I know I’m officially in my second trimester when my energy boosts and my appetite comes back. I use this time to prepare as much as possible for the new baby such as:
- Sorting through the old baby clothes and washing them
- Organizing and cleaning closets
- Exercising (Yoga, walking, swimming are all good)
- Any of those things you won’t be able to do once your belly gets big and your energy starts to wane again
Now, nutrition throughout your entire pregnancy is important but the first trimester can be a real challenge if you are suffering from morning sickness. So the second trimester is a great time to make up for anything you may have been lacking those first few months.
In the coming weeks, your baby will be developing bones, accumulating fat, begin to hear sounds in the womb, develop his/her sexual organs, start to grow hair, develop footprints, fingerprints and fingernail as well as continue to build their lungs, liver and immune system. Over these 3 months, you babies size will triple from the size it was at the 12 week mark.
But, this does not mean you can eat whatever you want. Many first time moms think that pregnancy translates to being able to eat whatever, whenever because they are essentially “eating for two”. When in reality, the caloric demand on a pregnant woman’s body increases by about 200 extra calories a day.
This translates to an extra bowl of cereal before bed or another healthy snack throughout the day.
Now I say this to establish a bit of credibility, not to brag but…with my first child I gained exactly 28 pounds. Evalee was 8.8 pounds and by time time she was two weeks old, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
How did I do this?
I ate right and I breastfed. Period.
So, what you should eat when you are pregnant shouldn’t be that much different than when you are not. You diet should be full of whole foods, fresh fruits and veggies (ideally organic if you can), whole grain, lean protein and a LOT of water.
A typical breakfast for me is either a piece of sprouted grain bread, toasted, with some natural peanut butter and blueberry jam. The fat from the peanut butter is a healthy fat and the fiber and antioxidants in the blueberry jam are an added bonus. I also have some organic yogurt and a small glass of orange juice. I then take my morning vitamins which consist of my Solgar pre-natal supplements, a B-Complex and an Omega 3-6-9 all with a large glass of water.
Mid morning I will have either an apple or banana. Lunch will be either a big salad with some lean protein, usually grilled chicken or a sandwich. I like chips but stay away from those greasy, salty things. I like blue and white corn tortilla chips. They satisfy that craving without the added fat and sodium. And again, a large glass of water.
Around naptime I like to have another snack which is either some sort of bar, I really like the Kashi bars. Or maybe a muffin if I have some made. And, yes, more water.
Finally, for dinner we will have anything from homemade chicken soup and a grilled cheese to spaghetti and meatballs. It all depends on what my little 3 year old is in the mood for. I ask her what she wants and tweak it from there.
If I feel a little snackish before bed I will allow myself a little treat like a few cookies and a small glass of milk or a bowl of cereal.
So, its not that you can’t eat and eat well it just a matter of making some smart choices. Snacks are where you can really pack on the extra calories and bad fats. if you know you are going to want those types of things, make your own. I love to bake so I am always making some sort of muffin or cookie but I chose smart ingredients like whole wheat flour, oats, apple sauce and dried fruit. This way you are satisfying your sweet tooth but not taking in a bunch of white flour and white sugar.
Stay away from fast food and convenience snacks. They are full of saturated fats and all sorts of nasty oil and preservatives.
And drink lots and lots of water. This will keep you skin clear, your bowels functioning, your ankles thin and your amniotic fluid up. Water is SO important when you are pregnant. I can’t stress that enough.
If you have a hard time drinking water, add just a splash of some juice and ice. Make sure the juice is 100% juice and not full of high fructose corn syrup. I will admit I have days when I am just not the mood to drink as much water as I should. So on those days I make a mix of about 30% cranberry juice (organic) and 70% water over ice.
If you have any questions about what you can or can’t eat, be sure to leave me a question in the comments below and I will get back to you ASAP.