What Foods Are Good For The First Trimester?

What Foods Are Good For The First Trimester_ - Tian Wei Signature

Eating for two? Maybe feeling not quite so well in the morning? Maybe the train is running a little late on the schedule, if you know what we mean. Maybe even feeling peckish for some odd food items that are…well…oddly satisfying? Perhaps pickles with ice cream? 

Surely, by this point, you’d have a sort of a good sense for what we’re driving at (as if our blog title didn’t give that away in and of itself). If you didn’t know you’re pregnant before this, well, there’s a good chance that possibility has now permeated into your consciousness.

Yes, you might currently be experiencing that amazing thing called pregnancy which now explains the cravings, morning sickness (which despite the name, doesn’t only happen in the mornings. It’s actually the nauseated feeling you get at any time of the day due to growing another human being inside you…or, at this stage of the pregnancy, a ball of cells that will one day be considered a human being…inside you.), and that heightened sensitivity to just  about everything like smells, tastes, or even towards your husband’s snoring, the way he chews his food, the sound of his voice, the smell of his cologne…the look of his face? You get the point.

Let’s look at the different possible challenges you may be facing during the first trimester, the whys and the things you could do or the foods you can have to have a smoother pregnancy.

Food Cravings

While most agree that cravings present themselves during the first trimester, doctors don’t know precisely why this is a thing and they attribute it to some possibilities like compensating for the additional bodily requirement to produce more blood, your body wanting comfort foods, etc. The most logical explanation is the probability of some nutritional deficiency.

However, the majority of the studies find that many of the foods craved by pregnant women are sweet, high fat foods and convenience foods which are nutritionally dense. Such foods may have an impact on excessive pregnancy weight gain which may lead to other complications in pregnancy such as higher risk of gestational diabetes. 

Though, we can’t say that some of the things we’ve read online about what pregnant mothers craved could fit reasonably within the definition of “Comfort foods”. Let’s get something out of the way – pica, the wanting to eat inedible things, is not something you want to indulge at this stage. One we found online craved to eat chalk while another mother we interestingly craved to eat soap. No, that’s not a typo, soap, not soup…soap. There was also one that chewed on Kleenex tissue paper too! Do let your Doctor know when this happens. Non-edible objects can be harmful to you and your baby as they may contain chemicals, lead metals or so that may affect brain development of your baby or your health. 

Thus, some of the foods or dietary tips you could do to combat this are:

  • Practising regular meal timings and a balanced diet to minimise cravings.
  • Seek help from doctors if you are having unreasonable food cravings of non-edible objects

Nausea & Vomiting

Let’s go to the other end where you can’t quite eat and feel like throwing up everything you eat.

There’s no one right answer for this as every mama will have specific aversions and inclinations to food at this stage. What we can give, however, some tips to hopefully help alleviate some of that.

Some of the foods or dietary tips you could do to combat this are:

  • Ginger tea
  • Sipping on cold water or ice chips instead of regular room temperature water
  • Taking small and frequent meals throughout the day
  • Protein load in the morning or whenever you feel less nauseated
  • Plain bland toast or crackers may be helpful if you are particularly hypersensitive with smells.

Fatigue

Many mothers feel exhausted during the first trimester due to the change in hormones which may lead to morning sickness, which affects appetite subsequently resulting in irregular meal intakes. Irregular energy intake would mean that there is less energy to expand. If symptoms of morning sickness are not managed, frequent vomiting without adequate rehydration can cause dehydration and imbalance electrolytes in the body, thus causing a mother to be more light headed and fatigue. Other possible reasons for extreme fatigue could also be due to iron deficiency anaemia. Thus, it is important to review iron intakes in diet or supplement if needed. 

Some of the foods or dietary tips you could do to combat this are:

  • Have iron rich foods from green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans with vitamin C rich foods like broccoli, tomatoes and bell peppers. This will help with iron absorption into the body. 
  • Have iron rich foods from red meat like beef, mutton or pork more often throughout the week. Iron from these sources are haem iron which are more bioavailable and easily absorbed into the body 

Constipation

Some women even during pre-pregnancy may be more prone to constipation compared to others. This symptom may be worse during pregnancy due to the hormones which relaxes and slows down bowel movements. This can be very uncomfortable for women and may lead to other complications like compaction in the intestine which can be life threatening if left untreated. Although laxatives are an option offered to some mothers by doctors, many mothers do want to avoid any form of medications as much as possible and would prefer managing them naturally through the diet.

Thus, some of the foods or dietary tips you could do to combat this are: 

  • Ensuring adequate hydration of 2.5L of fluids per day
  • Staying active throughout pregnancy with moderate intensity. Physical activities as simple as walking helps to engage in core muscles which helps to regulate bowel movements
  • Taking in adequate fibre intake from fruits and vegetables daily. Recommendations by Singapore Health Promotion board is at least 2 servings of fruits and 2 to 3 servings of vegetables per day. 

Closing Words

What Foods Are Good For The First Trimester_ - Tian Wei Signature (3)

We’ll let you in on a little tip – these same foods and nutrients are also what’s needed after your delivery in two more trimesters in something called the confinement period and the diet is just simply called a confinement diet.

Should you want to plan ahead and want to look up some confinement catering review testimonials, feel free to go through our website and we’ll see you again in some months when you’ll be looking for confinement meal delivery services.

  • Tian Wei Signature

    We are a team behind the leading confinement food caterer who understand the importance of a well balanced diet to help mothers recover properly post-delivery. On top of preparing nutritious confinement meals for mothers, we work closely with our in-house dietitian to research articles and scour the internet to put together a library of dietary knowledge to help mothers along in their confinement.