- Starting on September 6th, the once-a-month classes will focus on nutrition during and after pregnancy to ensure health benefits for both mother and child
- One in three pregnant women lose control over their calorie intake, potentially leading to various health issues
September 4, 2018, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: With the aim to educate women on the importance of balanced nutrition for expectant mothers and babies, RAK Hospital has announced free Antenatal Classes on the first Thursday of every month, starting from Thursday, 6th September. The interactive monthly sessions, “Nutrition During and After Pregnancy”, will be held between 11am and 11:45am and provide in-depth guidelines on diet programmes best suited for each month of pregnancy to ensure the growth of a healthy foetus. Classes will be held at Rooftop, RAK Hospital Eye Care Centre, Ras Al Khaimah.
Latest research has proved that one in three pregnant women ‘binge eat’ while losing control over their calorie intake, potentially leading to various health issues. Children born from women who do not follow a balanced diet during pregnancy are more vulnerable to birth defects, obesity, diabetes and flawed or inadequate brain development. The study also found the expectant mothers deficient in vitamin B1, folic acid, vitamin A, C and B6, compared with pregnant women who followed a healthy diet.
“Many mothers-to-be have very little idea of what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy and its effect on the baby,” commented Ms Ruba El-Hourani, Clinical Dietician at RAK Hospital, “A woman needs approximately around 300 extra calories to maintain a healthy pregnancy, which should incorporate all food groups with more focus on whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables and less on sweets and fats. Moreover, they often don’t take into account the excessive weight gain which could potentially increase health risks in both mother and the child. This is where a guideline can help them map out a balanced meal plan and monitor appropriate weight gain before and after the delivery. During classes they can also learn ways to counter pregnancy issues such as nausea and morning sickness that can stem from an unhealthy diet.”
The session will also discuss foods that are best suited for mothers during lactation period since the demands and the amount of food intake change considerably. Experts suggest around 640 extra calories to meet the demands of breastfeeding, with more focus on foods that provide calcium, vitamin E and B6, magnesium and folate.
Dr Raza Siddiqui, CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group and Executive Director, RAK Hospital added: “Becoming a mother is never easy, and especially for the first-time moms-to-be, the journey is full of new experiences. As always we at RAK Hospital are trying to ease this journey. The first step is to educate them on a wholesome and balanced diet that will go a long way in ensuring a healthy pregnancy, and eventually well-being of the mother and child”.