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Nutritious diet important for mother, baby health

Experts reinforce the importance of maternal nutrition for baby's development and mother's health.
Expectant mothers are advised to eat a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients to ensure a healthy pregnancy, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

A midwife from Tommy's the baby charity said that pregnant women should try "to stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet as you normally would do".

However, certain foods including uncooked meats, smoked salmon and unpasteurised cheeses are not advisable during pregnancy.

The FSA recently issued reviewed guidance on the consumption of caffeine while pregnant. Following research carried out by the Universities of Leeds and Leicester, it now recommends that women limit their daily caffeine intake to roughly two mugs.

Commenting on an appropriate prenatal fitness regime, the midwife added: "Exercise is very good in the pregnancy; swimming, yoga tends to work very well.

"Abdominal exercises and high-powered cardio is not advised in the early stages, and if you haven't done any exercise prior to this, it's best to take it gently from the start."

The Office for National Statistics reports that the number of live births in England and Wales increased for the sixth successive year in 2007.

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