What are the key rules for eating well in early pregnancy?
Your energy needs will vary from day to day and from one part of your pregnancy to another. Your calorie intake in the first trimester should be no different from your intake before you were pregnant (“eating for two” is a myth), and indeed if you are within the normal BMI range (13), your weight gain should only be around 2kg (41b 6oz) during this time. However, you will slowly start to recognize how much to eat and when, as your body starts to tell you what its needs are.
This is complicated by the fact that, in the first trimester, many women suffer from nausea and vomiting and a few suffer from this throughout their pregnancy. Doctors still do not know why some women are affected by these symptoms but one theory is that low blood sugar levels may be at least partly responsible. For some women the symptoms are worse in the morning (after many hours without food) and for others they are worse in the evening when they are tired and their blood sugar levels may have also started to dip.
Whether or not you are affected by nausea or vomiting (171 for how to cope) there are certain rules that you should try to stick to when it comes to establishing a healthy diet throughout pregnancy (167).
Zinc is especially important in pregnancy as it plays a role in cell division and helps to form your baby’s immune system. Good sources include wholegrains, cereals, and seeds.
If you are vegan, you should speak to your doctor as you may need to take supplements to ensure you get the right intake of these nutrients.
Smoothies rich in fruit can combine the benefits of low-fat milk with the vitamins, minerals, and fibre provided by the fruit.