During pregnancy, everyone advises you to eat more, eat better, so the baby can grow well. How much more is more? How much better is better? What exactly do you need to eat to help the baby grow better? Eat healthily, people say. But that’s still too vague. What exact nutrients does my baby need, and when? Every week, the baby is developing a different organ, and thus different nutritional needs are necessary at every developmental stage. Instead of saying “just eat everything healthy!”, I prefer the more targeted approach. So below is a table I’ve tabulated, which describes each week of pregnancy, the corresponding developmental milestones the baby is expected to be undergoing then, and thus the type of food that I should eat more of. Hope it helps in your diet plans, as well as add some joy in knowing what your baby is working on that week! 🙂
Note: Some weeks are “empty”, which means no change, so just continue eating what was recommended in prior weeks. Also, suggested food sources are just examples, there are way more food sources that provide that nutrient, so feel free to diversify your intake to make life colorful!
Despite our more “nutritional” diet, the baby sometimes needs even more than what we can generally get in our diet. So usually gynaes will recommend taking supplements. below are a list of supplements that we should be taking:
- Folic Acid (~400-800ug, up to 4mg if you are assessed to be high risk for neural tube defects)
Second and Third Trimester:
- Calcium (~600mg). Essential for bone development. Total daily requirement is ~1200mg, but body intake maxes out at ~600mg, so either take calcium pills twice a day, or get the remaining from your diet of milk / cheese / dairies.
- DHA (~300mg). These are necessary for brain and eye cell development.
- Prenatal Vitamins. These should generally include Vit A, Vit C, Vit D, Vit E, Vit K, Vit B6, Vit b12, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin.
These are just a rough gauge. Everyone is different, please consult your O&G doctor for a customized nutritional and supplement need for yourself and your little one!