Your first nutrition step towards motherhood
The day you find out that you’re pregnant is one of the happiness moments of your life. It’s a time for joy and celebration for you and your family. What follows are months of preparation, baby clothes, toys, room and most important baby names.
However, discovering that you’re pregnant usually doesn’t happen until several weeks and sometimes after a month of pregnancy! This means that your nutritional habits will remain as they were before becoming pregnant. Once you learn that you are a soon to be mother, it is absolutely essential to follow a healthy and balanced diet during the coming months and during breastfeeding as well. Mainly because this will positively affect your baby’s growth and your health too!
Here’s a common description of the initial stages of pregnancy and what you can do to stick to a proper nutritional plan during this time.
I’m starting to feel a bit queasy! What can I do to reduce this feeling?
Nausea and vomiting usually start during the first few months of pregnancy. Not to worry, this feeling will most probably fade by the end of your third month. Here are some nutrition tips that may help:
• Have a carbohydrate-rich snack 15-20 minutes before getting out of bed, for example, Kaak, salty biscuits, toast or breakfast cereals.
• Divide your 3 meals into 6 light meals per day.
• Eat foods that are easy to digest. Combine starches like pasta, potatoes, rice or bread with lean protein sources such as lean meat, chicken and fish, as well as vegetables. Don’t forget low fat milk and dairy products at breakfast and dinner.
• Drink liquids between meals not with your meals.
• Avoid high-fat foods, fried food, pastries and spicy foods. These can be difficult to digest and thus increase your feeling of nausea.
Do I have to start taking vitamin and mineral pills?
After consulting your doctor, he might recommend taking folic acid tablets during your first month and even before pregnancy if you were planning to get pregnant. Folic acid supplements are very important for your baby’s normal development.
You can also make sure you have folic-acid rich foods in your diet, such as:
• Green leafy vegetables (spinach, parsley, rocket)
• Whole-wheat bread and whole grains
• Legumes (lentils, beans and chickpeas)
Good to remember:
Take extra care with what you eat, because now there are two of you (or maybe more) to think about! Avoid raw or half-cooked meat or meat organs – as these may contain harmful bacteria. Also stay away from sashimi or sushi that contains raw fish.
If you’re feeling a bit queasy, don’t worry too much because it will stop soon. In the meanwhile you can get your mind off this uncomfortable feeling by thinking about something else related to your baby. It also helps to take a walk in the park or a nearby mall so you can window shop for your little one! Now that’s sure to be an exciting experience!
Your second month: prepare yourself nutritionally for motherhood