You’ve probably not got much of an appetite at the moment, especially if you’re unlucky enough to be suffering from morning sickness. But try to eat healthily when you can. A healthy diet will make you feel better and will help give your baby all the nutrients they need to develop.
Small regular meals and frequent drinks can help to combat the nausea and tiredness that you’re experiencing right now. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need any extra calories in your first two trimesters, so don’t feel that you have to try and eat for two.
Focus on folic acid
Also known as folate or folacin, folic acid is one of the B group of vitamins. It’s important during pregnancy because it’s one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. Your body also needs it to produce red blood cells, as well as norepinephrine and serotonin (chemical components of the nervous system). It helps make DNA (the body’s genetic material), which normalises the brain’s functions, and is a critical component of spinal fluid.
• The Department of Health recommends that every woman who’s thinking about pregnancy, or is in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, should take a daily supplement of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid
• As well as taking a supplement, the Department of Health recommends that your diet contains plenty of folate-rich foods:
Dark green leafy vegetables - spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and broccoli
Legumes – dried beans (pinto, kidney and navy) and peas (black-eyed, black) and peanuts
Oranges and orange juice