By Schatem Boyd
Everyone wants a healthy baby! While there is no way anyone can guarantee this, there is something YOU can do to give your baby the very best chance of being healthy, while also avoiding the diseases of pregnancy associated with malnutrition. It is so simple. All you have to do is EAT! Does this require a drastic change in diet? NO. But there are some very basic guidelines you need to follow. This post is all about first trimester eating.
First, let me explain why diet is so important. Your baby is made out of protein. Sooo, you need to eat lots of protein to “build” the baby.
Let’s look at what happens if you don’t eat enough of the right stuff. Normally, our body uses protein to build and maintain muscle mass and to keep our blood sugar levels steady. We use carbohydrates for energy and brain power. Fats are necessary for vitamin absorption. They are used for dense energy or stored for later use.
When we become pregnant, our needs change because we are creating a whole new person inside ourselves (aka alien). To “build” that new person (aka alien) we need protein. If, when we are pregnant, we don’t eat enough protein and calories, our bodies will slow down on the “construction” of our new baby. It will also start to burn protein (our own muscles) for energy and will store all the fats you eat because it thinks it is starving! The protein that our bodies’ burn for energy will leak into the blood and make harmful acids called ketones which may cause damage to the baby. No pressure right!
We also need complex carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals, and fats for the essential fatty acids they contain.
SO WHAT THE HECK DO WE EAT?
Well, here is the problem with first trimester eating (well at least for me). You feel like you want to barf all the time. And you really only want carbs or something else that is not supplying you with the right nutrition. I swear I lived off yogurt, granola and huevos rancheros the first 12 weeks!
Everyone is different, but what I can tell you is if you try to eat enough of the good stuff the bad cravings won’t come to often and when they do it won’t derail you feeding yourself and baby. So if you are thinking you don’t want to eat anything or you only want to eat say crackers for every meal, remember that’s pretty normal, but try to use these tips as well.
These Tips Will Make First Trimester Eating Healthier Easier
- Eat smaller meals more frequently.
- Drink lots of water and herb tea – try for 2 quarts or more
- Salt to taste
- Avoid refined foods and sugars
- Avoid Fast food restaurants
- Use real butter or olive oil. Avoid hydrogenated fats and oils.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners i.e. Nutrasweet, Splenda etc.
- Eat a green salad everyday. Try to include 5 different colorful veggies.
- Eat fresh or frozen fruits every day
- Eat whole grain breads, rice and cereals instead of white.
- Avoid lunch meats, hotdogs, and other processed, nitrate meats
Eating gets easier as your pregnancy goes on (well until your third trimester when the baby is so big the thought of eating a pea may make you explode), so I will be sure to get more in depth in my next post! In the meantime, good luck, and here is to hoping you don’t barf your whole first trimester!
How was your experience with first trimester eating? Did you experience cravings, did you want to eat all the time, or not at all?
If you liked this post check out First trimester diet and exercise, Choosing a Birth Center: My Birthing Center Experience, and Second Trimester Eating and Exercise
Hey everyone. My name is Schatem I am a 34-year-old personal trainer, business owner, part-time freelance business advisor and consultant and most importantly, mom to my beautiful 2-year-old daughter. My life is crazy busy with a lot of moving parts. I have become a master at juggling! I love helping people. It is my passion! If I can help someone, it makes my day. When I am not running my business, I am training people, helping them discover their strength and ability to change their body and lifestyle, or I am helping others build successful businesses. With all of this, I feel like my greatest accomplishment is my daughter. It took me 2 ½ years to get pregnant and when I finally got my little miracle, my life was changed forever! I am excited to be a part of this blog and hope that some of my story will help others!