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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

What To Eat During Pregnancy Each Trimester?

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Dt. Ruchita MaheshwariDietitian/Nutritionist • 12 Years Exp.BSc, Pg Diploma In Food Science & Nutrition, Sensory Evaluation of Food, Certified Diabetes Educator
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When you are pregnant, it is quite difficult to control what you eat. It is because as an expecting woman, you get a lot of cravings and want to eat the weirdest thing sometimes. But to conceive a healthy baby, you must maintain a healthy diet. A healthy baby requires all the essential nutrients for its growth and development within the womb and the mother’s body supplies the food. Hence, it is vital for the mother to eat right.

 The first-trimester diet -

During the first trimester, it is important to eat food substances that are rich sources of iron, vitamins and folic acid as these three nutrients are essential for the development of nervous system and help in getting relief from nausea. Those females who do not consume at least 600 mg of folic acid in a day, the chances for a baby of getting neural tube defects get increased. The fruits and vegetables that are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium are very important such as broccoli, spinach etc. Dairy products should be consumed such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Protein is essential for bodybuilding and rich sources of protein such as chicken and eggs should be consumed. Fish can also be consumed however, not all fishes are advised during pregnancy, and it is better that you should check with your nutritionist for it. Carbohydrates are also required for energy metabolism and therefore, whole grain food substances should be consumed.

Further, there are foods to avoid during pregnancy.

  1. Alcohol
  2. Raw or undercook chicken or meat
  3. Shellfish
  4. Oyster
  5. Fish like swordfish, shark, king mackerel & tilefish as they are high in mercury.
  6. Unpasteurized dairy products
  7. Raw or undone eggs
  8. Canned foods
  9. Herbal teas
  10. Licorice (mulethi)

Second trimester Diet -
Calcium and vitamin D is very important in this stage as baby needs strong bones and teeth. The brain development of the baby is required and hence woman should increase the intake of magnesium and omega-3 fatty acid. Again fruits (carrots, mangoes) and vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cabbage etc.) that are rich in folic acid, vitamin D, magnesium and calcium should be consumed. Dairy products rich in calcium and magnesium such as pro-biotic yogurt, low-fat milk, low-fat cream cheese etc. should be included in the diet. Foods rich in omega-3 like almonds, walnuts, seeds like flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. and essential carbohydrate containing brown rice, fortified bread etc.

Third-trimester diet -
The third-trimester diet plan must include food items that are rich in carbohydrates and vitamin K such as leafy vegetables that helps in blood clotting. Vitamin K is very essential for the birth procedure and breastfeeding. Iron is required because it is responsible for preventing low birth rate and premature delivery. Food types such as protein-rich foods that contain iron and zinc, eggs, salmon and plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and A should be included in the diet.

Hence, the following guidelines as per diet should be followed to avoid any complication during pregnancy and to have a healthy baby.


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