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It is often noticed that amongst the other pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and food aversions, the diet tends to take a back seat in many pregnant women, especially in their first trimester of pregnancy.
What is perhaps overlooked is that the body experiences a surge of hormones as it continues to develop not just for one but for two that could also, if not taken care of, lead to nausea. None other than the progesterone hormone itself can trigger discomfort and indigestion like constipation and reflux.
However, it is not new that during early pregnancy, most moms-to-be tend to divert themselves from pregnancy nutrition such as fruits and vegetables or even their favorite foods. But, the good side or a sign of relief is that the appetite kicks back by the second trimester.
You may also ask, ‘What about pregnancy nutrition?’ keeping in mind the need for whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. To help the pregnant woman with this, we have curated this article that helps prevent nausea and also makes sure of the diet, especially during early pregnancy.
Read on to know more! But first,
How Many Extra Calories Do Pregnant Women Need in The First Trimester?
According to obstetricians and gynecologists, a pregnant woman will need to aim to eat at least 2,000 calories per day, which perhaps could also increase as per the activity level of the mother-to-be.
This means, getting enough as three meals a day with a snack or two. However, if eating large portions is a problem, try concentrating on the quality, such as the nutrients that will help both you and the little one.
What Nutrients Must a Mom-to-be Consume Alongside The Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Here are the important nutrients to be consumed especially in the food to eat when pregnant first trimester:
1) Folic acid
Folic acid is one of the most essential micronutrients that are needed to be a part of the first trimester, as well as, prenatal nutrition in general. This is needed as folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 or folate, plays an important role to prevent neural tube defects.
Perhaps, if you are recommended to have at least 600 micrograms per day, have a daily prenatal vitamin with oranges, fortified breakfast cereals, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, nuts, cauliflower, and beets.
This is a key element for the development of the muscles in both the mother and the baby, supporting the growth of the uterine tissues. Pregnant women must aim for 75 grams daily by eating eggs, Greek yogurt, meat poultry, and chicken.
Along with the other vitamins and minerals, calcium is vital for the growth of the baby’s teeth and bones. Therefore, since the little one will source calcium from you, consuming a good amount of dairy products in your diet is important.
If not enough calcium is consumed, this could result in brittle bones (osteoporosis). Try to aim for the recommended 1,000 milligrams daily through a well-balanced diet that includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and dark leafy greens.
The intake of iron is quite important as the blood volume tends to ramp up in order to meet the baby’s demand. According to health care providers, pregnant women in their first trimester must aim for 27 milligrams per day by consuming beef, chicken, eggs, tofu, and spinach. In addition, you can consult your doctor for a solid dose of iron via prenatal vitamins that can help reduce the risk of pregnancy anemia.
5) Vitamin C
The intake of vitamin C helps promote the development of the bones and tissues. Try including oranges, broccoli, and strawberries aiming for 85 milligrams per day.
Potassium just like sodium helps in maintaining the balance of the fluid in the body that also helps regulate the blood pressure. It is advised for pregnant women to aid 2,900 milligrams of potassium daily via foods like bananas, apricots, and avocados with prenatal vitamins.
DHA has an omega-3 fatty acid as its key ingredient and is found in low-mercury fish such as anchovies, herring, and sardines. It includes prenatal vitamins.
What Foods Should Pregnant Women Consume?
According to the nutrition pros, listed below are the best foods to eat when pregnant first trimester:
1. Lean meat
Make sure to have a good source of iron and protein like sirloin, chuck steak, pork tenderloin, turkey, and chicken. These foods have a good amount of amino acids that are great to build blocks for cells.
Consuming yogurt helps in supporting the bone structure.
The soybean pods contain vegetarian protein, calcium, iron, and folate making it a package that is a perfect fit for the first trimester.
This dark green leaf offers a combination of nutrients like fiber, calcium, folate, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
These are the best dietary sources of potassium amongst the rest.
6. Beans and lentils
They are a good source of Iron, folate, protein, and fiber.
7. Ginger tea
Sipping up on a cup of ginger helps combat nausea.
How to Prevent Morning Sickness and Nausea During Pregnancy?
Amongst the total number of pregnant women, almost 75 % of the to-be-moms experience nausea, upset stomach, and morning sickness as a symptom of their first trimester of pregnancy. Therefore, to help you aid them, here are a few tips that you can follow:
- Have smaller yet frequent meals every few hours as compared to the three big meals per day. This is because not eating for too long could result in nausea and weakness.
- During your pregnancy, you must opt to avoid any spicy and or high-fat foods. If not, they could cause unnecessary weight gain, heartburn, or stomach discomfort.
- If you are experiencing nausea, stick to cold or rather room temperatures bland foods like cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit, string cheese, nuts, or a mini bagel with peanut butter. The reason behind this is that hot food emits odors that could lead to nausea.
- To maintain a healthy gut and prevent an upset stomach, have liquid or softly-textured meals.
- As a part of the emergency snacks, keep dry and easy-to-eat snacks by your nightstand or side table. This could include graham crackers, pretzels, and low-sugar dry cereal.
Here are a Few Brownie Points for a Healthy First Trimester
When building a healthy diet and including appropriate nutrients, make sure to not overdo or worry much, as well. Otherwise, it can cause unnecessary stress in a time filled with anxiety. So, the golden rule as of now is to take it easy on both, the stomach and yourself.
Here are the tips for an easy first trimester of your pregnancy:
- Always stay hydrated: Start your day with a glass full of water. If you don’t feel like having a simple glass with water, add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or even some fresh berries to enhance the first drink of the day.
- Keep the emergency snacks available and munch on them well: The onset of hunger accompanied by nausea and fullness is one of the early signs of pregnancy. This is why it is important to have the blood sugar level steady throughout the day with healthy snacks like a handful of nuts, wholegrain crackers, cheese, fresh fruits, and whole wheat grain toast with peanut butter.
- Prenatal vitamins: Consult your doctor for the right prenatal to take..
Note: Just in case you have any doubts regarding the foods to avoid during pregnancy or otherwise, feel free to consult your healthcare provider.
Consuming the right food every day during pregnancy is an absolute must for pregnant women for the well-being of the baby and themselves. Therefore, consult the article above as your guide alongside the recommendations by the doctor for a safe and healthy pregnancy.