Every pregnant woman imagines many scenarios of the little angel when he or she is about to come in the world. Mother and her little one get connected from the very first day since the signs of pregnancy occur for the first time. All the tensions and the excitements grow along with the time to would-be-mother that how everything would be under control. The care and the nourishment of the baby start since it is a tiny embryo. Every mother dreams off a healthy and fit baby and for this, one needs to maintain proper food habit during pregnancy. Healthy foods and appropriate diet should be followed by the mother-to-be.

The importance of foods to eat during each trimester of pregnancy should be clear to each and every woman who is pregnant. During pregnancy, the diet of would-be mothers has to go through multiple changes. As the embryo's shape gets changed with times, the food habit of the mother should be followed accordingly. Essential healthy foods provide ultimate nutrition to the baby during in trimester. During all the nine months when the baby is in mother's womb, it gets ultimate nutrition from mother's healthy diet. So, whatever the mother consumes during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy directly creates the impact on the baby's health. So, it is important to eat healthy pregnancy foods for both the baby and the mother.

Most of the couples do not have a clear idea about the divisions of pregnancy periods. So, most of the woman maintain the same diet till the end of their pregnancy by following the diet they start with. The entire pregnancy session is divided into three periods also known as trimesters. The first three months are known as 1st trimester. The fourth, fifth and sixth months are together known as 2nd trimester and the last and final three months are called the third trimester as per the doctor's term. A would-be mother's pregnancy diet is divided into these three different categories. Below are the foods to eat during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy discussed in details which should be followed to maintain the pregnancy diet.

Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy Diet: Foods to Eat During the 1st Trimester

  1. Cereals

    All the cereals like brown rice, brown bread, barley, millet, and wheat are essential foods to be included in first trimester diet. Cereals usually contain huge amount of starch which is highly needed for the growth of the infant. During the first trimester along with the growth of the infant's body, the mother's body goes through multiple changes too. So, it is important to eat foods with high amount of energy during 1st trimester to maintain proper health care.

  2. Cottage Cheese

    Cottage cheese contains a high amount of calcium which is an essential nutrient for embryonic development during the 1st trimester. Cells get proper alignment during the 1st trimester and for this reason calcium is highly important. Calcium is also needed for convergent extension and morpho-genic changes during this time. Cottage cheese also contains protein which is needed for proper development of the embryo. So, an addition of cottage cheese as one of the foods to eat during first trimester is really important.

  3. Citrus fruits

    Citrus fruits contain various nutrients needed during the 1st trimester of gestation. All the citrus fruits like orange, lemons, grapefruits and lime are highly essential foods for proper embryonic development during the 1st trimester. There is high amount of energy, ascorbic acid, and folate present in citrus fruits. Folate protects neural tube defects of the infant. The neural tube defects generally occur during the initial stages of development. So, the requirement of folic acid is high during the 1st trimester.

  4. Lentils

    As a new life is getting proper formation in your womb, it takes a huge amount of iron to your body. Lentils contain huge amount of iron which is needed for the formation of red blood cells for both mother and the fetus. Lentils also contain protein which is highly essential during 1st trimester as the fetus needs an abundant amount of proteins to develop heart muscles, neuroepithelium, and all the other embryonic tissues. Lentils also contain multiple vitamins. Thus, lentils are one of the must-have foods for pregnant women during the 1st trimester.

  5. Salmon

    Salmon is absolutely secure for would be mothers and hence is one of the important foods to eat during first trimester. This food item also contains protein in huge quantity. Salmon contains polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats both. Both of these unsaturated fats are essential for the development of nervous system, eyes, and brain of the fetus. Fat is also important for vitamin A, D, E and K solubility. Salmon is having 53% of vitamin B-12 and 30% of vitamin B-6.

  6. Broccoli

    Broccoli is the food item that contains a vast amount of vitamin C. Broccoli contains high quantity of iron. It also contains vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12. Both the vitamins play a major role to develop an entire nervous system of the baby and reduce the chances of vomiting and nausea. The vulnerable disease 'spina bifida' of an infant is caused due to vitamin B-12 deficiency. So, you know why Broccoli should be there in your first trimester diet.

Pregnancy Diet: Foods to Eat During 2nd Trimester

  1. Soya Grains

    Soya beans are the healthiest foods to eat during second trimester. Soya beans are a good source of protein and carbohydrates. The fetus has been gone through multiple changes during the 2nd trimester. Soya grains also have 63% water. During the third trimester, the needs of water get high. So the addition of soya grains in pregnancy diet during the 2nd trimester is very much essential. Soya grains contain omega-6 fatty acid which is important for normal growth and development of the fetus.

  2. Meat

    Eat meat during 2nd trimester as the nutrients present in meat are highly essential for the baby's entire development. Proteins are a must in second trimester diet as the embryo gets reformed drastically and increased by the mass and volume. Vitamin D helps information of infant's teeth and bones. The embryonic growth may even halt or the congenital heart defects can be caused due to the protein reduction from the pregnancy diet. Beef liver contains vitamin D which helps to reduce the chance of rickets of the infants.

  3. Kidney beans

    Add kidney beans in your pregnancy diet which contains almost all the valuable nutrients need for proper growth of your baby during the 2nd trimester. Kidney beans are having 100% dietary fiber which is predominant for would be a mother for proper digestion of food items. It contains 35% of magnesium, 45% of iron and 48% of protein. Vitamin B-6 and vitamin C are also present in kidney beans making it an important food to eat during 2nd trimester.

  4. Beetroot

    Beetroot is having almost all the trace elements needed for the growth and development of the embryo. Beetroot reduces the chances of birth defects. During gestation, a mother-to-be needs high immunity level. The high immune system protects both the mother and the infant from various infections and aliments. Beetroot helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis of the pregnant woman. The nutrients like potassium also help in metabolic regulation during pregnancy making it an important food to eat during 2nd trimester.

  5. Oatmeal

    Add oat meal in the list of foods to eat during second trimester to get rid of regular constipation problem. Oatmeal contains vitamin B, essential minerals, and fibers which all are the vital nutrients for the fetus and the mother both. Oatmeal helps in the nourishment of the infants during the 2nd trimester.

  6. Dried Fruits

    Dried fruits are not only good for embryonic development it also nice to add in pregnancy diet during 2nd trimester as all the dried fruits you can have as snacks for minor hunger. Dried fruits contain generally, iron and calcium which both are essential nutrients and must need during the 2nd trimester.

  7. Canned Sardines

    Canned sardines contain massive quantity of good nutrients like omega-3 oils, calcium, and magnesium. For baby's brain development the importance of omega-3 oils is absolutely acknowledged by the health experts and doctors. Magnesium plays an important role in appropriate bone formation. Magnesium is also needed for maintaining all the intracellular enzymatic actions of the fetus.

  8. Compact Dark Chocolates

    It is good to indulge your body, as well as mood by having foods like dark chocolate seldom during the 2nd trimester of your pregnancy. Dark chocolate is a very good source of iron and minerals and thus should be there in your second trimester diet. Magnesium and potassium present in intercellular fluids of the fetus. Potassium also plays a major role in maintaining the ionic environment when it comes to the metabolic process of the mother and the embryo both.

Pregnancy Diet: Foods to Eat During 3rd Trimester

  1. Avocado

    The nutrients present in the avocado are vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B complex and fiber which should be present in your third trimester diet. Vitamin E protects the cell membranes to maintain the structures properly of cells. Add vitamin E in your pregnancy diet which is vital for the development of the infant's lungs. During the last stage of development, all the cells proliferate drastically for the ultimate body formation of the fetus. Vitamin E enhances the cell multiplying rate incredibly.

  2. Carrots

    The nutrients present in carrot are vitamin A and carbohydrates. The consumption of carbohydrate during 3rd trimester should be higher as this time the fetus gets fully grown up. Most of the time you can get nausea or vomiting complication along with drowsiness or weakness due to loss of energy. So, add foods like carrot in your third trimester diet to boost up the energy level which is highly important during the 3rd trimester.

  3. Yeast Extracts

    As the final stage of embryonic development starts the need of protein gets higher. So the addition of yeast extract in your food diets is absolutely vital as it is one of the major sources of protein. Yeast extract contains 48% of protein. Protein helps to reform the final skin epithelium and an epidermal layer of the infant during this stage. The amount of potassium and magnesium is also high in yeast extract.

  4. Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds

    Munch a handful pumpkin seed or sunflower seed according to your taste. Eating these foods in third trimester provide relaxation which is needed for would be a mother as highly stressful life has to be dealt with during the 3rd trimester. You can add these seeds to salad dressing too. The seeds contain a moderate amount of protein which is needed for general growth and development of the infant. The seeds also contain fat which is also essential for fat soluble vitamins.

  5. Tuna

    Tuna is the greatest source of vitamin B-12 where 181% nutrient value of vitamin B-12 is present. Doctors recommend vitamin B-12 for the mother-to-be as it helps to fight with all the defects which affect central nervous system and spine of the growing fetus. So, tuna is a healthy food item which must be added to the pregnancy diet as a vast amount of vitamin B-12 it contains which is high in demand during the 3rd trimester.

  6. Green beans

    During the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, the consumption of foods like common beans and green beans is absolutely the best option. Green beans have no fat contents instead it is having vitamin C and dietary fiber in moderate amount. During 3rd trimester of gestation, the bulk amount of calcium is needed for the baby's final development of the bones and also needed to make the bones stronger. Calcium is also needed for milk formation and this process develops finally in the 3rd trimester.

  7. Seafood

    Seafoods are one of the healthiest foods to eat during in 3rd trimester. Seafood contains a high volume of protein nutrients. Almost all the seafood is the good source of vitamins and minerals too in contrary seafood contains a minor amount of fat nutrient. During the final trimester, the risk of obesity and hypertension gets higher for would be mothers. Seafood has the power to reduce the chances of these unwanted complications.

    These are the pregnancy foods which should be eaten as per the needs and according to the doctor's advice. Apart from these, there also some foods we all know are essential for a mother-to-be for proper growth of the infant. All the diary products like milk or yogurt are very good foods for pregnant women and are essential during the entire terms of pregnancy. Chicken is very good source of protein and should be added in entire pregnancy diet. Add more and more green vegetables like spinach, okra, Brussels sprouts which highly contain trace elements.

    Add more fruits in your diet as fruits help to enhance the appetite and refresh the taste buds. Papaya, strawberries, and apple are very good for the pregnant women. You can also have fruit smoothie to get refresh and relaxed. Never force yourself to maintain the diet forcefully. Try to eat the foods you love to eat. If you are not happy when following the diet it affects to your baby too as it is the part of you till born. So, enjoy each and every time of your pregnancy by having good food to maintain good health of your upcoming angel.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: June 15, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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