Foods to Eat When Pregnant During the First Trimester
Congratulations! Now that you have found out that you are pregnant or if you’re at the early stages of your pregnancy, you need to become aware of the different foods to eat when pregnant to ensure that your baby will develop correctly inside your womb. Some women find the first trimester (that is from 0-12 weeks of pregnancy) very challenging with changing hormones resulting in fatigue and nausea. Aside from that, with a new life forming within their bodies, it is the best time to eat healthy and well.
During the first trimester, an additional 100 calories should be consumed to provide adequate nutrients for your baby. On the other hand, all pregnant women must stop eating foods that are not healthy and are actually dangerous for the fetus, like alcohol and even caffeine does eggplant have protein. As much as possible, junk and processed foods as well as foods high in trans- fats and sugar should be eliminated from your diet. Caffeine present in coffee, chocolate and in sodas should be minimized and if possible completely stopped. Likewise, foods that are raw like eggs and sushi should be avoided and red meat should be well cooked.
Aside from foods to avoid, you must consume specific foods that have the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to make your pregnancy less stressful and for the benefit of your baby’s development. Foods that are rich in protein, calcium, iron, folic acid and folate should be added in your pregnancy diet for the first trimester. These nutrients are very important during the early stages of your baby’s development.
Protein is important to ensure the tissue and cell formation of your baby. On your part, protein can ease nausea and fatigue. Foods to eat when pregnant that are rich in protein are meat, specifically lean meat and poultry as well as eggs, fish, whole-grain and some vegetables. Foods rich in Vitamin C mostly found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit can ease your morning sickness that mostly occur during the first trimester.
For bone and teeth development, you should consume adequate amounts of calcium. If your calcium intake is not enough, your baby will absorb your own calcium, putting you at risk of osteoporosis. The main sources of calcium are milk and other dairy products like cheese, yoghurt and calcium-fortified juices. Iron on the other hand is also a very important mineral for both mother and baby. Iron can be found in liver, green and leafy vegetables like spinach as well as red meat.
During the third trimester, the baby is fully developed while the mother is preparing for labor. Both mother and child will continue to gain weight every week and nutrients from healthy foods are still the 1st priority. The mother also needs to know the foods to eat when pregnant during the third trimester to prepare herself and her body for breastfeeding. An additional 300 calories are needed each day to answer these needs.
Aside from that, some pregnant women develop lack of appetite or they easily feel full due to the pressure in the abdomen caused by the growing baby making less room for food. To avoid deprivation from nourishment, pregnant women are advised to eat small meals each day, preferably every 3 to 4 hours. Drinking between meals is not recommended since liquids can make a person feel full faster.
More or less, a pregnancy diet for the third trimester should be almost the same as that of the second trimester, priority being the adequate intake of necessary nutrients. Your pregnancy diet for this trimester still composes of foods that are rich in protein, fiber, iron, calcium and carbohydrates. Likewise, it is a time to keep up with nutrients that a woman might not have been able to get like certain vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, it is not too late for pregnant women to stop some unhealthy habits during their pregnancy like eating too much sugar, junk food or processed foods.
As mentioned, protein is still one of the foods to eat when pregnant even during this trimester as protein is not only beneficial for the continuous growth of the baby but also for breastmilk production. Protein can be found in all kinds of meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products and fish. Consult your doctor for the types of fish that pregnant women should avoid like swordfish and salmon.
A pregnant woman should continue eating complex carbohydrates to provide adequate energy for her impending labor and child delivery. These complex carbohydrates can be best found in whole grain foods like whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, brown rice, oatmeal and even in some crops like yam,. For the baby’s teeth and bone development as well as for future breastfeeding, calcium should be taken. Drink milk each day, preferably skimmed or low-fat, as well as cheese and yoghurt. For snacks, healthy treats can be in the form of fresh fruits, healthy cereal bars, seeds, nuts and dried fruits like prunes, raisins and apricots.