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I wish I had had a pregnancy diet menu when I had my son. The first trimester of pregnancy can be a challenging time for a woman. I didn’t have any complications during my pregnancy, but I’m one of the lucky ones. I changed my diet early on, which led to my not having any issues later in my pregnancy.
Pregnant women, regardless of age, should be notified of the items they should eat when pregnant so that the nutrition is provided internally and through supplements.
Pregnancy can drastically change your diet, but cravings aren’t the only challenge. However, these quick diet changes can help you adjust.
This is why you should make healthy diet changes for pregnancy, so you are ahead of the game. If you are looking for tips that help me through my pregnancy, you can read my post on how to gain minimal weight while pregnant.
This post is about the pregnancy diet menu I recommend for new moms.
Before making any severe changes to your diet, you always want to check in with your health care provider to ensure you are doing everything correctly, as they will have the most up-to-date information on your medical background.
As a mom who was pregnant until 42 weeks gestation, I know how important whole grains and healthy foods are to make it that long in the pregnancy. Here is my post about my experience during the fourth trimester and tips to help you manage your fourth trimester.
Pregnancy Diet Menu First Trimester
When you first become pregnant, ideally, you would have prepared your body for pregnancy for at least two to three months. One of the first things to implement in your diet is taking folic acid supplements.
This is important in your system because folic acid is the synthetic form of folate or (b vitamins, crucial in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is essential during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of brain and spine birth defects.
Some common defects you might hear about from women who lack sufficient amounts of folate are neural tube defects. The most common that you hear about are spina bifida (a spinal cord defect) and anencephaly (a brain defect).
There are so many folic acid supplements or prenatal vitamins that have it that it can be hard to choose one. Most health care providers will tell you anyone works as long as it has at least 400 to 1,000 mcg of folic acid daily. Here is a quick summary of what you should be doing in your first trimester
Eat for TWO
Your baby depends on you during your pregnancy, so it’s essential to start eating healthy as soon as possible. You must begin a healthy, vitamin-rich diet plan to help your baby develop. Consider consulting your doctor for help if you struggle with healthy diets.
Take a prenatal vitamin.
Food is an essential source of vitamins, but it’s not enough during pregnancy. Your doctor can recommend a good prenatal vitamin with the nutrients your baby needs. There are a variety of brands, so you should get your doctor’s advice before shopping.
During my pregnancy, I took a food-based prenatal vitamin to check the labels to find out which was which. Here is the one that I used Rainbow Light Prenatal.
Some other prenatal vitamins are great to use since they have no side effects and work for most women.
Add folate to your diet.
Your body needs folate to prevent birth defects in your child. 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.
Get enough iron
Iron is another essential 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.
Adding Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet
Doing it can be challenging if you do not practice healthy eating while pregnant. Weight gain during pregnancy is the easiest, so you want to be mindful of what you consume and how.
A great way to do this is to follow the general guidelines regarding the significant don’ts of consuming food. Here is a quick summary of the biggest don’t while pregnant regardless of your trimester.
Eliminate all alcohol.
Alcohol has been linked to birth defects and affects a baby’s brain development. If you’re trying to stay healthy for your baby, consider cutting out all alcohol during the pregnancy.
Adding Certain Types of Fish.
Fish is an omega-rich food, but it’s essential to avoid certain kinds during pregnancy.
Pregnant women 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 poisoned.
However, salmon, trout, catfish, and sardines are generally considered safe. Think of oily fish as your go-to for consuming these types of options.
Don’t eat hotdogs and soft cheese.
They may contain Listeria, a harmful bacteria that can hurt your child or even lead to miscarriages. You can catch Listeria at any point in your pregnancy, but it can be hazardous during the first trimester when a miscarriage occurs the highest.
Get enough calcium
Calcium is vital for your bones but also essential during pregnancy. Your baby needs calcium to develop strong bones. The alternative to calcium that is just as equally important is vitamin d. Most of the time, vitamins b, c, and vitamin d are in your prenatal, but if they are not, take them as a separate supplement.
You can find calcium in traditional dairy sources like milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, you also have other options like fortified orange juice and cereals.
Only consume 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.
It’s a good idea while planning for a baby to start making the switch so it will come second nature during pregnancy. This will also include switching to lean meats like chicken breast, turkey, lamb, or venison are great options while pregnant. If you are vegan or vegetarian, talk to your doctor about what essential nutrients you need for a well-balanced diet.
Having concerns about making sure you are cooking your meats at the correct temperature? Invest in a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is done. If you consume raw veggies in smoothies, you will have to switch to blanching, or a light saute. You also want to do the same thing for leafy greens.
Handle your cravings like a pro
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.
Gestational diabetes is a severe condition of an influx of blood sugar that must be managed carefully. Having gestational diabetes can lead to your baby having low birth weight, being on bed rest, or gaining a lot of weight.
Moms will be tested for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks unless suspected earlier in pregnancy. GB typically doesn’t drastically affect a baby’s development, but healthcare professionals will monitor you until after birth.
The first trimester may be easier to handle once you follow these quick diet changes. Consider consulting your doctor or dietician for help if you are unsure if your healthcare provider feels it’s needed to have a successful full-term baby.
Rocking the Second Trimester
The energy and activity level will pick up in this trimester. If you have it, morning sickness will have subsided, and you will have more time to focus on having a healthy pregnancy.
Breakfast is going to be so much more important than ever. Starting the day with great food will lead to a great day of nutritious food. I enjoyed some breakfast cereals while pregnant that are great for fetal development.
If cereal is not your thing, here are some other great options high in fiber and iron.
- milk (or plant-based milk)
- eggs (hard-boiled egg, scrambled)
- nuts and seeds
- berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
- sweet potatoes
Lunch should include lots of green leafy vegetables. Having salads with these greens is the best way o make sure you get a healthy dose of them in your diet. Here are the most common greens.
- Collard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
You can include these in a super greens salad or cook them as sides for your meals. Even having small amounts of these greens as a part of your diet can lead to a healthy baby and a better body mass index while pregnant. Remember that the pregnancy diet menu is to provide guidance, and it should be fun.
Staying On Your Pregnancy Diet Menu for Third Trimesters
Food cravings will be at an all-time highest as this Is when your baby will start to gain most of its body weight. Which means you will be hungry and want to eat more. Trying to avoid gaining much weight during this time will be challenging but possible.
After gestational diabetes (glucose) test, you might feel inclined to drink more soft drinks or increase your sugar, and you shouldn’t. Sugary food during this time can be the most harmful, and you are still at risk of developing any medical condition.
While your food aversions would have ended, you will want to ensure you consume plenty of fruits, stick with lean red meat, and choose brown rice over white rice.
What Teas To Drink While Pregnant
If you are a tea lover, regular and herbal teas are excellent options to have while pregnant. Here is a list of the teas that are generally safe during pregnancy.
Be mindful that herbal teas in the earlier trimesters might not be recommended.
Always make sure before consuming herbal teas you consult your doctor.
Regular Teas to Enjoy
If you want to play It as safe as possible, here are the teas that you can drink throughout the pregnancy that are typically ok by healthcare providers and medical professionals.
Following a healthy meal plan while pregnant will be the most successful for you and your baby’s health in the long term. Always seek medical advice if you have underlying medical conditions or are unsure about something.
Make sure you are always following the individual needs of you and your baby. Being a pregnant woman can be exciting, but also you have to be more vigilant about what you are consuming, the amounts, and hitting the daily calories and goals for nutrition.
If you are looking for more information on how to have a healthy diet while pregnant, the American College of Obstetricians has great FAQs that you can check out, and here is one of my favorite ones to reference.
This post was about the pregnancy diet menu I recommend for new moms.
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