Hey mama! Congratulations. Finding out you are pregnant can be both exciting and scary. The first trimester is the most delicate and critical period of development for your baby hence your nutrition should be a topmost priority right now. The first trimester spans from conception to around 13 weeks, some women go through it almost halfway before even realizing they’re pregnant. That is why preconception nutrition is also equally important, why we have talked about that HERE.
The choices you make during these precious months will shape the foundation for a healthy pregnancy. We are going to delve into nourishing your body and nurturing your baby during the first trimester. From dealing with morning sickness and understanding key nutrients for optimal growth.
Let’s look at exactly what is happening to your baby, the nutrients needed for the development and the foods they can be found in. The placenta, the bridge between your baby is formed first. It’s the tube that connects you to your baby and will feed the baby with all nutrients from your diet as well as oxygen from your blood. For a strong placenta formation, it requires great amounts of iron. Iron-rich foods include leafy vegetables, meat, legumes, and nuts. To help your body absorb iron from plant sources more effectively this is a good time to supplement our diet and have more citrus fruits.
The brain and spinal cord, are two of the most important organs of any individual’s life forms here. The nutrient of utmost importance here is vitamin B9 also known as folate, without adequate amounts of it your baby can develop a condition known as spina bifida.
During these first months, the baby’s leg and hands will form, and organs such as the heart, liver and genitalia are also formed. While individual dietary needs may vary, you must increase your protein intake. Protein is the nutrient responsible for the build-up of tissues and organs. Apart from iron and folate other minerals that should star in your diet are vitamin A, Omega 3 and 6, Calcium and Vitamin D. If you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you should get a lot of these nutrients, but it is still recommended to talk to your doctor or midwife about prenatal supplements. The final nutrient that I need you to take very seriously is water, drinking a lot of water will support blood flow and nutrient distribution needed not just to keep your baby healthy but you healthy as well.
Here is a 3-day sample meal for trimester 1, made with you in mind.
Before we go, if morning sickness is keeping you down, here are some foods proven to help with the constant nausea you may experience. Ginger, teas like fresh ginger tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, plain and bland foods such as dry toast, bananas and water-rich foods like watermelon. I know you might crave all sorts of things as the trimester ends but try to stay clear from clay, alcohol, caffeine beverages, charcoal and other things you know genuinely isn’t food.
By the end of this trimester your baby is about 4 inches and a size of a peach, see you when your baby is the size of a mango in the second trimester!
Explore our website for more valuable insights, practical tips, and delicious recipes to support your journey toward a healthier and happier you!
Written by: Josephine Asiedu, BPH- Nutrition.
Edited and reviewed by: Soteria Aba Ntim- Adu, BSc/ MSc(PHN), R.Nutr(Ghana)
ANutr (AfN, UK)
UNICEF Parenting- https://www.unicef.org/parenting/what-to-eat-when-pregnant
Alberta Department of Health https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=zy1780