Consumption of okro, snails and other foods containing slime by pregnant women don’t make babies dull as widely speculated, according to Collins Akanno, a clinical nutritionist.
Akanno disclosed this while speaking with BBC Pidgin on some nutrition myths and beliefs associated with pregnant women in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day.
The nutritionist pointed out that such foods are healthy and should be encouraged among pregnant women.
“Some of the nutrition myths common among pregnant women is that they shouldn’t take snail and okro as well other foods that contain slime as they make their babies dull. Such myths are not true,” he said.
He also dismissed widespread speculations that pregnant women ought to be taking portions of food meant for two people because of their babies.
According to him, while pregnant women should take balanced diet, they should avoid excessive food intake, especially carbohydrate to avoid accumulating excess weight which could affect their unborn babies negatively.
Akanno also warned pregnant women against taking herbal teas sold by roadsides with the aim of reducing the size of their babies.
“If you are trying to make your baby small, you have already affected their growth. Such is dangerous as it could lead to complications later in life and such a child might never live up to his full potential in life,” he said.
He went on to call on pregnant women to ensure exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months. The health expert, however, warned that the practice of giving babies breast milk as well water, simultaneously, within the first six months of birth, is unhealthy.
He also said women with gestational diabetes – the kind of diabetes found among pregnant women — should reduce their intake of sugar as well as carbohydrate so that it won’t affect their baby.
“If a pregnant woman takes too much of carbohydrate and sugar, the baby could come out very big which may brings about complications later in life,” he added.