxidants which are vital for formation of bones, they further explain how dates are rich in Iron, dietary Fibre and how these elements can prevent potential birth defects by preventing anaemia in women.
Good counselling is changing the mind set of women most of whom come from weaker economic back grounds and counselling them regularly is encouraging them to consciously eat healthy when they go back home. Good Nutrition during ante natal period is critical for expecting mothers and can potentially reduce the risk of Conginental diseases in new born and also reduce the nutritional deficiencies in new born, said doctors associated with the program at the State-run facility.
It may be noted that as per NHF Survey 2015, nearly 46% of women in TS are found to be anaemic during pregnancy.
‘The incidence of Anaemia has been considerably reduced after the launch of this program at our hospital since last year and this leads to the mothers bearing healthy off spring said Dr. M. Nagamani, Superintendent, Modern Government Maternity Hospital, Petlaburj.
We are glad that a top public maternity hospital is running this program for pregnant women who mostly come from weaker sections, such services are not provided in private settings where maternity services are available at high cost said Mr. Mujtaba Hasan Askari, of Helping Hand foundation.
Encouraged by the good results at MGMH, HHF has now rolled out the “Health Eating for pregnant women” at District Area Hospital, King Koti in the Ante Natal ward.