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Study looks at diets of pregnant women

A study on the diets of pregnant women in Bermuda is under way in an effort to improve the health of mothers and their children.

The study, facilitated by Laval University’s Atlantis Mobile Laboratories stationed at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) will take a look at the dietary habits and needs of pregnant women on the Island.

Catherine Pirkle, postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology and public health with the University of Laval and Co-Principal Investigator on the current project, said: “Pregnancy is a time in which dietary options and choices made by women have important impacts on their health and that of their unborn children.

“Developing a clearer picture of the options available to pregnant women in Bermuda can help to protect these vulnerable members of the population.”

While new mothers should be provided with important infant nutritional information, a BIOS spokeswoman said such information is sometimes clouded by mixed messages.

Social issues like income and housing difficulties can make it more difficult for some mothers to adhere to nutritional advice.

The survey, supported by a grant from the Lepercq Foundation, is hoped to assist health professionals in Bermuda communicate with pregnant women about nutrition, and to support them making healthy nutritional choices.

Cheryl Peek-Ball, Acting Chief Medical Officer for the Ministry of Health and Seniors, said: “Two very important consequences of this collaborative study are that healthcare providers gain a heightened awareness of the challenges faced by some women in Bermuda in securing healthy food during their pregnancies.

“We can then intervene to assist them by referring needy families to sources of support in the community. Additionally, this study presents a great opportunity for full collaboration between the private obstetricians and the public health sector.

“Such collaboration is vital to meeting the needs of mothers and babies in the community.”

The study is expected to be completed with results released by late this summer.

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Published April 03, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 03, 2013 at 1:03 am)

Study looks at diets of pregnant women

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