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Sierra Leone News: Eat right for healthy Living

Midwife Lillian Lahai with Hawa Kallon  baby

Midwife Lillian Lahai with Hawa Kallon baby

Nutrition is the branch of science that deals with nutrients and nutrition, particularly in humans. It is also a process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for healthy living and growth.
Hawa Kallon resides at Brookfield’s and she is a mother of two. Her son is five years old and the second is a three-month old, baby girl. She proudly noted that both children are healthy and strong. “Since my first pregnancy, I started going for antenatal health service, at the Methodist Community Clinic at Brookfield’s, and I have learned a lot about pregnancy as well as being a mother”. She added that simple but highly nutritious foods including fruits are important for both the baby and mothers wellbeing. When a pregnant woman is healthy the unborn baby will also be healthy from the nutrients it receives from the woman carrying the baby. “The simple foods that we are taught to prepare during pregnancy and after child birth are rich in iron, carbohydrate and protein, which helps both mother and child to grow”.
Nutrition is a science that interprets the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food relation to maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and diseases of an organism, and this is why it is important to eat right to get the nutrients responsible for healthy living.
Lillian Lahai is a retired, certified midwife and is now the in-charge matron at the Methodist Community Clinic. She explained why it is important for pregnant women and lactating mothers to pay regular visits to a health facility. The facility is where they get the right information during and after pregnancy. She recalled that last week the country joined the world to promote exclusive breastfeeding, the all natural nutrient responsible for a baby’s survival for the first six months of life.” A woman’s breast cannot produce enough milk if she is not healthy and she only needs a simple diet to make her healthy for her baby to benefit six months of exclusive mother’s milk”.
Nurse Lahai added that ‘pemahun’ is a simple local food of greens, palm oil, groundnut, sesame seeds, a little bit of pepper and onions with fish, when prepared is highly nutritional and cost effective. During antenatal days which is Thursday’s and Friday’s of the week, she noted that pregnant women and lactating mothers are educated on the benefits of eating right and exclusive breast feeding ( Bobbi Wata), which will enhance growth for baby and mother.
Fudia Sesay, another lactating mother shared her experience. “Apart from growing strong and healthy, nutrition from the mother’s milk increases the bond between mother and child, which makes the baby more comfortable with feeding and noting that breast milk cannot be bought anywhere and is completely different from the many baby formulas in the market”. She disclosed that, because she is a business woman she mixed breast milk with baby formula, but found out that the baby formula was not right for her baby and had to stick strictly to breast milk, which is economically good.
Dr Frederick Thompson is one of the housemen at the King Harman Government health facility. He said before the start of the breastfeeding campaign; health workers go to communities and at the facility to educate pregnant women and lactating mothers on the need to eat healthy foods. He disclosed that when a woman is healthy she will be able to breastfeed her child, without any complications, which also reduces the risk of breast cancer among women.
Dr Thompson commended some of the fathers who accompanied their spouses to the facility. He noted that fathers are important because they also have a role to play during pregnancy and after childbirth.
By Ade Campbell
Wednesday August 09, 2017.

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