Updated: Jun 24, 2019
When you’re pregnant your body goes through some physical and hormonal changes that will require special nutritional needs. Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, the 1st trimester (month 1-3), 2nd trimester (month 4-6), and 3rd trimester (month 7-9), each stage requires special energy intake.
First trimester (1-3 month)
This’s a very important phase where the first stage of pregnancy takes place also known as implantation (when the fertilized ovum becomes attached to the wall of the uterus), this happens in the first 2 weeks. No specific nutritional requirement is needed in this stage, healthy balanced eating is recommended.
The second stage in pregnancy is called organogenesis (when the fetus’s organs develop), this happens in week 6.
Second trimester (4-6 month)
This’s the growth stage, where organs increase in size and a small increase in weight.
The calories intake in this phase should be increased to an additional of 340 kcal/day.
Third trimester (7-9 month)
Just like the 2nd trimester, growth takes place where fetus’s weight increases and more calories are required.
The calories intake should be increased to an additional of 450 kcal/day.
During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters protein intake should be increased to 1.0g/kg/day. Protein is needed for the growth of both the fetus, and the mother’s breast and uterus.
High protein foods:
- Well cooked beef
- Well cooked chicken
- Well cooked salmon
- Nuts & seeds
- Dairy products
- Well cooked eggs
A healthy balanced diet throughout the three trimesters is very important to ensure that the fetus is getting all the nutrients for the three stages. Some doctors tell their pregnant patients to avoid caffeine during pregnancy, while others allow them to consume caffeine in moderation; there’s no scientific evidence to show whether caffeine is harmful or not during pregnancy.
No raw meat is allowed; pregnant women should ensure their food is well cooked to avoid contamination and poisons.
Nutrition and Metabolism Textbook