A good support system is important during pregnancy. When I was carrying my baby Lucy (now four months), I was most thankful to the hubby for driving me to and from work, indulging my food cravings and absorbing my mood swings 😀 I would have liked to bond with fellow preggy mommas but unfortunately none of my friends were pregnant the same time I was. So yeah, what fun it would have been if I joined some sort of pregnancy class.
I was acquainted with the Iberet Gift of Life class just recently and would readily recommend this to couples coping with the highs and lows of child-bearing. The classes are conducted by the Perinatal Association of the Philippines (PAP) and sponsored by Iberet, the most trusted iron supplement brand made by Abbott. Simply put, Gift of Life is a program that disseminates information on maternal and child care through regular half-day classes for expectant mothers and their husbands.
The classes are conducted by doctors and other experts in perinatal care, and deals with such topics as pregnancy exercises, proper nutrition for a healthy pregnancy, a short Lamaze class and even baby sign language. Classes are typically attended by 50 to 100 couples, but according to PAP, a recent class in Bicol filled an entire movie theater.
People go out of the way to attend Gift of Life classes, as the PAP gets the best available speakers. The GOL classes are free, and the topics they teach about are those that typically only well to do couples can get from more exclusive and expensive OB-gynecologists.
Last week, this blogger was fortunate enough to attend one of PAP’s sessions where it invited no less than Dr. Nils Milsman, a respected world authority on anemia and human iron metabolism.
In his talk at the Crowne Plaza Galleria in Pasig City, Dr. Milman raised the alarm about the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in infanticipating women and how this causes preterm birth, complications at delivery and even maternal death.
The problem, he said, is especially serious in the Philippines where anemia affects 44 per cent of pregnant women and 42 per cent of those who are not pregnant. Inadequate iron supply in expectant moms can greatly affect a fetus’ developing brain and impair the baby’s intelligence or psychomotor development at birth.
This is the reason why doctors recommend the intake of ferrous iron and folic acid as early as the time when a woman is trying to conceive. Food that have been found to have sufficient iron stores include meat, poultry, fish, and calf liver.
I remember when I was pregnant and I complained to my OB-gyne that I felt awful every time I took my multivitamin. And he said I needed to take it to have sufficient iron supply in my body. He said the choice was between taking my vitamins (which made me retch) or eating steak everyday (steak is rich in iron). So I just resorted to the cheaper method 😀
It is true that the typical diet of a Filipino woman quite simply does not contain an adequate amount of iron to meet the recommended daily intake.
As such, taking iron supplements like Iberet are a must. While anemia remains a dangerous disease, it can be prevented and even treated by taking the correct recommended dosage of iron daily. Even when one is not pregnant, taking iron supplements regularly ensures that the body has enough iron to produce the needed amount of hemoglobin, this in turn ensures that your blood and body are adequately oxygenated.