You might have known that the first trimester of your pregnancy counts from that first day of your last period. By the time you know that you are pregnant, you are already in your fifth or sixth week. In the first three months a lot of changes takes place in your body. The fertilized egg divides plenty of times and implants in the wall of your womb. The cell division takes place and layers of cells form to become an embryo. This is the period when your baby grows faster than the rest of the pregnancy period.
By sixth week your heart is formed and heart beat can be heard by the end of 12 weeks. In these 12 weeks your baby also gets bones and muscles along with vital organs. So, this is a vital period and you need to take extra care of yourself. You need be careful of what you eat everyday.
Make Changes To Your Lifestyle
If you use medicines, then talk to your doctor and confirm which medicines are safe during pregnancy. Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol completely at least for these 9 months. If you are habituated to coffee then reduce its intake as much as possible since caffeine can be harmful to the baby. It is also found in tea, chocolate, energy drinks, etc.
Before you got to know about your pregnancy, 5 or 6 weeks have already passed. You might have taken alcohol or smoked before you got to know. Don’t worry about that; but since you know it now, avoid those habits completely.
Other than diet and habits, it’s also important to have healthy mind. It’s common to suffer with depression, anxiety, stress, etc. but that means that your baby is growlg healthy. Take your doctor’s help and also try home remedies to cure these issues.
Should You Eat Differently Now?
The food may vary but the most important thing you should remember is that you should eat healthy food only and try to get all the required nutrients so that your baby can stay healthy.
Do not eat large meals; have more number of small meals instead. Include foods like vegetable, fruits, starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice, etc. Get whole grains every day. Do not avoid protein rich foods like poultry, fish, lean meat, pulses, etc.
Folic acid helps in preventing neural tube defects and protect your baby. Take 400 mcg daily for these 8 weeks at least. Folic acid is quite rich in foods like peas, beans, yeast, some cereals, orange juice, etc.
What Should You Eat?
Add more of cereals as you need energy all the time. Rice, wheat, oats, pasta, bread, crackers, etc. can be added. It is recommended to have 6 servings of cereals a day and 50% of that should comprise of whole grains. Your diet should be rich in fibre; so, prefer whole grains instead of white flour and prefer whole grain bread over white bread. This can prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.
- Pulses, Legumes, Poultry & Lean Meat:
Protein is very much essential in these days; so, make sure you have at least 3 servings of protein every day. Try different kinds of beans like kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, etc.; have different kinds of pulses. Have eggs and other poultry food; add lean meat as well since it is rich in proteins. Milk & milk products like cheese, yogurt, etc. should also be taken on daily basis.
Think of a rainbow and add every color to your diet. Add more of green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, etc. Consider yellow and orange foods like pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, etc. You should take 3 servings of vegetables a day and make sure to add different varieties of nutrients from them.
Add as many types of fruits as possible. You can prepare salads by combining few fruits or have fruit juices. Get apples, oranges, grapes, peaches, pomegranate, grapefruit, guava, etc. These are full of antioxidants and hence can protect you from many diseases.
- Dairy Products:
Milk and milk products are rich in protein and many vitamins. Cow milk is considered as best and should be taken everyday. Add more dairy products like yogurt, cheese, etc. If you are a vegan then add soy milk and soy products to your diet. This is required for the growth of your baby.
It is essential to start your day with nutrient rich food. You can have a bowl of cereal like oats with some skimmed milk and fruits. Add fruits like strawberries, bananas, pomegranate, etc.
You can also start your day with two sandwiches with some fresh vegetables like cucumber, spinach, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and some cheese.
Make sure your lunch is easy to digest yet has all the required nutrients. How about having crusty bread with reduced fat hummus? The recipe uses fortified soya milk or skimmed cow milk, olive oil or rapeseed oil, onion, broccoli, peas, vegetable stock, etc. Prepare some soup and have it.
You should make your immune system stronger so that your body can protect you and your baby from many diseases. Include vitamin C to your diet by having an orange or lemon juice as snack. You can eat the fruit directly or make juice of it. If you feel nauseous then add some ginger juice which is known to cure nausea. Have few dates everyday along with a glass of juice. You can also soak a handful of nuts and have them daily. Include more fruits like apples, watermelon, grapes, etc. You can also prepare salads with these fruits and have them daily in the evenings.
Black-eyed-beans are very rich in folate and should be added to your diet. This fibre rich food is very nutritious and easy to cook as well. Try making it with some meat and sun-dried tomatoes. Try different recipes using different types beans which are very rich in proteins. Add more vegetable like dark green veggies, orange & yellow colored veggies. Add broccoli, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, bell peppers, etc. Prepare different kinds of curries and try them.
You just need to make sure you get all the required nutrients from your food to stay healthy; this will help your baby grow in a healthy way.