The government has declared that from the ensuing week, they’ll provide free fruits and veggies to the pregnant women and children of underprivileged families. The trend had started during the Second World War during where the health of the children was prioritized. Thus, they’ve decided to start with the campaign again under the banner of Welfare Food scheme. According to Caroline Flint, the Public Health Minister, ‘Poor diet can have a real impact on people’s health. We want people to have the best possible opportunity to eat healthily.’ The Health Department has proclaimed that weekly check of £2.80 per family would be circulated and for those who have children below the age of one will be entitled for vouchers twice a week. In addition to it, they would also avail vitamin supplements. Ms Flint added, ‘For families in low income households, this is sometimes easier said than done. This new scheme will not only provide greater choice of healthy food, but will also mean that children can get milk and fresh fruit and vegetables from the cradle up, helping to give them the best possible start in life.’ The government estimates that approximately, 500,000 families would get the benefit from this Welfare Food Scheme.
Experts have postulated that stress and depression during pregnancy is directly proportional to premature birth. Hormones which are related to stress play an important part in the development of unborn baby and this tends to shoot up in women who are in depression during pregnancy. High levels of these hormones are involved in triggering labor, leading scientists to believe they could be behind many of the 45,000 premature births that occur in the UK each year – with potentially devastating results. Premature babies tend to die within the first few weeks of their births and if any amongst them survive, they tend to live with health problems such as, lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness. Dr Veronica O’Keane, a specialist in mental health in pregnancy, stated ‘many thousands’ of the unexplained premature births are likely to be caused by soaring levels of stress hormones and they could be prevented by treating stress and depression in pregnancy. Dr O’Keane, pointed out that it’s myth that women do not under go depression during pregnancy and that they are their ‘happiest’ mood. However, pregnancy is a stage when women under goes various mood swings and hence, depression comes as a part of pregnancy. Work carried out by Dr O’Keane and presented at a London conference held by the Institute of Psychiatry, hinted that children whose mothers become depressed during pregnancy find it harder to handle stress themselves. Therefore, stress in any given day is not only good for the would-be mother after all it affects the mental health of the progeny as well.