Nutrition and Lifestyle Support for First Trimester

Pregnancy Nutrition for First Trimester

More than half of all women suffer from nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy.  No one knows what causes “morning sickness” but it has been linked to higher hormone levels, changes in blood sugar, and stress.  Nausea and Vomiting usually begin around the 6th week of pregnancy. It usually stops at about the 12th week, although it can continue throughout pregnancy for 20% of women. L During these weeks,  allow yourself to change your activity level and adjust your schedule to help yourself cope with the physical symptoms. Your body is doing some incredible chemistry creating a tiny new being!

Here are tips for keeping the nausea at a minimum.

Lifestyle

  • Eat a few crackers before you get out of bed and rest for 15 more minutes.
  • Keep small snacks in little jars and containers in your purse, your desk, your car, and your kitchen.
  • Eat every 1.5 -2 hours in little bits. You may feel nausea if you eat, but you will feel even worse if you don’t eat!
  • Try not to skip meals
  • Eat slowly, and do not lie down right after eating
  • Ask friends and family for help with errands and housework!
  • Take naps – Nausea is worse when you are tired.
  • Get fresh air daily
  • Avoid hot and stuffy rooms
  • Taking a prenatal multivitamin in capsule form that can be split up throughout the day with meals can make it easier to take your vitamins. If there are days you cant stomach it, don’t worry.
  • Take your folic acid daily even when you don’t take your prenatal.
  • Acupressure “sea sickness” wristbands are helpful for some women.

Food Choices

  • Choose easily digested foods – baked potatoes, mashed yams, homemade gravy, stewed fruits, watery fruits, crackers, etc
  • Avoid cooking spicy or greasy foods at home
  • If you are craving greasy foods, have a few plain potato or rice chips
  • Hot women – put grapes in the freezer to snack on
  • Cold women – drink ginger teas, eat candied ginger
  • EmergenC packets also contain electrolytes and can help rehydrate if you have been vomiting.  Drink 1-2 per day as needed.
  • Soups, porridges, and stews provide healthy  liquids and nutrients.
Food Ideas To Relieve nausea
Ø    Salty Ø    Chips, Spelt Pretzels, Tamari Almonds
Ø    Tart / Sweet Ø    Pickles, Organic Lemonade, Kombucha
Ø    Earthy Ø    Brown Rice, Mushroom Soup, Almond Butter
Ø    Crunchy Ø    Celery Sticks, Apple Slices, Nuts
Ø    Bland Ø    Mashed Potatoes, Broths
Ø    Soft Ø    Bread, Rice Noodles
Ø    Sweet Ø    Homemade Muffins, Cereal with Honey
Ø    Fruity Ø    100% Juice Popsicles, Watermelon
Ø    Liquid Ø    Juice, Seltzer, Ginger Ale
Ø    Dry Ø    Rice Crackers, Saltines, Rice Cakes

Beverages

  • Dehydration will make you feel worse!
  • Plain water can make some women feel worse. Try drinking lemon water, or lemon water with a little maple syrup.
  • Drink in small sips.
  • Avoid drinking before, during and after meals.

Smells can be very nauseating for a pregnant woman. A good tip is keeping a piece of fresh lemon peel or ginger root on a hankie, and sniff it when feeling nausea. Don’t use synthetic scents as these often make it worse.

What if you can’t keep anything down?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum affects 1% of pregnant women per year. Lack of food, fluids and nutrients can be harmful to mom and baby. Severe cases of dehydration require IV fluids and nutrient supplementation from a hospital. Seek medical attention if you have frequent vomiting and infrequent urination or dark yellow urine. Early diagnosis and treatment is best, so don’t try and “be brave!”

Acupuncture, B6, ginger capsules, and homeopathy can treat mild to moderate cases of nausea and vomiting. Use 50 mg of B6 twice daily with food. Severe Nausea may need a prescription medication called Diclectan.

Summary: Congratulations on being pregnant! For this first trimester 3 keys are:

1.     Rest Rest Rest Rest

2.     Eat frequent small amounts – every 2 hours is a must! Remember, eating might not help but Not eating will make you feel worse

3.     Follow your body’s cravings, trying to stick to wholesome home cooked versions of the more junky cravings. And. Don’t forget to sip lots of water!

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