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Pregnancy Nutrition
4th Jan 2012

The early days of pregnancy

The first two things I noticed were hunger and tiredness.  By week 5 I had started to feel nauseous, sometimes it lasted all day and then it started to move toward the afternoon and evening.  The one thing that seemed to help was constant eating, trying to avoid an empty stomach.  The first craving was salt and vinegar crisps, the savoury tangy taste took the nausea away.  By the end of week 6 the nausea was mainly in the evening and the only solution was to go to bed early. After trying all sorts of food solutions I did try taking a B6 supplement really helped reduce the nausea. However much I slept I was still tired and I just had to adjust accordingly and do less!  One thing to watch, cravings definitely change so don’t get into a habit of having crisps everyday! Really listen to your body each day and have whatever you fancy in moderation. You are not eating for two and really only need another 200 calories a day at this stage.

Nutrition during Pregnancy: The first Trimester

During the first trimester your baby goes through some of it’s most dramatic developments so it is important that the majority of your diet is as healthy as possible, You need a multitude of essential nutrients for your growing baby including: zinc, Vitamin C, essential fats and protein. The spinal cord and nervous system are laid down during this time so increasing your oily fish intake will be helpful. However, many people do feel nausea during this time and the healthy foods are not always the ones you fancy eating. For me I know that this was the case and despite knowing what I should eat sometimes that was just not possible. You can, however, be assured that your growing baby will take priority so any good nutrients that you do consume will go to baby first.

Top tips for good nutrition during the first trimester:

1. Warm filling food at lunch can help reduce afternoon nausea
2. A daily juice can boost essential nutrients helping protect your immune system. Try a combination of apple, carrot and ginger. The ginger may help any morning sickness
3. Ginger oat cakes make a good snack
4. Try to always eat breakfast, avoiding having an empty stomach will help with any sickness. Just have what you fancy, I found that wholemeal bagels with marmite where just what I needed!
5. Always carry water with you, especially if it is hot or you are travelling
6. Cut the coffee and alcohol, neither are good for baby and hopefully you will just go off the flavours!
7. Supplements are very important especially during this trimester. Folic acid is recommended by all healthcare professionals before conception and during the first trimester. Additionally I normally recommend the following: Pregnancy Multi, Fish oil, Vitamin C and Probiotics. You should always consult your GP or a qualified Nutritionist before you start taking any supplements.
8. If you are feeling sick try sipping some natural sparkling water with a slice of lemon, it is refreshing and I found it really helped. 

Foods to avoid: raw fish, under cooked meat, blue or rinded cheese, soft eggs, some ice-creams if made with raw eggs. 

Other suggestions that may you feel your best during pregnancy:

Exercise is generally recommended, especially if you already did it pre pregnancy. During the first trimester most exercise has some caution with it that will depend on how you are feeling as an individual. Personally I felt a bit nervous and wasn’t sure whether it was helping me or making me tireder. The advice i was given was that if you are used to doing something it is ok to continue as long as you follow some rules and listen to your body. Also always tell the instructor that you are pregnant. Being fit and strong during pregnancy and then for labour will help you. You may find that you can increase your exercise during the second trimester.

Sleep is really important so try to get as much as you can and the best position is on the left hand side because of increased blood flow and pressure on heart. I will talk more about sleep in my second and third trimester blog posts.

Pregnancy Nutrition packages

Nutritio offers pregnancy packages that give you one appointment per trimester allowing you to adapt your diet for your baby’s changing needs as it grows. In between appointments you can use our email service to ask any questions that come up to help ensure that you feel reassured at every stage. For more information read our pregnancy content.

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