Even though I am well out of my first trimester (nearly 18 weeks now). I thought I would still offer my advice for nutrition during the first trimester.
As an aspiring Nutritionist (only 6 months left in my Masters), this topic is highly important to me. Nutrition plays an important role in our everyday health and is crucial during pregnancy.
Some women are scared that they are not getting enough calories or nutrition during their first trimester, due to their lack of appetite and nausea. I was one of those women, until I did further research.
Since the baby is so small during this time, nutrition is not as important as it would be during the second and final trimester (where you need 300-500 extra calories a day). This doesn’t give you an excuse to abuse your body and cut your calories by any means, but only offers to encourage you not to worry if you don’t have an appetite. If you feel great during the first trimester, begin eating healthy by all means.
Your baby is going to take whatever nutrients you do eat, so don’t worry if you feel like you can’t eat as much. Some women won’t gain any weight during this time, and some women lose weight because of how weak and nauseous they are.
Suggestions for Nutrition in the First Trimester:
- Take a Prenatal – Most doctors are going to prescribe a prenatal and they should. Prenatals supply your body with the extra nutrients you need to feed your baby and help it grow, which is great during your first trimester when your appetite is gone. Even if you eat a healthy diet, still take a prenatal to ensure all nutrients are adequate.
- Supplement w/ Vitamin D – This is especially important if you are leave in the Northern states where the sun doesn’t shine as much as those Southern states.
- Take Fish Oils (EPA and DHA) – Essential fatty acids are crucial for a developing babies health, especially brain development. I would recommend supplementing with a fish oil or flaxseed oil. My favorite is Barleans Omega Swirl or Barleans Fish Oil Capsules.
- Remember to Hydrate – Drinking water right when you awake can help with your nausea. Drinking regularly will prevent dehydration for you and the baby.
- Eat Lighter Frequent Meals – Heavy meals may not sound appealing and probably make you sick to think about them. Try eating smaller, more frequent meals, including proteins. Even if you can only have an apple and peanut butter for breakfast, it’s better than nothing.
- Try Herbal Teas and Oils – Honestly, these were lifesavers. I loved lemon ginger tea and ginger chews, to help with nausea. Peppermint tea is great and raspberry leaf tea. I used peppermint oil on my feet and head for nausea (and lavender too), and drank a raspberry leaf tea blend nearly every morning.
Keeping healthy snacks on hand is great for keeping nausea at bay. Also, listen to what you are craving or what sounds good and eat it, with some care. I don’t recommend eating high amounts of sugar and processed foods.
—-If all you can stomach is PB&J than by all means eat PB&J. If you just want eggs, eat eggs. Chose whole grain bread, with no HFCS and jelly without any HFCS or artificial sweeteners; and eggs that are hormone free, preferably free range and organic.—-
I only wanted to eat crackers, rice cakes and smoothies most of my first trimester. Oh and I could only stomach black bean burritos. I tried to eat some crackers with peanut butter or almond butter and hummus at times, to add more calories and protein. I loved rice cakes with PB. I would add protein powder to smoothies and spinach or other greens to get some more nutrients.
Once the second trimester rolls around, your appetite should return, and you can eat what you love again, along with a healthy variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and grains, and proteins.
I will include a post on important vitamins and minerals to have during pregnancy and the recommended daily suggestions within the next couple of days.
Have a great Weekend!!
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit
Lisa @ RunWiki says
I wish I had you around during my first pregnancy– I ate and craved really junkie food. I paid the price, because when I got to my third trimester, I had gained too much weight, and it risked the health of my baby in the process. When I got pregnant with the twins, I was much more motivated and disciplined to eat healthy and in moderation. I wasn’t dieting, but I was careful not to over eat either– I’m pretty sure that is a common mistake many women make– thinking they can eat whatever they want. I know it was for me.
I hate the phrase “I need to eat for two now” It’s taken the wrong way. It doesn’t eat double your meals, but simply means you have higher nutritional needs, but they are meant with 300-500 calories, not 1000. I crave the junk foods at time, like chips, but I do popcorn instead or cheese and crackers if I can stomach it.
Kristin @SweatCourage says
Thanks for sharing these tips! It’s really good to know for the future… I really think a lot of women act like they need to eat for two… not really the case. When I think about getting pregnant one day, what scares me is feeling sick all the time (at least for the first trimester)… It looks like you struggled with this but I hope you are feeling better now! I am going to bookmark these posts:)
I am going to pass this along to some of my pregnant friends. Great advice!