Chapter 4: Helping women stay healthy
These foods contain a lot of calcium:
• milk, curd, yogurt, and cheese
• ground sesame (tahini)
• green leafy vegetables
• yellow vegetables (hard squash, yams)
• lime (carbon ash)
• bone meal and eggshells
Women can also get more calcium in these ways:
• Soak bones or eggshells in vinegar or lemon juice for a few
hours. Then use the liquid to make soup or eat with other foods.
• Add lemon juice, vinegar, or tomatoes when cooking bones.
• Grind eggshells into a fine powder and mix into food.
• Soak maize in lime (carbon ash) before cooking it.
Iodine prevents goiter (swelling of the throat) and other problems in adults. Lack
of iodine in a pregnant woman can cause her child to have hypothyroidism
(cretinism), a disability that affects thinking and brain development.
The easiest way to get enough iodine is to use
iodized salt instead of regular salt.
These foods contain a lot of iodine:
• shellfish (like shrimp)
• egg yolks
If hypothyroidism or goiter are common in your
area, find out if the local health ministry will give
iodized oil by mouth or iodine by injection. If not,
women can make iodine solution at home with polyvidone iodine.
To make an iodine solution to drink
Add 1 drop of Lugol’s iodine to 1 glass of clean drinking water or milk.
In places where goiter or cretinism are common, everyone except
breastfeeding babies should drink 1 glass of this iodine solution
every month of his or her life. This is especially important for children
and pregnant women. Do not take more iodine than this. Too much
Store iodine at room temperature, and in dark containers to protect
it from light.
A Book for Midwives (2010)