This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
Congratulations on your bundle of joy! Here are some healthy diet changes for the first trimester while you get through those first few months.
The first trimester is full of a lot of changes. You may be hungry, you could possibly be very sick, or just a little queasy, and absolutely exhausted in a way you’ve never experienced.
I felt like I was going to be sick pretty much all day long. And the exhaustion. Oh boy. I was asleep by 7pm most nights during both of my pregnancies and probably could have gone to sleep even earlier if it wasn’t for responsibilities like work.
With that said, this advice is good advice but please don’t feel the need to implement if you can’t keep your food down. It’s most important that you follow your doctor’s advice. I could only stomach salt and vinegar chips for the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy with my son. First trimester is no joke hard and the main goal right now is to eat what you can, if you can, and to seek medical assistance if you cannot.
Here are the healthy ways you can change your diet during the first trimester.
Healthy Diet Changes for the First Trimester
Eating Healthy for Two
It’s important to rely on healthier foods during pregnancy so you and baby can get all the nutrients you need. Consult your doctor for help if you need assistance maintaining a healthy diet. It’s beneficial to start a healthy, vitamin-rich diet while your baby develops but first trimester can be very hard on newly pregnant mamas. If food is a struggle, seek the help of your doctor and ask family and friends what they were able to eat to see if it would help you.
Take a Prenatal Vitamin
A prenatal vitamin is crucial to ensuring you’re getting the vitamins you and baby need! There are a lot of options when it comes to prenatal vitamins. Check with your doctor if any over the counter vitamin options are potentially making you feel nauseated.
Folate / Folic Acid
Folate is also essential for the proper development. You can take vitamins with folic acid, but foods is how you can increase folate. Folate can be found in beans, edamame, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. Your body needs folate or folic acid to prevent birth defects in your child, such as neural tube defects.
Getting Enough Iron
Iron is another important 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.
Alcohol has been linked to birth defects and developmental issues in children. If you’re trying to stay healthy for your baby, then consider cutting out all alcohol during the pregnancy. According to the CDC, alcohol use in the first three months of pregnancy can cause the baby to have abnormal facial features. Speak with your doctor if alcohol is an issue for you.
Fish is an omega-rich food, but it’s important to avoid certain kinds during pregnancy.
Women who are pregnant 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 poisons. However, salmon, trout, catfish and sardines are generally considered safe.
Get Enough Calcium
Calcium is important for your bones, but it’s also essential during pregnancy. Try to get at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are some of the best sources of calcium throughout your pregnancy. You can also eat dark leafy greens but keep in mind the calcium is there in a smaller amount. Other options for calcium are fortified orange juice and fortified cereals.
I know, I know, I absolutely love a steak that’s rare. But you don’t want to risk getting bacteria from under-cooked meat during your pregnancy.
Your meat needs to be well done because Listeria, Salmonella, and other bacteria can harm your baby and cause harm.
Dealing with Cravings
The cravings may be sudden and impossible to avoid. And to be honest, for me, if I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, the craving took over and I couldn’t think of anything else. You can try substituting healthier options like fruits instead of candy bars during a sugar craving, but I will tell you if there’s something you want to eat, go for it!
First trimester is really hard. Like really hard. You’re tired all the time, you might be sick, and if McDonald’s fries are all you can keep down, please please please eat the fries. I could only stomach salt and vinegar chips until 16 weeks! It was the only thing that made me feel okay.
First trimester is an exciting and sometimes incredibly hard time. Be gentle on yourself. These easy diet tips can help you have a wonderful first trimester but the most important thing is making sure you and baby are nourished with vitamins and to seek assistance from your doctor when necessary.