What Should You Eat Now That You Are Pregnant?

Pregnancy is a time which raises questions on what should we be eating during pregnancy.

Each trimester brings different nutritional needs and demands on the mother and the baby. Typically the baby will get all the nourishment she needs as she pulls nutrients from her mother’s muscles and bones. The mother, however, is at risk for deficiencies if she is not eating a proper diet. During this time, the mother is eating for two in the sense that she needs plenty of vitamins and minerals, but not in the sense that she needs an over-abundance of calories.

The First Trimester-

Vitamins and minerals are essential during the first trimester and these nutrients are found in plant and animal-based foods. However, the first trimester is a time where many women lack an appetite. During this time it is best to eat what you can, remember to take a high quality supplement, and take cod-liver oil. Eating extra calories is not a focus during the first trimester, but eating nutrient-dense foods should be the goal. Vitamins A & D are especially important during this time.
Foods rich in vitamin A include:
sweet potatoes carrots spinach kale collard greens winter squash romaine lettuce
Foods rich in vitamin D include:
salmon sardines shitake mushrooms pasture-raised eggs.

The Second Trimester-

The second trimester is a time when the baby’s bones and muscles are growing. In addition, weight gain for the mother is slow and steady which is due to the placenta, uterus, amniotic fluid, blood, and breast changes that are occurring. Protein and calcium are important nutrients for the during this time. If you are not getting these nutrients from your diet during pregnancy, the baby will pull them from your own muscle and bone stores. Food sources rich in calcium include: sesame seeds, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, yogurt, bone broth, and sardines.
Food rich in protein include:
chicken turkey halibut lamb and beef
Vegetarian sources of protein include:
quinoa amaranth pea powder hemp powder fish eggs brewer’s yeast combining beans and rice together

The second trimester is a time where approximately 340 extra calories are needed.

The Third Trimester-

The third trimester is the time where the baby’s brain is growing and she is putting on her baby fat. This is a time where lots of fatty fish are beneficial to the baby’s growth and brain development.
Nutrients that are important during the third trimester include:
zinc omega 3-fatty acids plenty of water
Foods that are rich in zinc include:
oysters beef oats yogurt green peas
Foods rich in Omega-3’s include:
salmon sardines halibut

Fish during pregnancy is safe, as long as it is mercury-free fish. Look for fish that is wild caught from cold-water sources. The third trimester is a time where approximately 454 extra calories are needed.

Throughout pregnancy nutrients to focus on include: B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, Cod liver oil, and a high-quality pre-natal supplement.