Chapter 4: Helping women stay healthy
Less expensive meats and animal products
Blood and organ meats like liver, heart, and kidney have a
lot of iron and may cost less than other meats. Fish and
chicken are as healthy as other meats, and usually cost less —
especially for a family that fishes or raises their own chickens.
Eggs have a lot of protein, iron, and vitamin A. Eggs give more protein for less
money than almost any other food.
Grains, like wheat, rice, and corn, are more nutritious when they have not been
refined (processed to take out the color). Taking out the color takes out healthy
things too. White bread and white rice have less vitamins, minerals, and proteins
than brown bread or brown rice.
Vegetables and fruits
When vegetables are boiled or steamed, some
of the vitamins from the foods go into the
cooking water. Use this water to make soups.
Use only a little water
to cook vegetables.
The outside leaves of plants are usually thrown away,
but sometimes they can be eaten. The leaves of the cassava
plant have more vitamins and protein than the root.
Many wild fruits and berries are rich in vitamins and
natural sugars that give energy.
Avoid buying vitamins
Most of the time people can get enough vitamins and minerals by eating a variety
of foods. Buying vitamins is usually a waste of money.
But pregnancy and breastfeeding are times that women may need to take extra
vitamins — more than what they can get from food. Vitamin pills work as well as
vitamin injections, and cost less.
Caring for the body for good health
For a woman to stay healthy in pregnancy — or anytime — it is wise for her to
keep clean, exercise, and get plenty of rest.
Keeping the body clean helps prevent infections. If possible, the mother should
regularly wash her body, including her genitals, with clean water.
A Book for Midwives (2010)