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Congratulations! You are in the second month of your pregnancy. Although most women don’t know they are pregnant by this time, those who do are very careful about their diet, just as they should be. Nutrition is of primary importance at this stage as it helps in the proper development of the foetus. The neural tube of the foetus develops during this time which then later develops into the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients is mandatory during this time and throughout the pregnancy to ensure that the baby develops just fine. Read on to find out what foods you should eat and avoid in the second month of your pregnancy.
Essential Nutrients That Should Be a Part of Your Diet in the Second Month of Pregnancy
Foods that you eat in the first trimester of your pregnancy will support the healthy development of your baby. Morning sickness and nausea may make you feel uneasy and you may not want to eat, but try. Try and incorporate the foods that offer you as many nutrients as possible. Mentioned below are some nutrients that are vital for the baby’s development.
1. 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 to a woman who is trying to conceive as well as to a pregnant woman in her first trimester. Folic acid helps protect the unborn baby from developing neural tube defects. Green leafy vegetables, eggs, fruits, dry fruits and nuts (almonds and walnuts), pulses and lentils are all rich natural supplements of folic acid for a pregnant woman.
Another essential nutrient that should be a part of the 5th-week pregnancy diet is iron – it is mandatory for healthy blood supply. At this stage, a pregnant woman needs a strong blood flow in her body as it gives her the strength to deal with morning sickness and fatigue, which are commonly experienced in the first trimester of pregnancy. In the first week of your second month, eat foods that are rich in iron such as fruits, vegetables like spinach, fenugreek and beetroot, chicken, fish, and dry fruits.
Calcium is an important mineral for a pregnant woman, especially in the second month of her pregnancy. About 1000 mg intake of calcium is imperative during pregnancy. As the bones of the foetus ossify at this stage, the body needs calcium. And if the body is not supplied with the required amount of calcium, it will be extracted from existing reserves, thus increasing the chances of osteoporosis. To meet your requirements of calcium, you can eat vegetables like turnip, cabbage, and leafy vegetables as they are all an excellent source of calcium.
Protein is essential from the onset of pregnancy. Poultry foods like chicken and eggs, and milk, fish, and lentils provide the necessary protein required by the body. A minimum of 75 gms of protein is needed by an expectant mother at this stage. You can eat the protein-rich foods mentioned above. However, be careful about the fish you choose as certain types of fish are not safe for consumption for a pregnant woman.
Zinc is needed for the metabolism of acid and biological functions. Chicken, fish, vegetables, and beans are all rich sources of zinc. Make sure you include these foods in your diet on a daily basis.
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 your health and your baby’s health. But a healthy intake of good fat in the form of ghee and cream will aid in the development of the eyes, brain, placenta, and tissues and also restrict any abnormality during childbirth.
An important nutrient that aids digestion and prevents constipation, fibre is highly recommended to a pregnant woman. A fibre-rich diet made up of vegetables like carrots and cabbage, cereals, and fruits like oranges and bananas will help maintain your blood pressure and prevent constipation during pregnancy. A minimum intake of 14 gms every day is recommended.
Foods to Avoid in the Second Month of Pregnancy
The foods that should be avoided in the second month of pregnancy include.
Meat spreads contain listeria that is harmful during this stage of pregnancy. It affects the growth of the baby, hence must be completely avoided.
2. Soft Cheese
Consumption of soft cheese like brie and camembert are not recommended as they may contain E. Coli bacteria, which may lead to complications in pregnancy.
3. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs could spread the salmonella bacteria through the body causing a detrimental effect on the mother’s body and hampering the normal development of the baby. If you want to eat eggs during pregnancy, make sure you eat them in the boiled or poached form. Avoid eating half-boiled or semi-cooked eggs.
4. 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.
5. Raw Fish
Seafood like crabs, prawns, shrimp etc., are high in mercury, which is known to cause a miscarriage. These foods are not rich in protein and do not provide the body with any necessary nutrition.
6. Unpasteurized Milk
Do not drink unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk contains microorganisms, pathogens, and salmonella that are harmful to your body and the growth of the baby.
Alcohol is strictly not permitted as it could lead to several complications. It may affect your health and most important the growth of the baby. So avoid drinking alcohol throughout your pregnancy.
Consume fresh fruits, vegetables, fully cooked food, proteins to build your muscles and provide you with energy. Consume more starchy food than sugary foods to up your calorie intake.
Dietary Tips to Follow in the Second Month of Pregnancy
Here are some dietary tips that you should follow in the second month of your pregnancy.
You will get the maximum benefits from the food you eat if you eat it at the right time and in right proportions. Try to have a healthy breakfast that comprises of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and dairy products like milk. Eating a slightly rich diet in the morning will help as it will give you more time to digest the food.
Your diet in the afternoon should comprise of salads, eggs, etc. Having salad during lunch will help you stay fresh and energetic. You could also try including boiled eggs in your lunch. A meal that comprises of chapatis, cooked sabji, rice and dal will be nourishing at this stage.
You are likely to experience morning sickness in the first trimester of your pregnancy, so keep your dinners light. Eating light food will keep your stomach full and happy and prevent heartburn. If you want to have nourishing yet a light meal, eat boiled and cooked vegetables with less spice and salads in dinner.
If you feel peckish, try eating small portions of healthy snacks like upma. 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 as per your body requirements and what you eat should be healthy enough for you and your baby!
Remember, your nutrition 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.