Paying attention to the adequacy of nutrition is something that should not be escaped from the daily lives of pregnant women. Therefore, adequate nutrition in accordance with the trimester of pregnancy also supports the health of the mother and fetus, also helps the growth of the baby who is still in the womb.
Despite having to pay attention and meet nutritional needs every day, the nutritional composition of pregnant women is actually not much different from the conditions when not pregnant. They still need carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The difference, pregnant women need some additional nutrients to support the growth and development of the baby who is still in the womb.
Nutritional needs according to the trimester of pregnancy
In order for the pregnancy to run well and the fetus to develop perfectly, the following are the nutritional needs that must be fulfilled by pregnant women in accordance with the trimester of pregnancy:
First trimester of pregnancy
The first trimester of pregnancy lasts from the first week to the 13th week. This trimester is the period between the conception period when the first fetal cell is formed until the end of the 12th week, and the period of formation of all fetal organs.
Because the first trimester of pregnancy is so important, pregnant women need to eat foods that are healthy and contain the following substances:
- Folic acid (vitamin B9)
Folic acid is needed from the beginning of the trimester of pregnancy because it functions to support the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Lack of folic acid in the first trimester can cause the baby to have birth defects. Food sources that contain folic acid, including chicken liver, M. pruriens, asparagus, spinach, egg yolks, peanuts, avocados, corn, and broccoli.
- Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has an important role during pregnancy, especially in women who experience nausea. This is because vitamin B6 is proven effective for suppressing nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy. Food sources that contain vitamin B6, namely salmon, bananas, and whole wheat bread.
Iron is needed for pregnant women during the first trimester to prevent anemia during pregnancy. By preventing anemia, pregnant women also reduce the risk of premature birth, low birth weight babies, and depression after giving birth. Food sources that contain iron, such as lean red meat, beans, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Second trimester of pregnancy
The second trimester of pregnancy lasts from the 14th week to the 27th week. In this trimester, nutrients that must be obtained by pregnant women are:
- Calcium and vitamin D
Calcium is needed in the second trimester of pregnancy to support the growth of fetal bones and teeth. While vitamin D is needed to help the process of absorption of calcium into the body, it also prevents infections and premature birth.
- Pregnant women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day. Food sources that contain calcium and vitamin D are milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and potatoes.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed during pregnancy for the development of the brain, nervous system, and fetal vision. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in salmon, tuna, shrimp, crabs, eggs, canola oil, walnut oil, and soybean oil.
Third trimester of pregnancy
The third trimester of pregnancy begins in the 28th week of pregnancy until the 41st week. In this trimester the food consumed by pregnant women is intended to provide enough energy for labor later.
Some nutritional needs that must be fulfilled by pregnant women in the third trimester, include:
In the third trimester, the carbohydrate requirement of pregnant women is 2,200 calories. Carbohydrates can be obtained from rice, potatoes, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal.
In addition to being a source of energy, protein also plays a role in the formation of the immune system of pregnant women and fetuses. Protein can be obtained from red meat, chicken, eggs, milk, tofu, and tempeh.
- Vitamin K
Adequate intake of vitamin K will help speed up the process of blood clotting after giving birth. Foods that are rich in vitamin K, including melons, whole wheat bread, green beans, and pasta.
In addition to paying attention and fulfilling adequate nutrition during pregnancy, pregnant women are also required to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The way to do it is to exercise in accordance with the conditions of pregnancy on a regular and regular basis, stay away from cigarettes and alcohol, get enough rest, and manage stress well. Finally, do not forget to do regular antenatal checks so that the condition of the pregnancy is always well monitored.