Although, it is the best time for an expecting mother to eat whatever she wants, it is important to eat a nutritious diet right from the first weeks of pregnancy.
First few weeks of pregnancy will bring changes in your behaviour and lifestyle in the form of unusual cravings for foods. Worrying about the baby's health is the primary concern of expecting mothers from the first week of pregnancy. The first weeks of pregnancy oversee sudden growth and change in embryo development. Due to embryo development, expecting mothers need to lay emphasis on nutrition in the first weeks.
The nutritional requirement of pregnant women is not significant during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, a healthy diet is considered a suitable diet during the early phase of pregnancy.
It becomes difficult to cope with dietary requirements during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Appetite may fluctuate dramatically making pregnant women not feel like eating meals, especially if they have nausea or sickness.
Meeting Needs of Developing Baby
Expectant mothers must realise that pregnancy requires fulfilment of nutritional requirements of the developing baby. Diet plan should be structured from the earliest phase of pregnancy preferably, after discussing the requirements of the developing baby with a health care provider.
It is very important for expectant mothers to start having a nutritious and balanced diet. Pregnancy diet during the first few weeks must include foods from food groups mentioned below:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced fruits and green vegetables provide all the essential nutrients for foetal development. Five portions a day is recommend for women in the early pregnancy phase.
- Protein Rich Foods: Two portions of protein rich foods every day are recommended for expectant mothers. Lean meat/chicken, fish, eggs, pulses and fish are some protein rich foods.
- Starch Rich Food: Whole grain options such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes are healthy for the first few weeks of pregnancy.
- Dairy Products: Milk, cheese and yoghurt render several nutritional benefits to pregnant women in their early phase. Dairy products together with sea fish/sea salt source iodine, an essential nutritional element for baby's development.
- Folic Acid: Women in the first few weeks of pregnancy require extra folic acid, which is utilised to produce the neural tube that later becomes the brain and spinal cord.
- Limiting Sugars and Fats: Expectant mothers must abstain from foods high on sugars and fats as these do not contain vitamins. Instead of sugar and fat-rich foods, women should eat whole grains, lean sources of protein and plant-based fats for energy fulfilment.
You don't have to give up all your favourite foods just because you're pregnant. But foods and snacks high in fat, salt and sugar shouldn't be the main part of your diet, either.
Read more articles on Pregnancy Diet.
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