Pregnancy Nutrition By Trimester

Good eats are one of the most important parts of a healthy pregnancy, which is why Anita Mirchandani, M.S, R.D, CDN, is here today to talk pregnancy nutrition — specifically, how to eat in each trimester! Anita is a Registered Dietitian and maintains current fitness certifications in indoor cycling, kickboxing, group exercise and personal training. In 2012, Anita co-founded FitMapped, a platform to help users find fitness and connect with fellow enthusiasts. Starting June 2014, Anita will be representing the New York State Dietetic Association as media spokesperson. Follow @FitNutAnita or @FiTMAPPED for fitness and nutrition updates.

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently, and that’s why there’s no right or wrong approach to my advice. As you embark on this amazing journey, it’s important to pay attention to your nutrition and health and take care of yourself. While you won’t necessarily need to “eat for two,” you should follow a varied, healthful palate as often as possible. Funnily enough, I started craving salads early in my pregnancy but fiber- and water-rich foods make you feel full faster (a good nutrition habit!) but in my case, made me feel really gassy and uncomfortable. I decided to deal with it since I had healthy cravings. So, it all depends!

Because each trimester brings its own symptoms, I’ve put together some useful tips to help achieve proper pregnancy nutrition while managing the transition.


Pregnancy Nutrition: Trimester 1

Traditional symptoms could include gas, bloating, exhaustion, nausea and general discomfort.

Nutrition Tips
• Eat small meals (~200-300 calories) throughout the day with the goal being to consume carbs, fats and protein. Examples include yogurt and ¼ cup granola, a serving of saltines and a piece of string cheese, a medium fruit, ½ cup pasta with veggies.
• Try the BRAT diet if nothing else works, as it could help recover from vomiting: Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast.
• Stay hydrated (consume water-rich foods and/or drink water). (Tip: Add fresh lime or lemon to bottles of water for a hint of refreshing flavor.)
• Consume the recommended folic acid daily allowance during pregnancy (800 mcg).

Pregnancy Nutrition: Trimester 2

Traditional symptoms could include gas, bloating and continued nausea. After the first trimester, it is recommended to increase consumption by about 300 calories. Don’t be fooled though as 300 calories is not a lot!

Nutrition Tips
• Start including fiber-rich choices at each meal (oatmeal, flaxseed, walnuts, medium apple, variety of vegetables).
• Continue the smaller more frequent meals to help with any outstanding symptoms.
• Stay hydrated.
• Focus on iron-rich foods and supplement with the recommended allowance of daily iron. (I take the Floradix Iron and Herbs liquid supplement and mix the amount suggested into orange juice because iron is better absorbed in the presence of vitamin C).
• Recent recommendations encourage fish intake in a woman’s diet to help fetal development (avoid ones with mercury).
• Supplemental DHA is encouraged.

Pregnancy Nutrition: Trimester 3

Traditional symptoms could include constipation and heartburn. In the third trimester, it is recommended to increase consumption by about 450 calories.

Nutrition Tips
• If experiencing heartburn (like most of us!) avoid spicy or acidic foods; greasy, fried or fatty foods; and caffeine. Other possible culprits include fizzy drinks (even sparkling water) and citrus.
• Continue to focus on the smaller more frequent meals.
• Wait at least two to three hours before lying down after eating any meal.
• Continue to focus on fiber-rich foods to help regulate bowel movements.
• Additional calories should focus on providing you more energy, so focus on lean protein and complex carbs/whole grains.
• Stay hydrated.

Moms and moms to be: What were your favorite foods during each trimester? How did you make sure you were getting the pregnancy nutrition your little one needs? —Erin

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