What better time to keep tabs on what you’re putting into your body than when you’re expecting?
But with symptoms like morning sickness and heartburn, along with all sorts of strange cravings, putting together a healthy meal plan that includes fruits, veggies, protein, dairy and grains can be a tall order.
Plus, you’ve probably already heard that you’re not eating for two, so you still have to watch those calories.
It’s also recommended that you eat five or six smaller meals a day instead of three large ones, since smaller meals lessens the discomfort of a full stomach brings, and prevents you from going too long on an empty stomach.
It may be tough to stomach much food in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because many expectant mums are experiencing morning sickness. One way to deal with the nausea is to take foods rich in vitamin B6. These include eggs, bananas and peanut butter.
Also, make sure that you take adequate vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, which aids in the formation of your baby’s tissues and strengthens the blood vessels in the placenta. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits.
Here’s an example of a first trimester meal plan:
Infographics: Rachel Lim
Once you’re past your first trimester, you should focus on foods that will help in your baby’s growth. Take foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D to grow strong bones and teeth ― during the second trimester, your baby’s bone structure starts to harden, and he will form nails as well as hair.
In addition, the expectant mum’s blood volume is expected to increase up to 50 per cent during the second trimester, so make sure you take lots of iron-rich foods to make red blood cells.
Give your baby a boost with a second trimester meal plan like this one:
You’re finally on your last leg of your pregnancy, and you’re going to need plenty of energy during this time, since bubba is getting bigger and heavier! Constipation can be a problem at this stage, so make sure you take lots of water, soups, and fibre.
Up your intake of oily fish, since DHA is now very important for the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. You’ll also need about 25 per cent more Vitamin C compared to previous trimesters, so up your intake of citrus fruits and berries.
Here’s an example of a third trimester meal plan:
Main photo: iStock
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