During the first trimester of pregnancy, most women ‘feel’ pregnant (i.e. they have a little fatigue and maybe nausea). It is at this time that the baby is experiencing rapid fetal growth where the baby is developing basic body structures and their heart begins to beat. What you eat and drink impacts how your unborn child develops. In this post, I will focus on food but please be mindful of what you put on your skin. I recommend transitioning into an all-natural skin care routine if you have not already.
Ease morning sickness
Dr. Sears suggests eating a high protein, complex carbohydrate diet to ease the symptoms. I would recommend starting your day off with eggs; they truly are a super food! Nuts, pasteurized cheeses, cottage cheese, yogurt or peanut butter all meet the high protein standard (portion size should be about a fist). Grazing throughout the day should also help settle your stomach and mitigate nausea.
PERSONAL TIP: Anchor Nutrition Protein Bars, Preggo Pops, and Sea Band Mama helped relieve many of my fatigue and nausea symptoms.
Start with protein
Fully cooked lean beef, chicken and other types of meat can contribute to the 75 to 100 grams of protein a mother needs daily during those first three months. While pregnant, your blood volume doubles and you need to eat iron-rich foods. Vegetarian alternatives include nuts, tofu, kidney beans, black beans, split peas and chickpeas. However, if you catch yourself gasping for air and being extremely tired, speak to your doctor about getting an anemia test. Click here for more information about anemia symptoms.
Eat a high-fiber diet that includes between 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Early pregnancy hormones slow the movement of food through your intestines, which causes more water to be absorbed. This, unfortunately, leads to harder stools. I would suggest getting your daily fiber by eating organic fruits and vegetables or whole grains. Grazing, eating more high-fiber foods, drinking more fluids, exercise, and taking probiotics will help ease constipation during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Take a vitamin supplement that contains folic acid and folate. Many of us can not process folic acid so it’s a good idea to take folate instead, you can read more about this here. Add leafy green vegetables and eggs to your diet for an extra boost. This is important because getting at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in daily can reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects by close to 70 percent!
Thirst is your body’s signal that you and your baby need more fluids. Being dehydrated aggravates nausea and fatigue and can lead to muscle cramping. Your body needs more fluid when you’re pregnant because your blood volume increases by 40%. Drink at least 8-8oz cups of fluid a day. Try coconut water or smoothies, and eating water-based foods like, watermelon to increase your liquids. I highly recommend Bundle Organic Juices. www.bundleorganics.com their juices are pasteurized and healthy; delivered right to your door – use the code SUPPLET15 for 15% off your order.
Changes in the Breasts
The pregnancy hormones that help your baby grow are also starting to enlarge your breasts. Breasts typically increase one-cup size during the first trimester of pregnancy and another cup size by the end of the pregnancy. Frequent, warm showers and a very gentle breast massage can help alleviate some of the discomfort and tenderness.
Listen to your body
The occasional bouts of tiredness you experienced in your first month may now give way to total exhaustion. For the safety of you and your baby, listen to your body’s messages and rest as much as you can. If you have a demanding job (or toddler) and sleeping more isn’t an option, at least try to get off your feet more often. Here are some tips on how to get your energy up during pregnancy.