The first few months of pregnancy can be one of the most contradictory times for a woman. You feel overjoyed that you are pregnant and bringing a new life into the world, yet you feel sick, nauseous and exhausted most of the time. Your sense of smell is particularly acute and the slightest detection of something unpleasant makes your stomach turn. And for those who you are not plagued with the vomiting and oversensitivity, putting on excessive weight can be a problem during these first few months.
There are a few basics nutritional requirements that are very easy to satisfy, so you and your baby can get everything you need. The two most important food sources at this point are making sure you get enough folic acid and enough protein.
Here are a few basic guidelines to follow for the first trimester of pregnancy.
1) Eat a variety of nutrient dense foods. Whole foods are the best for you and your baby. Eat unprocessed grains, raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, beans, meat and nut based proteins.
2) Select different foods high in folic acid like bee pollen, leafy greens, beans, nuts, and liver. In addition, take a prenatal supplement that will have plenty of this important vitamin.
3) Eating plenty building foods and healthy fats like avocado, coconut, and organic dairy products.
4) Eat enough food to gain the right amount of weight according to the standards, but be careful not to gain too much weight.
5) Avoid trans fatty fried foods and fast food options as much as possible, they are simply not good for you or your baby.
6) Eat small to moderate size meals and snacks every 3-4 hours.
7) Drink plenty of pure drinking water to hydrate your body. Avoid the use of caffeinated substances or soft drinks. Drink teas and juice as an alternative.
8) DO NOT drink alcohol. It is dangerous for your baby.
9) Exercise regularly. Stay fit and keep active.
The average female consumes about half the amount of folic acid recommended for pregnancy. Finding a good folic acid supplement is the best way to provide a backup, in additional to eating plenty of foods high in folic acid. It is advised for many women who are planning pregnancy to start taking a supplement a few months before and keep taking it after they become pregnant. This ensures a healthy supply of this all important vitamin that plays a big part in the baby’s brain development. Four milligrams daily is often recommended for those already deficient.
Getting The Right Amount Of Protein
Adequate protein is essential for growth needed for you and your baby. It is needed for the developing placenta and for increasing blood volume as well as for your baby’s growing cells. Your need for protein increases only slightly during the first trimester. The next stages you will need to increase your protein intake much more. There are a few different types of protein sources. Complete proteins are one variety found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. These complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need for good health. We have to get amino acid from our food because our bodies cannot make them. Beans, nuts and some grains are another type of protein to eat in addition to meat.
It is important during pregnancy to following your cravings but stay on the healthy side of the food spectrum. If you crave French fries for example, make a baked potato instead and use unheated oil or butter over the top with other fats. Making healthier foods choices and sticking to these basic guidelines will keep you on the right track for a healthy pregnancy.