You probably already know that during your pregnancy, you need to pay attention to what you are eating. After all, whatever you are eating, your baby is eating as well.
However, did you know that your nutrition during the first trimester is particularly important? During these three months, a tremendous amount of growth and development take place.
The organs are formed, including the heart and the brain. If any kind of defects or abnormalities are going to occur, it is usually during these three months.
That is why it is so important that you eat lots of healthy food, take the vitamins and supplements you should, and drinks lots of water.
Several nutrients have been shown to prevent birth defects, to enhance the baby’s brain development, and to improve the future health of both you and your baby. In addition to consuming healthy foods, there are some that you should avoid completely during this developmental time.
The recommended weight gain for a normal-weight woman is about twenty five to thirty five pounds, and there is only a two to three hundred calorie increase daily in dietary needs. You should stay within the guidelines for weight gain to maximize your health, as well as the future health of your little one.
Elevated glucose levels in your bloodstream contribute to fetal weight gain, and the carbohydrates that you eat can affect these levels. After all, carbohydrates are broken down in your body into glucose, and higher glucose levels can make for a bigger baby.
To keep these levels better under control, try eating unrefined carbohydrates instead of refined starches, which are broken down more slowly. This will help prevent the spike in glucose in the bloodstream that follows a carbohydrate-heavy meal.
Try eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, and opt for brown rice instead of white rice. You can also try to eat whole-grain cereals, instead of ones that are high in sugar and carbs.
You may also want to consider a diet that is high in DHA, as it may help the development of your baby’s brain. There is lots of research being conducted on this effect all over the world.
The richest sources are found in fatty fish. However, many of the fish that are rich in fatty acids are also high in mercury, which can be harmful to the developing nervous system of the fetus.
As a rule of thumb, you should try to avoid fish during your pregnancy, due to this risk. For this reason, and with the permission of your doctor, you could try taking omega-3 supplements, or a prenatal vitamin with DHA in it.
You may also find that you have a significant amount of nausea during these first three months. There are ways that you can use your diet to help you combat these symptoms.
To begin with, keep your stomach filled partially almost all the time, by not going too long between meals or snacks during the daytime. Refined carbohydrates, which are easily digested, are often the easiest for your stomach to tolerate.
Although the healthiest carbohydrates are unrefined, during this phase, sometimes only a white diet consisting of pasta, rice, crackers, potatoes, and breads will make you feel better. Grazing, which is eating a little bit all of the time, can help keep nausea under control.
Whenever possible, eat well-balanced meals with lots of fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates. You should also make sure that you are getting enough sleep, and resting when you can-you will feel the fatigue of these first few months if you do not.
When you are feeling better, try exercising gently and safely to help you feel more energy. You should always check with your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program.
Make sure that you are getting enough folic acid, which doctors have found may reduce the risk of birth defects by as much as half. This substance is found in rich amounts in spinach, Swiss chard, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, or in a prenatal vitamin.
You can also try eating healthy things like beans, healthy breakfast cereals, lentils, orange juice, strawberries, or sunflower seeds to get the folic acid you need. Make sure that you are following the advice of your doctor and being as careful as possible, and you will be much more likely to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, for both you and your baby.