In order to be healthy and strong at the end, and ready for the birth of the baby, with the assurance of a successful confinement, a living child, and a prompt recovery by the mother, while the newly born infant is given a good start in life.
Dietary advice for expectant mothers
It is necessary to build up the mother’s health, by making sure that she has the right kind of food. Some mothers think they must overeat, thinking they must feed two. This is not so. It is not how much the mother eats, but what she eats, that matters.
To supply the needs of new growing baby and herself, an expectant mother requires more body building material, and particularly more lime, iron and vitamins, than a woman who is not pregnant.
These can be supplied in the diet, without adding to its bulk. Without a sufficient supply of these substances, both the mother and the child suffer. The child may be born anaemic, or have defective teeth, or have rickets, or be unable to resist illnesses, while the mother is more prone to anaemia or hemorrhages if these substances are lacking.
Most important foods during pregnancy
Foundation foods, which are milk, meat and dairy products, fruit, vegetables and wheatmeal bread should form the foundation of the diet.
An expectant mother should take two pints of milk, one or two substantial helpings of green vegetables, an apple or orange, one ounce of butter and three ounces of cheese, six ounces of potatoes, four ounces of meat, wheatmeal bread, and wheatmeal or oatmeal porridge in her daily diet.
Fish should be had twice weekly, and liver (preferably calves), twice weekly. In addition the mother should take two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily. Milk should be pasteurized, and if this is not procurable, all milk should be boiled.
By keeping strictly to this diet, the child has a good start before he is born, and while he is being fed by his mother, and will have the power to respond to treatment, when overtaken by illness, but if the diet has been neglected, the child will be born puny, and with less power to resist disease, and even if he is well fed during childhood, he will be handicapped, both in development, and the power to resist infection, for many years.
Healthy tips for expectant mothers
Attention should be paid to the general health of the mother and this is most important.
- Long walks in the cool of the evening are helpful for promoting sleep, aiding digestion, and keeping the muscles in good condition. Violent exercise of any kind must be avoided.
- An expectant mother should have at least eight hours sleep daily, and a rest in the middle of the day, with the feet elevated, should be taken where possible. Sitting on a high stool to iron, peel vegetables, and do other tasks, and putting the feet up while mending or sewing, will help the busy mother to get the necessary rest.
- The teeth should be cleaned after every meal, and decayed teeth should be extracted at once. Alcohol and tobacco are definitely injurious to the growing baby, and should be prohibited.
- The breasts should be washed daily with warm water and soap, gently dried and massaged. Constipation is common in pregnancy and fluids, fresh fruits, green vegetables, wholemeal brown bread, porridge and a glass of hot water immediately on rising or just after all have a laxative effect.