Pregnancy Diet and Nutrition By Month

The First Month (1-4 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Folic Acid
Functions: prevent neural organ defects
The supplement of folic acid can prevent anemia, premature birth, and fetal malformation, which is especially important in the first trimester of pregnancy as it is the key development stage of fetus's neural organs. You should eat more foods rich in folic acid such as bread, noodles, rice, spinach, asparagus, apple, orange etc. In addition to dietary supplements, you may also take folic acid tablets orally to get the daily supply of folic acid needed.

The Second Month (5-8 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Vitamin C & Vitamin B6
Functions: Relieve gum bleeding & inhibit morning sickness
In the second month after pregnancy, you may find that your gums bleed when brushing the teeth, which can be relieved by taking a moderate amount of vitamin C. At the same time, it can improve your body resistance and prevent tooth diseases. In daily life, vitamin C mainly comes from fresh fruits and vegetables such as green pepper, cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, spinach, lemon, strawberry, apple etc.

If you are suffering from morning sickness, vitamin B6 will be helpful. Maltose contains the highest content of vitamin B6. Taking 1-2 spoons of maltose per day not only inhibits pregnancy vomiting, but also makes you energetic. Food containing vitamin B6 also include banana, potato, soybeans, carrots, walnuts, peanuts, spinach and other vegetable foods. In food of animal origin, it mainly can be found in lean meat, chicken, eggs, fish etc.

The Third Month (9-12 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Magnesium (Mg) &Vitamin A
Functions: Promote fetal growth
Magnesium is of great importance for the muscle health of your baby and promotes the proper growth of your baby's bones. Researches show that, the amount of magnesium taken in the first trimester of pregnancy affects your baby's height, weight and head circumference. Magnesium is easily found in salad oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, soy, pumpkin, melon, sunflower seeds and whole grain foods. Also, magnesium is good for the recovery of your uterine muscles.

Vitamin A is needed throughout the entire process of fetal development, and it is essential to the health of your baby's skin, gastrointestinal tract and lungs. During the first trimester of pregnancy, the fetus cannot store vitamin A by itself, so make sure you have the abundant supply. Sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach and mango all contain a lot of VA.

The Fourth Month (13-16 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Zinc (Zn)
Functions: Prevent fetal dysplasia
In this month, you need to increase the zinc intake. Zinc deficiency can affect the growth of your baby and lead to the maldevelopment of your baby's vital organs like brain and heart. Also, it can cause you abnormal taste and smell, decreased food appetite, poor digestion and absorption, and hypoimmunity, which in turn can cause developmental retardation of your baby. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, oysters, liver, mushrooms, sesame, and scallops.
Tips: keep the zinc supplement in a moderate amount of no more than 45 mg per day.

The Fifth Month (17-20 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Vitamin D & Calcium (Ca)
Functions: Promote fetal bone and tooth development
After the fifth month of pregnancy, your baby's bones and teeth are growing fast and this is the period of rapid calcification with a soaring demand for Ca. From this month, you should drink milk, milk powder for pregnant women or yogurt daily for calcium supplement.

Besides, you should also eat the following foods that are easy to get calcium, such as dried cheese, tofu, eggs or duck eggs, shrimp, fish, kelp, etc. Also, you should take calcium every day. It should be noted that calcium supplements should be provided throughout the pregnancy.

Of course, it is not enough to take calcium supplements. Since vitamin D can promote the effective absorption of Ca, you should eat more fish and eggs and soak up more sun to produce vitamin D but remember to use sun block.

The Sixth Month (21-24 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Iron
Functions: prevent iron-deficiency anemia
In this period, the nutritional needs of both your baby and you are soaring. Many expectant mothers begin to show signs of anemia. Iron is one of the important components of red blood cells. So, do pay particular attention to iron intake.
To avoid iron-deficiency anemia, you should pay attention to dietary collocation and consciously eat some food rich in iron. You can also orally take 0.3-0.6 g ferrous sulfate per day from this month.

The Seventh Month (25-28 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: DHA
Functions: Ensure the normal development of your baby's brain and retina
Broadly speaking, it includes DHA, EPA, cephalin, lecithin and other substances and has double significance for you in the second trimester of pregnancy. Firstly, it can prevent premature birth and fetal growth retardation, and increase your baby's birth weight. Secondly, your baby's nervous system gradually improves and the whole body, especially the brain cell develops much faster than the first trimester. The intake of enough DHA can ensure the normal development of your baby's brain and retina.

You can take some foods rich in DHA alternately, such as nuts rich in natural linoleic and linolenic acids such as walnut, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts etc. Also, marine fish and fish oil contain rich DHA. These foods are rich in fatty acids essential to the development of fetal brain cells and invigorate the brain.

The Eighth Month (29-32 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Carbohydrate
Functions: Maintain your body's calorie needs
In the 8th month of pregnancy, the fetus begins to store glycogen and fat in the liver and under the skin. The deficiency of carbohydrate intake can cause protein deficiency or ketoacidosis, so do take enough calories by increasing your intake of staple foods such as rice and wheat. On average, you need to eat about 400 g cereals per day, which is important for keeping calories and saving protein. Besides, it’s essential to eat some coarse grains, such as millet, corn, oatmeal, etc.

The Ninth Month (33-36 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Dietary Fiber (DF)
Functions: Prevent constipation & promote intestinal tract movement
In the third trimester, the growing size of the fetus is a burden to you and makes you prone to constipation. Due to constipation, internal and external hemorrhoids can occur. To ease the pain of constipation, you should take in adequate dietary fibers to promote intestinal tract movement. Whole wheat bread, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, bean sprouts, cauliflower and other fresh vegetables and fruits are rich in dietary fiber. You should also do outdoor exercise appropriately and develop the habit of regular defecation every day.

The Tenth Month (37-40 Weeks)

Key Nutrient: Thiamine (Vitamin B-1)
Functions: Avoid prolonged labor & difficult delivery
In the last month, you should take in all kinds of vitamins and adequate iron, calcium and water-soluble vitamins, especially thiamine. The deficiency of thiamine can cause you vomiting and fatigue, and lead to prolonged labor and difficult delivery by affecting the uterine contraction. Marine fish is usually rich in thiamine.