Expert Advice And Recipes For Each Trimester

You may be hungrier than ever, but nausea, indigestion and the need to control your calorie intake can make it tough to get the nutrition you and your baby need. Our expert advice and satisfying recipes will help you overcome the challenges each trimester poses.

Morning sickness

First trimester

Challenges - Morning sickness; fatigue
The good news about eating when you're newly expecting is that it's not much different from following a "normal" healthy diet, says Melinda Johnson, R.D., an Arizona-based expert on maternal nutrition. In fact, during early pregnancy there's no need to eat any more food than before.

The bad news is that you're likely to suffer from morning sickness, which can make eating almost anything difficult. Just make sure to take a daily prenatal vitamin; your doctor can prescribe or recommend one.

Strategies and solutions
To combat queasiness, try popsicles, dry toast, ginger ale and citrus-flavored water; choose bland dishes without strong odors, which can trigger nausea; and opt for nutritious unheated foods or cold foods because they are less odorous than hot ones.

Try: Ginger-lime sparkler

Second trimester

Challenges - Eating a balanced diet without overeating
With morning sickness a thing of the past, you now have your energy and appetite back. In fact, you will probably feel hungrier than normal. This is the time to eat 300 extra high-quality calories a day for the remainder of your pregnancy. Warning: That’s not very much. “It’s important not to go crazy,” says Zied.

Portion control will help you keep your weight gain under control. (For the latest guidelines, go to

Strategies and solutions
“Choose nutrient-dense, not calorie-dense, foods,” O’Rourke suggests, which means focusing on lean meats, low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruit. Concentrate on eating a variety of foods in moderation. Have three meals a day plus a couple of small, healthful snacks, choosing from at least three food groups at every meal and two at snack time.

Try: Salmon and asparagus salad

Third trimester

Challenges - Excess weight gain; feeling deprived; digestive difficulties
The discomforts of late-term pregnancy may make you feel entitled to overindulge in high-calorie foods, leading to excess weight gain. “You don’t want to be counting calories, but if you’re not doing much physical activity, you don’t need as much food,” cautions Zied. At the same time, your expanding uterus is pressing against your stomach, making you feel full quickly and causing heartburn. Constipation is another frequent problem.

Strategies and solutions
To avoid feeling deprived, it’s OK to enjoy occasional evenly spaced mini-meals throughout the day, stopping well before bedtime if heartburn wakes you up at night. High-fiber vegetables can help keep you regular; if you’re having trouble with gas, eat them cooked instead of raw. Tempted to limit your fluid intake to avoid frequent bathroom visits? Don’t – you also need water to prevent constipation, says O’Rourke, who advises drinking 12 8-ounce glasses a day. Also limit yourself to one cup of coffee a day: It irritates the stomach and acts as a diuretic.

Try: Meze platter with roasted pepper

More about eating during pregnancy

10 Foods every pregnant woman should eat
Eating disorders and pregnancy
Is cheese safe to eat during pregnancy?

Tags: second trimester

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