March 2, 2010

First Trimester Diet & Foods to Avoid

Posted in Category : Women's Health

The first trimester is an important stage for the mother and baby. The baby’s development is almost complete by the end of this stage. The lungs and brain develop during this time, along with overall growth. As such this is time when the mother needs to maintain healthy dietary habits.

The first trimester also brings with it morning sickness, which tends to interfere with eating a healthy diet. When there is frequent nausea and vomiting, it is important to consume light smaller meats more frequently during the day. Most pregnant women are able to consume light slightly bland foods such as fruit, cereal and yogurt. Fruit smoothies are also preferred by many women experiencing morning sickness. Some women feel better when they eat spicy foods. Different women have different reactions to food and it is better to allow your body to decide which foods it prefers. Before getting out of bed it is a good idea to eat some ginger biscuits or saltine crackers. Keep these by your bedside so that you can eat them first thing in the morning. Morning sickness may be alleviated by consuming some lemon drops or ginger ale. Many women tend to lose a lot of fluid due to the vomiting and hence it is important to remain hydrated. Drink plenty of water daily as dehydration may cause complications for the mother and baby.

Processed foods, junk foods, trans fat and sugary products must be avoided. Include lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein in the diet. Refrain from eating foods such as sushi or raw eggs as these are not advised for pregnant women. Folic acid is an important nutrient that must be taken in the first trimester of pregnancy as it helps to protect the baby from neural tube defects. Prenatal supplements containing sufficient amounts of folic acid must be taken during this time. There are some grain foods that contain folic acid, but the body does not absorb it well and as such supplements are essential. Incorporating healthy dietary habits right from the beginning is essential as this will help during the weeks of morning sickness. The intake of foods containing calcium must also be increased as this is important for the baby’s bone development. Consulting your doctor regarding your diet will help to take care of any nutrition related concerns and will help you have a healthy pregnancy.