Nutrition During Pregnancy - Step Wise Per Trimester Guide

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Congratulations on Being Pregnant!

As soon as you think about having a baby, you should start thinking about what to eat.

Pregnant women need more protein, iron, folic acid and iodine but only a small increase in energy (kilojoules). Folic acid supplements before and after conception can reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Small regular snacks may help nausea or morning sickness. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may affect your unborn baby.

If you are pregnant, a good approach is to eat to satisfy your appetite and continue to monitor your weight. A normal weight gain over the course of a pregnancy is around 10–13kg for women who were a healthy weight before conception.

A varied diet generally provides our bodies with enough of each vitamin and mineral each day. However, pregnant women may need supplements of particular vitamins or minerals. Be advised by your doctor before taking supplements.

Why eating healthy is important ::

For the fetus:

  • Provides nutrients for proper growth and development.

  • Prevents prematurity and low birth weight.

For the mother:

  • To prevent excess weight gain.

  • To prevent heartburn, nausea and constipation.

  • To prevent anemia, infection & poor healing.

Weight Gain Ranges ::

• Normal weight BMI (19.8 – 26): 11 – 16 KG

• Under weight BMI (<19.8): 12.5 – 18 KG

• Overweight BMI (>26 – 29): 7 – 11.5 KG


Try to eat::::

  • Lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals.

  • Moderate amounts of low-fat dairy foods and lean meats.

  • Small amounts of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

  • Lean meat, chicken and fish (make sure it is low in mercury).

  • Dried beans and lentils.

  • Nuts and seeds.

  • Green leafy vegetables.


During 1st trimester mother’s body undergoes many hormonal changes which affect almost every organ in body

Changes seen in mother:

Tiredness, morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, strong food cravings, constipation,Weight gain/loss.

Growth in your baby:

Formation of all internal organs,Heart starts beating, Nerve & Muscle development starts,Arms –legs-eyes starts developing.


Proteins | For Cell formation, Weight Gain | Found in Milk & its products, Sprouts, Poultry

Folic Acid | For Nerve development | Spinach , Egg Yolk, Whole wheat flour, Walnuts, Peanuts

Vitamin C | For Tissue formation | Fresh fruits, orange, lemons , alma, guava tomato, capsicum

Vitamin B12 | For Brain development | Meats, Milk, Eggs


This is a vital phase in pregnancy as important developments occurs in the baby

Changes seen in Mother:

Body aches especially back ache, Tingling/numbness in hands, Nausea/vomiting, swelling on foot, fatigue

Growth in your baby

Muscle & bone development, skin development, hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, tastebuds, hearing & bone marrow starts making blood cells.


Proteins | For Growth of baby & blood formation | Found In Pulses (Dal) , eggs, fish, meat, milk, curd (Dahi) etc

Vitamin A | For Skin , Eyes , Hair Development | Found In Milk, Egg Yolk, Butter, Leafy vegetables, Red-orange fruits & Vegetables.

Iron | Blood formation | Found In Fenugreek, spinach, dates, sesame, pulses, soya, meats

Calcium | For Bone & Teeth formation | Found In Milk, curd, paneer, cheese, leafy vegs, ragi etc

Vitamin C | For Calcium absorption | Found In Orange, guava, lemons, amla, tomatoes

Vitamin D | For Bone development & calcium absorption | Found in Sunshine, milk, eggs, meats


Important development continues in baby and mother’s body prepares itself for delivery.

Changes seen in mother:

Difficulty in breathing, heartburn, heaviness in stomach, cramps in muscles weight gain or loss, swelling in foot.

Changes in your baby

Almost all body parts fully developed, Brain development, rapid weight gain, fat iron, calcium stores in body.


Proteins | For Milk production in mothers, Rapid wt gain in baby | Found in Pulses, eggs, fish, meat, milk, curd etc

Iron | For Storage of iron in baby’s body | Found in Fenugreek, spinach, dates, sesame, pulses, soya, meats

Calcium | For Milk production in mother, strengthening of bones | Found in Milk, curd, paneer, cheese, leafy Vegetables, Ragi etc

Vitamin C | For Iron absorption | Found in Orange, guava, lemons, amla, tomatoes

Essential fatty acids | For Brain development in baby | Found in Walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, fish liver oil etc

for Problems

Morning sickness

Eat dry, crispy foods like biscuits, soup sticks, bread toasts etc. try ginger lemon juice, fruits.avoid smells that cause nausea


Drink 12- 14 glasses of water/ day. Eat fibre rich foods whole fruits, vegetables, whole cereal etc . can have 1 banana everyday.


Eat 6-8 small frequent meals. Don’t keep long gap between meals. Avoid spicy, fried and junk. Have fresh lime, buttermilk. Do not lie down immediately after meals.

Swelling on feet. face

Avoid excess cups of tea/coffee. Avoid salty foods like chips, farsan, pickles, papads etc, Rest and keep your feet elevated.


Drink enough fluids in form of 12-14 glasses of water, fruit juices, buttermilk, coconut water etc. include water based fruits & vegetables like melons, pumpkin, doodhi, tomatoes,cucumbers etc

Foods to Avoid ::

  • Raw fish.

  • Unpasteurized juices.

  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa).

  • Herbal supplements and herbal teas.

  • Pica or harmful food craving.

Please check expiry date of Packed food options before consuming, better avoid packed food , and try fresh.

Things to remember::

A pregnant woman needs to boost her nutrient intake, rather than her kilojoule intake.

Pregnancy creates extra demands for certain nutrients including iron and folate.

Good food hygiene is particularly important during pregnancy.

Regularly consult your Gynecologist

For Further Question related to Diet !! Please Contact

Best Wishes,

Tripti Khanna

Msc. Nutrition - NIBM-Pune

Disclaimer : Please Note : All nutrition tips shared are per standard nutrition guidelines, however, it might effect from body to body.

Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health.

Please speak to your Nutritionist or Gynecologist before following any diet. Swasthlife does not hold responsible for any kind of claims.

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