Eating for Baby and You During First Trimester
Rule number one of pregnancy nutrition: Don’t let anyone tell you (and don’t tell yourself either!) that you’re eating for two. Thankfully, your baby will never be as big as you while inhabiting your uterus. To think that you need to eat as many calories to support your baby as you need to support yourself is misguided.
Eating for two may be a cute saying, but, in reality, eating for two won’t make you look or feel cute!
You do need to consume some extra calories during the course of your pregnancy, but how many you consume varies according to the trimester you’re in. (Also, depending on your size pre-pregnancy — whether you’re petite or tall — you may need slightly more or less than the recommended numbers.) The following sections give you the specifics.
Your weight status prior to pregnancy can dictate the number of calories you need. If you were overweight before you got pregnant, you may need fewer calories. If you were underweight, you may need to supplement the calorie numbers provided in this chapter with more calories to gain the proper amount of weight. Talk to your obstetrician (OB) to determine the approximate total amount of weight you can gain for a healthy pregnancy and the number of additional (or fewer) calories you need to consume to get there.
During your first trimester (weeks 1 through 13), don’t purposely take in extra calories.
Even though the first trimester (weeks 1 through 13) is a time of incredible growth for your baby, she’s still so small that her growth doesn’t require any significant energy. So during these first few months, don’t worry about purposely eating any more calories than you ate pre-pregnancy. No additional calories are required during the first trimester, and the total weight gain during this period is 1 to 4 pounds.
If food is the last thing on your mind because of nausea, take a deep breath and relax. Your pre-pregnancy nutrient stores will get you through this first trimester even if you aren’t able to hold down much food. Just be sure to take your prenatal vitamin every day so you know you’re getting enough folic acid.
If you’re not experiencing nausea, you may have the opposite problem — ravenous hunger! When hunger strikes, go with your instincts and eat, but eat foods that will fill you up and provide good nutrients. Avoid foods high in sugar and fat and focus instead on healthy foods.