The 1st-month pregnancy diet is crucial for the development of a healthy baby. However, unfortunately, women often find out they are pregnant only after having missed a period, and by the time they realize this, they have mostly crossed the first month.
So, it would help if you start a healthy and pregnancy-safe diet as soon as you begin planning to conceive and have a family. This will help ensure a safe pregnancy.
Read on as we tell you about some nutritious, healthy foods you should include in your diet during the first month and the foods you should avoid.
Foods To Include In The First Month Of Pregnancy
Foods from the following groups must be a part of your diet in the first month of pregnancy.
- Include foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, avocado, lentils, fortified bread, orange juice, beans, and cereals that are rich in folic acid (1). Folic acid is an essential nutrient for the brain and spinal development of the fetus. It helps in blood formation during pregnancy and preventing neural tube defects in the baby.
- Milk and milk products such as yogurt and cheese are a good source of calcium. Calcium is essential for fetal heart and nerve functions and helps in developing strong bone, teeth, and muscles.
- Fruits and vegetables including the yellow and red ones, cabbage, broccoli, strawberries, citrus, and Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the baby’s teeth and bone development.
- Add fiber-rich foods like oats, whole grain bread, legumes, fruits, and vegetables in your diet for relieving constipation and regularizing the bowel movement.
- Lean meat is a good source of iron and protein, which helps in making hemoglobin. Also, it is essential to meet the blood supply demand by the fetus.
- Seeds and nuts are protein-rich foods that help in developing the fetal tissues and repairing breast and uterine muscles. They also aid in meeting the blood requirements during pregnancy.
- Iodized salt is the primary source of iodine, which is essential for the baby’s nervous system and brain development.
- Fortified bread and cereals are rich sources of fiber and B vitamins, which are necessary for the fetal brain and nerve development.
- The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight. However, it may not meet the required daily allowance during pregnancy. So, include foods like vitamin D fortified milk, salmon, tuna, mackerel, eggs, mushrooms, and cereal.
Recommended daily intake of nutrients during pregnancy
|Nutrients||RDA (Recommended daily allowance)|
1300mg (age 14-18 years)
1000mg (age 19-50 years)
|Vitamin C||80mg (age 14-18 years)|
85mg (age 19-50 years)
|Vitamin D||600 IU|
150µg (through iodine supplements taken in the form of potassium iodide) (4)
During pregnancy, you may develop a craving for foods that may not be healthy for the pregnancy. Keep reading to know which foods you need to avoid.
Foods to avoid in the first month of pregnancy
Here are some foods that you must avoid during the first month:
- Avoid soft cheeses (brie, ricotta, camembert, blue cheese, and feta), bean sprouts, sandwich meats, pre-made pâté, and salads, as they may contain the listeria bacteria (5).
- Raw eggs may contain salmonella and should be avoided.
- Avoid undercooked meat and poultry as they may contain E. coli, Campylobacter, salmonella, and Toxoplasma gondii bacteria.
- Avoid swordfish, shark, tilefish, king mackerel as they contain high levels of mercury. Also, avoid raw fish like sushi and sashimi. Freshwater salmon, bass, bluefish, trout, pike, and walleye may contain high levels of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls, which are highly toxic industrial compounds) and should be avoided (6).
- Do not consume unpasteurized juice, cider, and milk as they may contain E.coli or listeria bacteria (1).
- Raw sprouts may contain E.coli salmonella.
- Luncheon meat and cold hotdogs are a good host for listeria.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol as it may affect fetal growth.
- Avoid fruits such as pineapple and raw papaya, which are known to induce contractions (7).
- Limit the intake of foods such as pastries, cakes, pies, processed meats, pizza, commercial burgers, and fried foods that may have high amounts of saturated fats (5).
- Limit the intake of foods that contain added sugar (like confectioneries, energy drinks, sweetened soft drinks) and salt.
- Limit the intake of caffeine as more than 200-300mg or 2-3 cups of coffee a day can cause miscarriage (8) (9).
It is essential that you choose the right food and eat the right amounts during pregnancy. Next, we give you a few diet tips for the first month of pregnancy.
[ Read: 2nd Week Pregnancy ]
First-month pregnancy diet tips
Here are some diet tips to follow during the first month of pregnancy:
- Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.
- Make sure you take the prenatal vitamins along with your diet.
- Eat smaller meals at regular intervals.
- Cut down on junk foods.
- Avoid oily and spicy foods that aggravate heartburn.
Most women already cross their first month by the time they become aware of their pregnancy. Therefore, if you are planning to conceive or got to know that you are pregnant, following a balanced diet will ensure that your unborn baby receives the nutrients required for their healthy development. Try various delicious food items that are entirely pregnancy-safe and ensure you drink plenty of water for sufficient hydration. You must also understand which foods you must avoid in your first-month pregnancy diet and make appropriate dietary choices.
2. Nutrition During Pregnancy; ACOG
3. Michelle A. Kominiarek, et al.,; Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation; NCBI (2016)
4. Angela M. Leung, Elizabeth N. Pearce, et al.,; AAP Recommendations on Iodine Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation; American Academy of Pediatrics (2019)
5. Healthy eating during your pregnancy; National Health and Medical Research Council
6. Pregnancy: Nutrition; Cleveland Clinic (2019)
7. Ghosh Debosree and Ghosh Suvendu; Forbidden Foods for Healthy Pregnancy; IJSRR (2018)
8. Caffeine; OTIS
9. Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs; The Nemours Foundation (2019)
- 3rd Week Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development
- 4th Week Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development
- 2nd Month Pregnancy Diet
- Food Cravings During Pregnancy