Wellness & Sports

The essential nutrients during each trimester of the pregnancy

Pregnancy is a nine-month fairytale which prepares you for the magic of being a mum. During this period you get acquainted not only with all these new feelings and emotions but also it makes you become quite conscious and devoted to the care and health of yourselves and your baby.

Just as the majority of things in life, the intake of vitamins and nutrients in the form of tablets during the pregnancy is quite controversial, and alas, there is not enough evidence proving the necessity of this. During pregnancy your body goes through various physiological changes due to which the necessesity for numerious micronutrients rises by 15%-20% daily. It is a fact that vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of many systems and metabolic processes, as is true that their deficiency could bring about various malformations. However, we should not neglect the fact that overdosing could pose a threat both to the mum-to-be and the fetus. That is why it is of peculiar importance during the pregnancy to follow a decent dietary regime through which to gain all the necessary vitamins and other nutrients. It would help consuming regularly seasonal fruits and vegetables, milk products, nuts, whole grains and meat. This will not only increase your current health status, but will also provide for the normal development of your baby. Further, it will ease the recovery of your body after birth.

Each organism is unique and hence the necessity for extra intake of supplements is strictly individual and should be subject to discussion with your OB practitioner. For instance, during my pregnancy I was only taking folic acid during the first trimester, vitamin B12 and vitamin D during the second and third trimester and omega 3 during the last one. The reason for this was that all my blood tests showed low levels of hemoglobin and vitamins B12 and D that I could not increase with food only.

Mind the fact that the intake of supplements in the form of tablets is influenced by factors such as your overall health status, eating habits, lifestyle and even the seasons. The supplements that are widely available at the pharmaceutical chains are unfortunately made in a way to satisfy your necessity of vitamins and other nutrients in any condition and in any season, hence they should be taken with particular care during pregnancy. If at all needed.

Subject to the fetus development, each trimester the necessity for vitamins and other nutrients changes. In order to reflect these changes, you need to adapt your dietary regime in a way to deliver all necessary proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Here are the main vitamins and other nutrients that you and your baby will need during the different trimesters of the pregnancy.


First trimester

The general understanding is that one of the most important vitamins during this period is B9, well known as folic acid. It is responsible for the cells division, the proper development of the skeleton of the embrio, the blood system, the placenta formation, it protects against spontaneous miscarriage, intrauterine death and congenital anomalies such as spina bifida. Apart from this, it helps in the synthesis of hemoglobin through which it protects you from the development of anemia. When in deficiency during the pregnancy you will feel general fatigue, irritation, you will have depressive episodes, pronounced hair loss and weakening of memory. You can get folic acid from eating spinach, kale, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas and lentils, avocado, nuts.

The Pyridoxine, known as vitamin B6, is very important for dealing with the morning nausea and vomiting, which you will most probably face during the first months of the pregnancy. You will find it in melons, bananas, spinach, broccoli, oats and peanuts.

Vitamin E is quite controversial though, but it takes part in the formation of the placenta, the proper development of the embio structures, the blood system, the muscles apparatus and protects you against spontaneous miscarriage. In addition it protects against the development of preeclampsia and hypertension. However, you have to be careful not to overdose it as this could lead to cardiovascular malformations of the embrio. You can get Vitamin E via consuming more sunflower and corn oils, greenery, tomatoes, spinach, beans and rosehips.

Vitamin A takes part in the skeleton structuring and the development of the nervous system and vision of the mebrio. Be careful not to overdose with it as there is a potential danger the baby to develop heart and neural malformations. On the other hand, when in deficiency there could also be bad consequences. You can get it via consuming fish oil, animal liver, apricots, carrots, hips, peaches, spinach and celery. Always consume it with fats for better absobtion.

Zinc is important for the brain development and urinary system of the embrio. You can get it via consuming meat, sea food and whole grains.


Second trimester

Iodine is responsible for the synthesis of hormons in the thyroid gland that take part in the skeleton and brain development of the embrio. Discuss the intake of this vitamin with your OB practitioner shall you have illness of your thyroid gland as its intake is contraindicated in such conditions. Iodine deficiency could lead to metabolic disturbances and overweight. You can get it through consuming seafood or sea salt and iodine salt.

Calcium is a building element of the bones and is involved in the formation of the kidneys and the endocrine system. Overdosing it could lead to serious problems as it accumulates in the placenta. Its deficiency, on the other hand, makes the baby take it from the reserves in your bones which could lead to a risk of osteoporosis. You can take calcium by consuming milk, yogurt, cheese, rich in calcium soya milk, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, asparagus, garlic, oranges ad herbs such as parsley, oregano, rosemary. Keep in mind that shall you consume it with chocolate, coffee and sparkling water its absorbtion will decrease. Consume it with vitamin D for better absorbtion that you can find in salmon and codfish.

Iron is the main component of hemoglobin and eases the transfer of oxygen all over the body of the pregnant woman and the embrio. In addition it takes part in the protein synthesis which helps the formation of muscles tissue. Its deffciency could bring about increased uterine tone. You can get it via consuming beef, duck, and chicken, fish, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, hemp, lentils and beans. Consume it with foods rich in vitamin C for better absorbtion. Do not consume it with tea, coffee and soft drinks as you will impede its absorbtion.


Third trimester

During the last trimester of the pregnancy, the main vitamins and nutrients which you and the little one in you would need are vitamin A and the iron that we spoke of before, as well as vitamin C, vitamin D, omega 3, vitamin B12, vitamin K and magnesium.

Other than boosting the immune system by significantly increasing the resistance of the organism to the influence of various pathogens, vitamin C also takes part in the formation of collagen, some hormones, various aminoacids and neurotransmitters, it helps in the optimal absorbtion of iron, sustains the tooth enamel and the articular cartilage. You can get it from citrus fruits but keeping in mind that they are an allergen better focus on potatoes, green leafy vegetables, peppers, carrots, cabbage, red currant which are also rich in it.

Vitamin D is of peculiar importance for the proper development of the locomotor system and the baby’s dental germs and is recommended as a means of preventing rachitis. It is very important for preventing various skeleton malformations, thinning of the bones, and dental defects. During the pregnancy it diminishes the risk of early preeclampsia and giving birth to a baby with low weight as well as protects you form developing gestational diabetes. You can get vitamin D by spending 30-40 minutes under the sunshine every day.

Omega 3 are important for the development of the central nervous systems, the brain and the vision of the fetus fat acids. You can get them via consuming salmon, walnuts, linseeds, shrimps, codfish, eggs, cauliflower, soya, tofu, and brussel sprouts.

According to the National Health Organization, vitamin B12 is as important during the pregnancy as is the intake of folic acid. It is of particular importance for the proper functioning of the brain, the nervous, blood, immune and cardiovascular systems. During pregnancy the deficiency of vitamin B12 can bring about spontaneous miscarriges, neural tube defects, placental detachment, low weight of the baby and congenital malformations. This vitamin is important for the production of myelin which is a fatty white substance that surrounds the axon of some nerve cells of the fetus. Unfortunately one in twenty pregnant women has deficiency in this vitamin, that is why it is very important to test yourself for its values during pregnancy. You can get vitamin B12 via consuming milk, cheese, eggs, meat, shellfish and crustaceans.

Vitamin K is important for the normal development of bones, teeth and the cartilage in the baby. It takes part in the formation of the facial parts and helps in strengthening the blood vessels and the normal blood clotting especially when in delivery. You can get it via consuming dried basil, green leafy vegetables, onion, brussel sprouts, asparagus, pickles, soybeans and dried prunes.

In this last trimester the magnesium will help you to reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia and slow intrauterine growth of the fetus. You can get it from nuts, whole grains and beans, green vegentables, soya and cocoa.

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