Being a mother is a blessing for every woman. Once you get pregnant, there are a number of natural changes, which your body undergoes automatically. Though the changes might be a little unnerving in the beginning, they will ease out as your pregnancy progresses. Apart from the changes that your body will make to accommodate the baby, you will have to make certain alterations on your own as well, especially in the first trimester.
The first trimester of pregnancy i.e. the first three months (starting from the first week and extending until the thirteenth week) can be the most joyous period for the mother-to-be. It is also the most crucial period of pregnancy, because it is the time when the pivotal organs of the baby, including arms, fingers, legs, toes, hair, and buds for future teeth, begin to form.
The nervous system of the fetus and the heartbeat of the baby also start functioning, during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. So, you need to take good care of yourself during the period, to ensure that your baby is nourished well. Keep a check on the size and type of your diet during the first trimester, as it determines the health of the child. To know more about 1st trimester diet, read on.
Diet During First Trimester
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet throughout pregnancy is very important. And when it comes to the first trimester, you need to be extra careful. Since energy is a prime requirement during pregnancy, it is recommended that you increase your daily intake by 100 calories.
- Folate or folic acid is required to support the increasing maternal blood volume and decrease the risk of baby having Neural Tube Defects (NTD). Thus, a folate supplement is recommended to be taken in the first trimester of the pregnancy.
- Intake ample iron, so as to provide rich blood supply to the growing baby. You can do this by eating more iron-rich foods, like lean red meat, fish, poultry, dried fruits, whole-grain breads, iron-fortified cereals and green leafy vegetables.
- Calcium is required for the formation of healthy teeth and bones of the baby.
- Ensure that you have three servings of Vitamin C-enriched foods on a daily basis. Include milk, citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, and green vegetables in your diet.
- You should also have carotene-enriched foods, such as yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Have milk that is fortified with Vitamin D. Soymilk is another good option, for the first trimester of pregnancy.
- At least six servings of whole grains are essential for the overall development of the fetus.
- Limit the intake of caffeine, because it triggers anxiety during pregnancy, which is not favorable. Therefore, cut down your cups of tea and coffee. It is better to substitute them with healthier fluids, such as milk and fruit juices.
- You can also drink some herbal teas, which are safe during pregnancy. These include citrus peel, ginger, lemon balm, orange peel and rose hip teas. Avoid chamomile tea.
- Limit the intake of fish as well, especially high mercury fish such as Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel and Tilefish. However, you can still eat healthy sea fish in moderation, during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Avoid using artificial sweeteners, or use them in moderation. Honey is a good option for acting as a natural sweetener.
- Omega fatty acid is quintessential for the development of brain of the child. Therefore, have food containing the fatty acid. This can be found in walnuts, beans, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, and green leafy vegetables.
- It is advisable to consult a doctor before making any changes in your diet.