Nutrition in 1st Trimester

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The first trimester is the earliest phase of pregnancy. It starts on the first day of your last period, before you’re even actually pregnant  and lasts until the end of the 13th week. It’s a time of great anticipation and of rapid changes for both you and your baby. Knowing what to expect will help you get ready for the months ahead. Optimal nutrition throughout pregnancy is crucial for growing a healthy baby, minimizing complications, and also beyond birth. Studies have shown that a healthy diet during pregnancy can reduce the chances of your baby developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease later in life. Eating well and taking certain probiotics throughout your pregnancy can also dramatically reduce the chances of your baby developing asthma, eczema and hay fever after they are born (more on this later).

Month 1 Pregnancy Diet

BABY’S DEVELOPMENT:

In the first month of pregnancy your baby is an embryo consisting of two layers of cells. All the organs and body parts will develop from here. This month, the neural tube is developed which is the reason a supplement containing folic acid is crucial to prevent neural tube defects.

YOUR PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS:

Morning sickness is common in the first few months of pregnancy. It is not experienced by all women, but can be extremely severe for some. The good news is that most women find their nausea disappears by the beginning of their second trimester. In the meantime, here are some strategies to decrease nausea (which can occur at any time of the day, not just in the morning) :

  • Have a carbohydrate-rich snack 15-20 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning – this can help to settle the stomach before you start to move about. Try storing some plain crackers or bread by your bed for when you wake up

  • Consume smaller meals, more frequently (i.e. 6 meals a day, rather than 3). Don’t let yourself get too hungry between meals

  • Focus on foods that are easy to digest

  • Try to consume liquids between meals rather than with food

  • Stay away from high fat, fried and spicy foods as these can aggravate nausea

 

IMPORTANT FOODS TO FOCUS ON IN MONTH 1 OF PREGNANCY:

  • Folate-rich foods: green leafy vegetables (spinach, rocket, parsley), whole-grains and legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas)

  • Vitamin B6: 40 mg taken twice daily has been shown to be an effective, natural treatment at reducing early pregnancy nausea and vomiting. Talk to your healthcare provider about taking this supplement if you feel it might be useful

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Vegetables

FOODS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY:

  • Raw/undercooked meats

  • Cold cuts of cured meat

  • Raw fish (sashimi/sushi)

  • Soft cheeses

  • Salad bars

  • Raw eggs (and foods that contain them e.g. mayonnaise and raw cake batter)

  • Unwashed fruit and veg

  • High levels of caffeine (coffee, black tea)

Month 2 Pregnancy Diet

BABY’S DEVELOPMENT:

In the second month of pregnancy your baby is around the size of a kidney bean and has distinct, slightly webbed fingers.

YOUR PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS:

Nausea and fatigue are common in the second month. Have a read of this article for some natural remedies for morning sickness. 

IMPORTANT FOODS TO EAT IN MONTH 2 OF PREGNANCY:

  • Ginger for nausea: ginger has been demonstrated to provide the same relief from nausea as the leading anti-nausea drugs. Try grating 2 Tbsp. into hot water as a tea, chewing on crystallized ginger sweets throughout the day or adding powdered ginger to cooking

  • Vitamin E: this study demonstrated a link between low vitamin E status and increased miscarriage risk

  • Some good sources of vitamin E include:

    • raw almonds

    • avocado

    • olive oil

    • sunflower seeds

    • hazelnuts

    • egg yolk

Month 3 Pregnancy Diet

BABY’S DEVELOPMENT:

In the third month of pregnancy, your baby is around 7 to 8 cm (3 inches) long and weighs the same as a pea pod. Tiny, unique fingerprints are now distinct.

YOUR PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS:

Nausea usually starts to disappear at the end of this month.

IMPORTANT FOODS TO FOCUS ON IN MONTH 3 OF PREGNANCY:

  • Make sure you are having at least 10 glasses of water each day plus fluid-filled fruits and vegetables to keep you and baby hydrated

To know more about nutrition in 1st Trimester, please book consultation with our nutritionist