• Nutrition
  • Pregnancy

Diet Changes Between Semesters

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  • Nutrition
  • Pregnancy

We live in a country with a strong belief on paglilihe or the Filipino notion that what pregnant women crave and eat will have an effect on their child. Because of paglilihe, some Filipino pregnant women think that it is okay to eat whatever they crave for. But that is not the case. Being pregnant requires proper nutrition that changes per trimester.

All of the essential vitamins and minerals are important throughout pregnancy, however different aspects of growth and development are occurring in each trimester. Eating the right amount of nutrients from a variety of food will also help to prevent birth defects.

First Trimester

For your first trimester, it’s good to eat food that is rich in Folate. This is crucial for your first trimester because of the following reasons:

  • Folate is good for the development of your baby’s nervous system and it is one of the B complex group vitamins with an important role in the normal development of the fetus and in the prevention of the occurrence of Neural Tube Defects (Cheong 2006).

  • It will help support healthy birth outcomes. Folate deficiency peri-conceptionally and throughout pregnancy has also been associated with increased risks of oral cleft, preterm births, low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, and fetal growth retardation (Cheong 2006).

  • The US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for pregnant women is 400 ug of folic acid   daily from fortified foods, supplements or both, in addition to consuming 400 mg food folate from a varied diet. Filipinos pregnant moms based on RENI 2002 also need 600ug of Folate, 5ug of Vitamin D, 1.9 mg of Vitamin B6 and 2.6 ug of Vitamin B12 daily.

  • A good source of Folate is Anmum Materna which is the only milk for pregnant women with clinically-tested Folate. It is prescribed by doctors for baby’s proper brain and body development. Moreover, it fulfils your 100% daily requirement of key nutrients that help ensure a healthy pregnancy such as Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, Zinc.  Other good sources of folate are fortified cereals, green and leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and dried beans and peas.

  • Your diet should also contain vitamin B6, which may help ease nausea. Your blood volume will also increase, resulting to increased needs for Iron,  so do not forget to eat iron-rich food

Second Trimester

On the other hand, your second trimester is crucial for your baby’s development of strong bones and teeth. Therefore, an intake of food rich in calcium and vitamin D is highly recommended. 

  • Philippines (RENI) recommends mothers get Calcium of 800 mg and Vitamin D of 5 ug

  • The richest sources for calcium are dairy products. 2 glasses of Anmum Materna daily, will fulfill your daily calcium and vitamin D requirements.

  • Other good sources are fortified foods such as fruit juices like orange juice and breakfast cereals.

  • Calcium may also help your circulatory, muscular and nervous system.

Aside from nutrients for proper bone and teeth development, you also need the following:

  • Foods which contain omega 3 fatty acids are also important for your baby's brain development.

  • To help make red-blood cells for your baby, iron-rich food is recommended.

  • Don’t drink tea or coffee with your meals as these may impact iron absorption

Third Trimester

  • You would need a lot of energy for your third trimester. Energy boosters can be found in whole-wheat bread, pita, ginger bread and other baked wheat products. Banana is also a good source of energy and fiber. Add in bananas for good measure.

  • Since you are close to giving birth, it is important to have a healthy dose of vitamin K which can be found in dark green leafy vegetables. It will help your blood to clot. It also important for breastfeeding.  

Always keep in mind that what you eat during your pregnancy may directly affect the growth and development of your child and your health as well.  So keep your food choices at a level that will help meet your nutrient needs during the whole duration of your pregnancy  in order to optimize you and your child’s health. Remember, that proper nutrition is key to a healthy pregnancy. Start your healthy pregnancy today. Take the 1-Minute Folate Test now and get a free sample of Anmum Materna at (link to folate test). 

Cheong RL, Desnacido JA, Perlas LA, Madriaga JR, Marcos JM. Folate deficiency among Filipino pregnant women 6th National Nutrition Survey. Philli J Nutrition Vol 53. July-Dec 2006: 3-4