Healthy Diet Changes for the First Trimester of Pregnancy
The first trimester of pregnancy can be a challenging time for some women. If you experience any digestive challenges before becoming pregnant, things may feel worse. Or, sometimes the surge in hormones creates harmony to fluctuate in digestion and throughout your body. Some discomforts include: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fullness, bloating, low appetite, cravings, and constipation, just to name a few. However, these quick diet changes can help you adjust.
A pregnancy can drastically change your diet, but cravings aren’t the only challenge.
Nourish yourself and your baby during your first trimester with these healthy nutrition tips:
- Eat healthy for two. Your baby depends on you during your pregnancy, so it’s important to start eating healthy as soon as possible, if you aren’t already on a good nutrition plan..
- If you struggle with healthy foods and choices, then you may want to consult your natural doctor (us) and/or a prenatal nutritionist for help. It’s crucial that you start a healthy, vitamin-rich diet plan to help your baby develop.
- Take a prenatal vitamin. Food is an important source of vitamins, but it’s not enough during a pregnancy.
- Just as it’s not enough to rely on food only, it’s important to not rely solely on vitamins to get the proper nutrients needed during pregnancy.
- Natural doctors can recommend a good prenatal vitamin that will have the nutrients you and your baby need. There are a variety of brands, so definitely check with our recommendations on our online pharmacy for the highest quality nutrients. Avoid purchasing herbs, vitamins, and supplements from unknown sources or 3rd party vendors, such as Amazon, as they are not great quality products as research shows and they are full of fillers. Just as you don’t want to eat low quality food, it’s the same with nutrients.
- Add folate to your diet. Folate is also essential for proper development.
- You can take vitamins with folic acid, but foods offer another option. Folate can be found in beans, edamame, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. Your body needs folate to prevent birth defects in your child.
- Get enough iron. Iron is another important nutrient that your body needs during pregnancy.
- If you’re not vegetarian, you can use meat as the most common source of iron. If you’re vegetarian, vegetables like beans, spinach, and lentils can provide you with iron. Eggs and apricots are also good sources of this nutrient.
- Many women who increase their iron intake experience less headaches and constipation during pregnancy.
- Eliminate all alcohol. Alcohol has been linked to birth defects and developmental issues in children. If you’re trying to stay healthy for your baby, then consider cutting out all alcohol during the pregnancy.
- Add fish. Fish is an omega-rich food, but it’s important to avoid certain kinds during pregnancy.
- Women who are pregnant sometimes eliminate all fish because they’re worried about chemicals like mercury. However, doctors state that you can still eat fish. You should avoid sushi, shark, and swordfish because they’re more likely to have toxins. However, salmon, trout, catfish and sardines are generally considered safe.
- Check with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list for fish options that also support our ocean health. (https://www.seafoodwatch.org/recommendations/download-consumer-guides)
- Avoid eating hotdogs and soft cheeses. They may contain Listeria, which is a harmful bacteria that can impact your baby’s health or even lead to miscarriages. (No mozzarella cheese sticks.)
- Get enough calcium. Calcium is important for your bones, but it’s also essential during pregnancy.
- Your baby needs calcium to develop strong bones. You can find calcium in traditional dairy sources like milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, you also have other options like fortified orange juice and fortified cereals.
- Switch to well-done meat. You don’t want to risk getting bacteria from undercooked meat during your pregnancy.
- Your meat needs to be well done because Listeria, Salmonella, and other bacteria can harm your baby and even lead to miscarriages or stillbirths.
- You may want to get a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is done.
- Deal with your cravings. The cravings may be sudden and impossible to avoid. However, you can learn to deal with them. Try substituting healthier options like fruits instead of candy bars during a sugar craving. And, you can have a small bite of a craving, but, try to only have that as 10% of your treat or meal.
The first trimester may be easier to handle once you follow these quick diet changes. Sometimes, uncomfortable digestive symptoms go away by Weeks 12-14. Other times, it’s not that simple and you need more support. Give us a call if you want to consult for more support.