At five weeks you have entered into your second month of pregnancy. Many women don’t know they are pregnant yet but those who do, must take extra precaution in terms of their diet.The second month is as crucial as the first month, and a lot of caution has to be taken at this preliminary stage. Nutrition is of primary importance at this stage as the foetus develops the neural tube which later develops into the baby’s brain, spinal cord and nerves. The foetus also develops the basic circulatory system and heartbeat at this stage. A diet enriched with vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients is mandatory at this stage. Read on to find out a complete description of the kind of foods to eat and avoid at this stage.
Important Nutrients You Should include in Your 2nd Month Pregnancy Diet
Food to eat when pregnant during the first trimester are the ones that support the development of the baby. Morning sickness and nausea may not help you in eating well, but you could definitely try taking as many nutrients as possible as part of your 2nd month pregnancy food diet. Some vital nutrients and food that should be included in your diet:
- Folic Acid: An integral part of the 7-week pregnancy diet, folic acid serves the purpose of Vitamin B. A daily folic acid supplement of 5 mg is recommended when you are trying to get pregnant and for the first trimester. Folic acid helps to protect the unborn baby from developing neural tube defects. Green leafy vegetables, eggs, fruits, dry fruits (almond, walnuts), pulses and lentils are all rich natural supplements of folic acid for a pregnant woman.
- Iron: Another essential nutrient of the 5th-week pregnancy diet, iron is mandatory for a healthy blood supply. At this stage, a mother needs a strong blood flow in her body to give the strength to sail through her morning sickness and fatigue that accompanies her pregnancy. Stick to foods that are rich in iron like fruits, vegetables like spinach, fenugreek and beetroot, chicken, fish and dry fruits.
- Calcium: An important mineral during the second month, a 1000 mg intake of calcium is imperative for a mother. The bones of the foetus ossify at this stage, and if the body is not supplied with the required amount of calcium, it will be extracted from the existing reserves increasing chances of osteoporosis. Vegetables like turnip, cabbage, leafy vegetables are all excellent sources of calcium.
- Proteins: Protein is essential from the onset of pregnancy. Poultry food like chicken, eggs, milk and fish and lentils provide the necessary protein requirement for the body. A minimum of 75gms of protein is needed by an expectant mother at this stage.
- Zinc: Zinc is needed for acid metabolism and biological functions. Chicken, fish, vegetables and beans are all rich sources of zinc and make sure your diet is supplemented with these on a regular basis.
- Fats: Fats are not always bad, but it is the kind of fat that you consume that will determine the healthy growth of your baby. There is no doubt that fried foods and foods containing saturated fat are detrimental to the baby and you. But a healthy intake of good fat in the form of ghee and cream will aid in the development of the eyes, brain, placenta, growth of tissues and also restrict any abnormality during childbirth.
- Fibre: An important ingredient to aid digestion and prevent constipation, fibre in the diet is highly recommended. A fibre rich diet made up of vegetables like carrot, cabbage, cereals, fruits like oranges and bananas will help to maintain blood pressure and reduce any risk during pregnancy. A minimum intake of 14gms every day is recommended.
Foods that Should be Avoided during Second Month of Pregnancy
The foods that should be avoided include:
- Meat Spreads: Meat Spreads contain Listeria that is harmful during this stage of pregnancy. They affect the growth of your baby and must be completely avoided.
- Soft Cheese: Consumption of soft cheese like Brie and Camembert are not recommended as it could contain the E Coli bacteria leading to complications in pregnancy.
- Raw Eggs: Raw eggs could spread the salmonella bacteria through the body causing a detrimental effect on you and can seriously hamper the normal development of the baby. Eggs must be completely boiled or poached when you are consuming it and even half boiled or semi-cooked eggs are not preferred.
- Processed Meat: Processed meat is stored on the shelves for long and run a risk of carrying bacteria that are harmful to the baby and you. It is recommended to stay away from processed meat during pregnancy to avoid deterioration of health.
- Raw Fish: Seafood like crabs, prawns, shrimp etc. contain elements called mercury that could lead to a miscarriage. They are not rich in protein and do not provide the body with any necessary nutrition.
- Unpasteurized Milk: Do not consume unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk contains microorganisms, pathogens and salmonella that are harmful to your body and the growth of the baby.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is strictly not permitted as it could lead to several complications to your health and most important the growth of the baby. Always stay away from alcohol especially through your entire pregnancy.
Consume fresh fruits, vegetables, fully cooked food, proteins to build your muscles and give you energy. Consume more starchy food than sugary foods to increase your calories.
Diet Tips to Follow in 2nd Month of Pregnancy
- Diet plan for the morning: You will get the entire benefit from the food you eat if you take it at the right time in the right proportion. Try to eat a well-balanced meal in the morning comprising of fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy products like milk. Eating a slightly rich diet in the morning helps as it will have more time to digest itself.
- Diet plan for the afternoon: Salads will help you feel fresh and energetic. You could also try including boiled eggs to your lunch. A plate with whole wheat toast , cooked and grilled meats, brown rice and lentil soup will be a complete nourishing meal at this stage.
- Diet plan for the night: Given that you may still have morning sickness, keep your dinners light. Simple dinners could include boiled and cooked vegetable with less spice and salads.
If you feel peckish, try eating small portions of healthy snacks like rice crackers, hummus, taboula and salads etc. Avoid fried food and be guided by your appetite. Do not binge eat as many would keep insisting that you need to eat for two. Contrary to the popular belief, you breathe for two and not eat for two. You must eat for just one and healthy enough to sustain two!
Remember, your nutrition gain depends on the foods you choose, so choose wisely. Make sure you limit your intake of fatty foods, sugary foods, fried foods and foods high in calories as they provide no nutrition to your baby. Folic acid is vital for the development of the foetus, and you must eat food rich in folate in addition to supplements prescribed by the doctor.