Best Foods to Eat During the First Trimester

Best Foods to Eat During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

The pregnancy is divided into 3 trimesters, these are; 1st, 2nd & 3rd trimesters. Pregnancy 1st trimester begins on the first day of your last period and lasts till 13th week. Along with physical and hormonal changes there are several types of complications like pains, cramping, nausea, food aversion, fatigue, heartburn you can expect during this time which make eating food too difficult for a woman. Many women feel no desire to eat healthy foods like; fresh vegetables and meat. But it is important to eat healthy foods to maintain the nutritional balance and support physical strength. Now you must be thinking, what are the best foods to eat during the first trimester of pregnancy? Don’t worry we have provided every detail below so that you don’t find this difficult to fulfill your nutritional requirements. But before going into that let’s understand what are the complications that you may face during the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

First Trimester Complications:

First Trimester Cramping and Spotting

It is natural to feel cramping in your lower abdomen during the 1st trimester. It happens because your body prepares for your growing baby. Your belly grows as well as your uterus, so feeling of light period cramp in the 1st trimester is normal.

Spotting or light bleeding in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is absolutely normal. It happens when fertilized eggs attach to the uterine lining which causes light bleeding. This is called implantation bleeding. But if your light bleeding becomes heavy bleeding with pain then this might be linked to the miscarriage as mostly miscarriages happen in 1st trimester.

Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy 1st Trimester

Lower abdominal pain during the 1st trimester of pregnancy is absolutely common. It happens because your growing uterus is pulling and straining the muscles that support it. You can also feel sharp pain or pulling sensation in the abdomen area as your womb is expanding for your growing baby. But if your abdominal pain lasts more than an hour and if you are having vaginal bleeding with this then you must consult with your doctor.

Lower Back Pain in the First Trimester

Back pain during the first trimester of pregnancy is very common. Ligaments in your body become softer during pregnancy to prepare you for labor and this can put pressure on the joints of your lower back and pelvis.

But if you are experiencing back pain with vaginal bleeding along with fever and burning sensation during urination then contact your health care provider immediately.

Nausea in 1st Trimester

Nausea is also known as morning sickness. It can happen at any point of time. Low blood sugar and increased pregnancy hormones are the main causes of nausea. Nausea can be worse if you are stressed and overtired. Research shows that every 7 out of 10 women experience nausea during their 1st trimester. As per NCBI 50-90% women feel nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy and mostly it’s the 1st indicator for a woman that she is pregnant. But if your nausea or vomiting becomes severe and you are losing weight and becoming dehydrated because of that then you must consult with your doctor. It can be a sign of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Best Foods to Eat During the First Trimester

During the 1st trimester a woman needs all the micro and macro nutrients to support the nutritional requirements. There are several food options which will let you consume your required nutrition and support your strength to fight with all the physical and hormonal problems. Hence, we have tried to suggest you some best foods to eat during the first trimester below.

What to Eat on the First Trimester of Pregnancy?
Folic Acid

Folic Acid is the form of B vitamin which is called Folate. It helps to make new blood cells, produces DNA and develops your baby’s neural tube into their brain and spinal cord. So, consumption of Folic Acid is important before and during the pregnancy for the proper development of organs in your baby. Folate can be found in beans, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and in your prenatal vitamin. If you are not taking enough folic acid then your baby’s neural tube may not close correctly and they could develop major health problems like neural tube defects, Spina bifida and Anencephaly.


Protein has a very important role in pregnancy. It helps your baby to grow normally by ensuring the proper growth of your baby’s tissues and organs. It also helps in other areas like developing hormones and enzymes, making antibodies for the healthy immune system, helps in proper muscle functionality etc. Eggs, greek yogurt and chicken are the best foods to eat during the first trimester to meet the protein requirement.


Calcium helps to build strong bones, teeth, muscles and nerves. Your growing baby will take calcium from you so you have to take proper calcium in your diet. Foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt are high on calcium. Women with lactose intolerance can get the required calcium through other sources like sardines, almonds, sesame seeds and soy milk & green veggies like; broccoli and Kale.


Consumption of foods high in iron is very important during pregnancy as iron makes blood which delivers oxygen to your fetus and that is also used by your baby. This makes extra blood which your body needs during the pregnancy to avoid the risk of pregnancy anemia. Beans, lentils, ready to eat cereals, beef, turkey, chicken, pork, spinach, tofu and shrimp are the best foods to eat during the first trimester to meet the iron requirement. These iron rich foods will help your body to make more red blood cells during this time of pregnancy.

Vitamin C

Eat more fruits and vegetables with Vitamin C. It helps in making new connective tissues in your baby and allows you to absorb iron more efficiently.

  • Vitamin C rich fruits are apricots, oranges, mangoes, pears. pomegranates, avocados, guava, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries.
  • Vitamin C rich vegetables are broccoli and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale that are full of Iron, Vitamin C, Folate and Fiber. Other vegetables are beetroot, parsley, green peas, tomatoes and bell peppers which are also good to have during pregnancy.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids

It comes from fatty fish like salmon, chia and other seeds. Fatty acids include DHA and EPA which are very important for baby’s brain and eye development.


It is very important for your baby’s brain development. Choline can be found in eggs, chicken liver and beef.

What Should You Eat If You are Struggling with Nausea

Feeling of nausea can make eating too difficult for you so here are some tips to prevent nausea.

  • Instead of eating 3 big meals in a day try to eat several small meals.
  • Try to avoid foods which are spicy and high in fat.
  • Try to eat soft textured and easy to digest foods like banana, rice, toast etc.
  • Ginger is safe and effective to reduce nausea. Ginger tea, ginger lollipops and foods which contain ginger help to reduce nausea or morning sickness.
  • Drink fluids frequently and stay hydrated.
  • Drinking a cup of peppermint tea or adding a slice of lemon in hot water may ease your nausea.

Dos and Don’ts in First Trimester

The 1st trimester is a very crucial period for a pregnant woman. Mothers start wondering what to do and what not to do during their first trimester of pregnancy. Well, there are a few things which are important to avoid during this period of your pregnancy and a few things which you should make sure that you are doing/following.

Things to do in 1st Trimester
  • Take Prenatal Vitamin

Prenatal vitamins are different from regular multivitamins. When you are pregnant, you and your growing baby need certain vitamins to support the baby’s growth, so it’s important to take prenatal vitamins regularly during pregnancy.

  • Stay Active

There are lots of benefits in exercising through your 1st trimester. It decreases the level of stress, tiredness and fatigue.

  • Stay Hydrated

Stay hydrated during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. This helps you to prevent dizziness, constipation and headache. Apart from plain water you can drink juice, herbal tea and soups.

  • Get a Flu Shot

Flu causes severe illness to pregnant people more than those who are not pregnant. Suffering from flu while pregnant increases the pregnancy complications so it’s better to get a flu shot to protect your baby against the flu.

  • Get Plenty of Sleep

Some women feel exhausted during the 1st trimester of pregnancy as their body undergo many physical and hormonal changes so a pregnant woman needs to sleep at least for 8 to 9 hours per day.

Things Not to do in 1st Trimester
  • Don’t Drink Alcohol

In the 1st trimester your baby develops in many significant ways. This includes brain development as well and drinking alcohol can damage your baby’s brain development. CDC stated, it has been proven that a small amount of alcohol can be dangerous for pregnant women and their child. So drinking alcohol should be stopped entirely during pregnancy to prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

  • Don’t Smoke

Smoking during pregnancy can be very harmful for your baby, it can lead you to miscarriage or can put your baby at risk of birth defects, premature birth, low birth weight, learning disabilities etc.

  • Don’t Drink Too much Caffeine

Caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure which can be dangerous for you and your baby. Caffeine travels through the placenta and increases your baby’s heart rate. According to NCBI, pregnant women can consume 1 or 2 cups of coffee or less than 300mg per day but not more than that.

  • Don’t Eat Raw Meat and Unpasteurized Milk Products

Avoid unpasteurized foods like raw milk, unpasteurized cheese, mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese and also avoid consumption of unpasteurized juice because these all contain bacteria which is very unhealthy for pregnant women. Avoid eating under-cooked, raw and processed meat because they may become infected during processing or storage.

  • Don’t Sit in a Hot Tub or Sauna

Relaxing in a hot tub, jacuzzi and saunas can be too dangerous for your baby. All of these can increase the chances of miscarriage.

  • Avoid Eating Fruits like Papaya, Pineapple and Grapes

Avoid eating Papaya, Pineapple and Grapes completely during the pregnancy period as they can lead you to vaginal bleeding and in worst case miscarriage can happen because of consumption of those fruits. Also, avoid eating any kind of raw sprouts including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean.

Final Thoughts:

During your pregnancy you need to eat nutrition dense foods only for a healthy pregnancy journey. In this article we have not only discussed about the best foods to eat during the first trimester but also provided you with the information on pregnancy complications. These foods will help you to maintain a perfect nutritional balance and give you the strength to fight with the pregnancy complications. Apart from eating healthy foods you must follow a proper exercise regimen, stay hydrated and take prenatal vitamins as well to enjoy the pregnancy journey.

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