Check the mother’s body
Check for signs of poor nutrition or lack of iodine
Healthy signs General good health and a lot of energy.
Wa r nin g s ig n s
Signs of general poor nutrition:
• Not wanting to eat.
• Not gaining weight.
• Weakness and general ill health.
• Sores, rashes, or other skin problems.
• Sore or bleeding gums.
• Stomach problems or diarrhea.
• Burning or numbness of the feet.
Signs of lack of iodine:
• Goiter (swelling in the front of the throat).
• Short children, or children with deafness
or hypothyroidism, a disability that affects
See page 38 for ways to get more iodine.
What to do for poor nutrition
The best way to prevent or cure poor nutrition is to help people eat well. Find out
what the mother has been eating. See pages 33 to 42 to find ways to help her eat
better. Remember: vitamin pills and tonics can be helpful in pregnancy, but they
cannot replace a good diet!
A woman with poor nutrition is more likely to have a difficult birth, a too-small
baby, and more difficulty recovering from birth. If you are worried that a woman
may have a hard birth because of poor nutrition, get medical advice.
A Book for Midwives (2010)