BUJUMBURA, November 14th (ABP) – Pre-conception nutrition and during pregnancy is the fundamental pillar of the life of the woman and her child, underlined Dr. Fidèle Nkezabahizi, director of the National Health Program and the National Integrated Program of Food and Nutrition (PRONIANUT), during a training workshop for journalists, organized from November 9 to 10, 2023 on nutrition and reproductive health.
In her presentation, Dr. Fidèle Nkezabahizi reassured that it is recommended that a pregnant woman consume 50% carbohydrates, or 2000 to 2200 Kcal per day, because glucose is the essential source of energy for the fetus.
He added that a pregnant woman also needs 30% of lipid intake, because they allow the transport of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E) and participate in the development of the membranes of the nervous system of the fetus.
Dr. Nkezabahizi did not fail to emphasize that 60 to 70 g of protein per day are recommended for a pregnant woman, adding that the total iron requirements during pregnancy are estimated at 850 mg with a daily intake of 20 mg.
Regarding obstetric complications linked to malnutrition in pregnant women, Dr. Nkezabahizi indicates that these often involve obstetric fistulas, infection, anemia and instrumental delivery.
Reiterating his remarks, he also stressed that the consumption of certain foods during pregnancy can represent a risk for the pregnant woman and the unborn baby (miscarriage, premature birth, infections, etc.). For this reason, he explained, pregnant women should avoid consuming raw or barely cooked eggs, avoid alcohol, avoid moderate consumption of coffee, tea, and cola and avoid self-medication without a medical prescription.
Dr. Nkezabahizi calls on all pregnant women to eat three meals a day respecting their hunger and having two to three cocktail snacks a day if hungry.
To overcome problems related to low energy, Dr. Nkezabahizi finally asked pregnant women to eat regularly throughout the day, avoid long periods (more than 12 hours) without eating and follow precautionary measures to avoid food infections.