Before learning more about what your pregnancy diet should be like month by month and week by week, let’s talk about the general dietary rules for pregnant women.
So what and how should you eat when you’re pregnant?
You have to eat often but in small portions. The best decision is to divide your day’s menu into 5-6 parts. Remember: you better eat less for excessive eating and feeling heaviness in the stomach won’t do you any good. Exclude fried, smoked or pickled food from your diet. Choose boiled, steamed, roasted and stewed foods.
Try not to eat anything after 6 p.m. and if you get hungry, drink a cup of buttermilk or eat a couple of apples.
It’s important to understand that there is absolutely no need to stuff yourself with food you don’t like. If there are any kinds of food you dislike (cottage cheese, for example), it won’t be good for you even despite it is very wholesome. Just eat something else instead of it (like regular cheese).
Your diet week by week
Weeks 1 and 2
In case you plan to get pregnant, you should start eating healhy now. Even if you are not sure you are actually pregnant.
First of all, avoid any fast food products and try to eat as little ice-cream as possible.
At the same time, provide your body with an increased amount of folic acid: this is something you should take care of before you conceive. You can buy some folic acid pills at a local drugstore or you can eat natural products high on it: grains and leafy greens.
Try to steer clear of fatty food and sweets. This will help you avoid early toxemia.
Bright yellow fruits are especially good for you (peaches, mangos or melons), as well as toasted wholegrain bread with cheese and yogurt with berries.
You really need calcium: dairy products, fruit juices, green veggies, and broccoli. But zinc and magnesium are no less important: turkey meat, lean pork and beef, almonds, eggs, oatmeal, carrots, spinach, bananas, raisins, nuts — all of these are the sources of the bricks your baby’s body is built from.
Healthy pregnancy diet means not just eating healthy and wholesome foods; it also means avoiding those that are not so good for you. For instance, this week is just the right time to exclude coffee from your diet.
If toxemia starts nagging you, try to substitute eggs, meat and other high-protein foods with nuts, beans and soy products. Eat more carrots, mangos, apricots and if you can’t stand even thinking of milk — eat cheese and yogurt instead.
Get used to starting your day with crackers or crispbreads. It won’t hurt to eat a little something before you go to sleep (a handful of raisins, for example). Avoid fatty foods and drink as much water as you can: no less than 8 glasses a day.
You should avoid products that cause intensive flatulence: cabbage, fried potatoes and potato chips.
In case toxemia still bothers you, add some ginger to your tea and eat nuts in the mornings.
Replace white bread, pasta and rice with coarse flour pasta or unrefined rice. The less sugar you use the better!
Trust your instincts: if you really want some breaded chicken breast, then it’s what your baby needs at this point.
Your baby’s development as well as bones and tissues formation are almost over; now it’s time for intensive growing. You have to make your daily diet about 300 kcal richer, which means that to your usual meals should include an apple, a wholegrain toast and a glass of milk. If you experience constipation, eat some yogurt.
Now is the time when your baby’s hearing, eyesight and other senses are being developed. This means that during this period your healthy diet must include more cabbage, carrots, yellow sweet pepper and other sources of vitamins A and beta-carotene.
Don’t get surprised when you get the sense of pressure in your stomach. Your uterus keeps growing till the end of the 2nd trimester, which means it takes more and more space. This may even cause burning sensations in your stomach. Eat frequently but keep your portions small. Avoid fatty or spiced products; don’t drink any coffee, alcohol or fizzy drinks. Eat no later than 3 hours before sleep.
During this period, your baby uses even more calcium necessary for the development of its teeth and bones, even more fatty acids that support his brain development and a lot of iron that will save your baby from anemia. This means that your healthy pregnancy diet should include more nuts, fatty fish, red meats, sunflower seeds, yogurt and dark-green veggies. Don’t overindulge yourself with cakes and other kinds of high-fat sweets if you don’t want your baby have weight issues in the future. If you really want to have a snack, eat some porridge, nuts or fresh fruit.
That’s the time to strengthen your body, because very soon it will have a hard job to do — the childbirth. Now you need complex carbs that provide your body with the energy. Eat wholegrain bread, grain products and veggies — fresh or stewed.
And in conclusion, some more advice: if you really want to eat something, do it! It doesn’t mean you should stuff yourself with pickled tomatoes, baked spiced ham or smoked chicken. Eat moderately. No doubt, you’ll have the urge to eat something salty, smoked or fried during your pregnancy, so spoil yourself a bit. Eat a smoked chicken wing, a piece of bacon or a handful of potato chips, but this kind of food shouldn’t be a regular part of your diet.