Eat Well During First Trimester | Dr. Monika Agrawal

Remember that the food you eat is the main source of nutrition for your baby and can help your baby grow well. Hence, one of the best things you can do for your baby is to eat a healthy diet during the first trimester.

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and healthy fats. Out of these, few nutrients need your special attention.

Proteins

  • Your protein requirement during pregnancy increases to help develop baby and the placenta (connects the developing baby with wall of uterus)
  • Protein supplementation helps to improve your baby’s growth, increase birth weight and height, and lower the chance of your baby being born with low birth weight 
  • Protein helps you to fight against nausea and fatigue (due to anaemia)

How much do you need ?

Your individual protein requirement depends on your body weight. Generally, you need 0.5 g/day of additional protein intake in this trimester 

Good Food Sources

Seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, dairy products, bean and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds

HELPFUL TIPS 

90% of Indian pregnant women are deficient in proteins. Check with your nutritionist about your protein intake or deficiency. If your diet is deficient in protein, ask your doctor for protein supplements.

Folic Acid 

  • Folic acid is required for normal development of your baby’s brain, skull and spinal cord. May also prevent preterm/ low birth delivery.

How much do you need ?

500 mcg per day 

Good Food Sources

Dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, avocado, asparagus, pulses (chana, beans & lentils), orange & eggs 

HELPFUL TIPS 

As folic acid is easily lost during cooking, it is advised to steam or cook vegetables using minimal water for a short time. 

Iron 

  • Iron can prevent anaemia and infections; it can support your baby’s growth and brain developments.

How much do you need ?

During the entire pregnancy period, you need 35mg of iron every day 

 Good Food Sources

Meat, organ meat, egg yolk, fish, pulses, beans dark green leafy vegetables, watermelon, dried dates and jaggery. 

HELPFUL TIPS 

  • For better absorption of iron add vitamin C rich food (amla, orange, lemon, guava, strawberry, melon, tomato)
  • Avoid tea/coffee 1 hour before and after having an iron- rich meal

Calcium 

  • Your baby builds its bones through the calcium in your blood 
  • Your baby’s heart, nerves and muscles depends on calcium for growth 
  • If the calcium intake is not enough, even your bone health is at risk.

How much do you need ?

The Recommended intake of calcium during pregnancy is 1200 mg/day

 Good Food Sources 

Low fat dairy products (skimmed milk, low fat cheese, yogurt), dark green leafy vegetables, ragi, egg yolk, mutton, fish, nuts, pulses and beans, soybeans and green leafy vegetables 

HELPFUL TIPS 

Calcium is best obtained through food sources. Yet, A calcium supplement can help you meet  nutrition needs during pregnancy.

Sufficient Vitamin D intake also helps in calcium absorption 

If you have any queries then feel free to ask me by commenting below.

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