According to the World Health Organization, pregnancy is “the nine months or so for which a woman carries a developing embryo and fetus in her womb”.
Pregnancy is, for the majority of women, a time of happiness and fulfillment. However, it is also a time where both the mother and the fetus face several health risks. For this reason, it is important that all pregnancies are monitored by specialized health professionals.
The mother’s nutritional status before the pregnancy is decisive, as it will influence both the mother and the baby’s future health status. For this reason, a healthy lifestyle is recommended to optimize the expecting mother’s health status and reduce the risk of diseases and complications for both, during pregnancy.
Recommendations for a healthy pregnancy include:
- Adequate weight gain;
- Regular physical activity;
- Healthy eating according to the guidelines (“Wheel of food”);
- Adequate vitamins and minerals supplementation;
- Avoidance of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances;
- Safe food handling.