Montego Bay, January 30, 2019 – Jamaica – Wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, is imploring women to take care of their health and nutrition before and during pregnancy in order to ensure the best outcome for mother and child.
She noted that poor nutrition and excess body weight prior to pregnancy are key contributors to many of the complications of pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, pre-term labour and various infections.
Statistics, she said, have shown that at least 50 per cent of women are overweight before or at the point where they become pregnant. This, she added, along with other related complications, makes it harder to lose weight following birth.
“And, we all know how stubborn the baby fat can be. So the first trick is to lose the weight before. Secondly, eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice the amount. It is very important that things are done in moderation,” Mrs. Holness said.
She was speaking at the project launch of Fontana Pharmacy’s ‘Best for Mommy and Baby’ initiative in Montego Bay, St. James, on January 27.
Mrs. Holness said it is important that pregnant mothers take the time to carefully select foods with the correct nutritional content, including protein, calcium, iron and folic acid.
“This should also involve lots of green leafy vegetables and lots of fish low in mercury. No swordfish, king mackerel or shark,” she advised. “Activity is important. Pregnancy is a condition but it does not have to be treated as an illness. So pregnant women must remain active and, of course, by all means, do exercise,” she urged.
She, however, advised expectant mothers to avoid activities that may cause severe falls such as horseback riding, or trauma to the abdomen such as football and other contact sports.
Fontana Pharmacy is collaborating with the Ministry of Health in the ‘Best for Mommy and Baby’ initiative. Under the programme, expectant and new mothers are provided with a ‘Best for Mommy and Baby’ educational booklet, which contains information on best practices for antenatal, postnatal and newborn care, including mother’s pre-birth testing, mother and baby’s nutrition, warning signs during pregnancy, and immunisation.
Mrs. Holness, who is patron for the programme, said she is proud to be associated with the initiative aimed at “securing the health of the most vulnerable in society, our babies, both born and unborn, as well as those entrusted with the awesome responsibility of delivering and nurturing our future generations, mothers.”
“The ‘Best for Mommy and Baby’ initiative has proven to be not just ground-breaking and history-making, but has undoubtedly saved and improved countless lives for which the Fontana Pharmacy team must be commended,” she added.
Contact: Garwin Davis