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What’s best for your bump: Trimester by Trimester

Finding out you’re pregnant is a moment you’ll never forget! – it marks the start of becoming a mom! You’re going to experience some truly wonderful and remarkable changes, (and if we’re honest a few that aren’t so wonderful too.) But we know that when you look down at your little one for the first time, those tougher moments will simply melt away. Of course, good nutrition has never been more important than when you’re pregnant, but what does that actually entail? What nutrients are needed to support baby’s development, and how do you make sure you’re eating enough to provide baby with everything they need?

Here we’ll guide you step-by-step through each pregnancy trimester, so you know the best foods to eat and when they’re most important.

Weeks 1-12: First trimester

What’s happening to mom? 

Welcome to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Even though you probably don’t look pregnant just yet, early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, mood changes, and tender breasts probably confirm to you that you are!

After conception, hormones such as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), estrogen and progesterone rise to support baby’s early development. But the change in these hormone levels may also contribute to the morning sickness more than 50% of moms-to-be experience in the first trimester.

Essential nutrients for mom during the first trimester:

Mom needs foods high in vitamin B6, such as fish, sunflower seeds, lean beef and pork, poultry, and avocados are great as they may help to ease your morning sickness.

What’s happening to baby?

Incredibly, in these first 12 weeks, baby develops from just a couple of cells into a tiny human. Baby’s major organs - including their heart and lungs - begin to develop, bones and genitals start to form, and your little one’s face, eyes, ears, and limbs all start to grow.

Essential nutrients for baby during the first trimester:

Optimal nutrition supports this vulnerable time in baby’s development. Here’s a list of the nutrients that are essential for bub:

    • Dietary folate 
    • Vitamin D
    • Calcium
    • Iodine 

Good sources include, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and citrus fruits.

Weeks 13-27: Second trimester

What’s happening to mom? 

You may find early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea settle down now, which is a great opportunity to load up with more nutrient-dense foods.

You’ll become noticeably pregnant by the end of this trimester. You may start to feel some pelvic pressure as baby grows, and you should feel baby’s first movements.

Essential nutrients for mom during the second trimester:

Continue to eat foods rich in calcium, iron, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Eat lots of green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and avocados, and include fruits, dairy, grains, and seeds.

What’s happening to baby?

Basic reflexes such as swallowing and sucking develop, and more of baby’s unique features such as fingernails, fingerprints, and eyelashes start to appear. Your little one also starts to hear and respond to voices.

Essential nutrients for baby during the second trimester:

Foods that are rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, folate/folic acid and vitamin D are best for baby’s development during this period. These all support the healthy growth of teeth and bones, as well as support good brain and spinal cord development.

Weeks 28-40: Third trimester

What’s happening to mom? 

Woah, mama! Your belly is really growing now. It’s time to make the most of that maternity wear and maybe get a stylish photo of you and your beautiful bump. All this growth naturally  means you may start to feel uncomfortable, breathless, and have the urge to pee a lot. As most babies will turn into a head-down position, you may also feel some pelvic pressure.

Essential nutrients for mom during the third trimester:

You’ll need to eat about 300 extra calories a day to give you energy and support baby’s rapid growth. The B1 vitamin thiamine helps your body use carbohydrates and fats for energy and rich sources include sunflower seeds, pork, and whole grains.

Vitamin K is important for wound healing and will help your recovery post birth. Green leafy vegetables are great to eat for a daily dose of vitamin K.

What’s happening to baby? 

Your baby grows rapidly during the third trimester and you’ll be able to feel their arms and legs kicking and stretching. Their lungs are getting ready to take their first breath, their brain continues to develop, they’re putting on lots of weight and getting ready to enter the world. 

Essential nutrients for baby during the third trimester:

Vitamin C is also important during your final trimester as it supports placental health, so keep your fruit bowl topped up with oranges, kiwifruits, and strawberries. Red and green peppers are also packed with vitamin C.

A well-rounded diet

Right from conception, everything you eat influences baby’s health. And, although at times you may feel like eating everything, with this nutritional knowledge, you and baby will thrive during your first 9 months laying a healthy platform for the months and years to come.

Disclaimer: The information provided is the opinion of Good Feeding, it has not been evaluated by healthcare professionals, and is for educational purposes only.  Before starting any new foods or feeding practices, please consult your baby's healthcare professional.


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