Want to know what you should be eating throughout your second month of pregnancy? Well you are in the right spot! In this blog we’re going look at how your dietary requirements change throughout your second month of pregnancy, so that you can have the healthiest pregnancy possible!
Firstly, congratulations!! I’m so excited for you! If you were in my office I’d give you a big hug! But, I’ll just have to do a happy dance for you instead! At this stage of your pregnancy, your baby is now the size of a raspberry. Your hormones will start going crazy and as a result you will experience morning sickness (or all-day sickness if you’re like many women), an urgent need to wee and possibly some food cravings and aversions.
One of the most common side effects of this stage of pregnancy is extreme tiredness. Most women I know already tend to ‘burn the candle at both ends’, but during pregnancy, you will likely feel more overwhelmed with tiredness than you ever have before. And if this is your second, third or fourth pregnancy, multiply your tiredness by a factor of ten for each additional child.
Research shows that the average person has two and a half hours’ less sleep now than the average person did 20 years ago. Statistics also show that people who have less than 7 hours’ sleep per night are more likely to be classified in the obese category in the BMI tables. Sleep plays a very important role in not just energy levels, but also in weight management. For example, if you are tired, you’re more likely to take the escalator than the stairs. You’re much more likely to jump into the car and drive down the road to the local shops than walk. And you’re much, much more likely to hit snooze on your alarm, roll over and get an additional 45 minutes’ sleep than get up and go for your early morning swim.
Next, think about your willpower when you’re tired. It’s much more likely that you are going to give into that cheeky sign advertising soft drinks – with a hot young, energetic couple frolicking on the beach subliminally suggesting that you will have their boundless energy too if you drink this soft drink – when you’re tired. Now, tell the truth, have you ever eaten when you weren’t hungry, in the hope that the food would give you energy? Well, you’re not the only one!
In addition to having less energy for physical activity and less willpower for saying no, scientifically we also know that your body produces more grehlin and less leptin when you haven’t had enough sleep. Grehlin is a hunger hormone, increasing your appetite and causing you to eat more regularly than you need to. Leptin is the hormone that tells you when to stop eating, so when you are tired, and producing less leptin, you are more likely to eat larger portion sizes than you really need.
Not getting enough sleep is always a recipe for weight gain, but even more so during pregnancy. My advice is to make sleep a priority during your pregnancy, especially at this stage. You will be more tired. You will probably also be busier than ever. So, this is the time to prioritise and say no to a few things and start going to bed an hour or two earlier than usual. Oh, and I also recommend unplugging the television. TV has a miraculous way of getting you to stay awake longer than you wanted to.
You are aiming for weight maintenance at this stage, so focus on your normal healthy diet with standard portion sizes. I’m often contacted by women at this stage who are worried about not eating enough because they are feeling too nauseous to eat. If this is what you’re going through, do your best not to avoid meals altogether. Instead, try to eat outside in the fresh air or next to an open window to decrease the smell of food. Try eating cold meals such as tinned tuna and salad rather than hot meals, and grazing throughout the day instead of sitting down to three big meals. You will actually feel better having eaten something small than having an empty stomach. Choose bland, low-fat foods such as a peeled apple, yoghurt, dry crackers or a slice of toast. Another trick is to cut a lemon in half and smell that – the freshness can often relieve the feeling of nausea. If you really can’t stomach anything, speak to your GP about medication to combat nausea.
At this stage, you may also start to experience food cravings or aversions. Foods you previously loved may now taste vile, and you might find yourself fantasising about some random food: spinach? Icy poles? Maybe, tomato soup? If it’s a healthy food, then listen to your body and go for it – eating eggplant every day for a week never hurt anyone! But if your temptation is more of a treat food – like ice cream, chocolate or biscuits – then it’s more likely that you want that food rather than need it. Allow yourself a serving of it, but don’t go overboard.
Continue taking your pregnancy multivitamin, omega 3 supplements (if you’re not eating enough fish) and additional folate supplements if needed, and of course any additional supplements that your doctor or dietitian has prescribed.
Are you feeling unmotivated to exercise? Tiredness and morning sickness are easy excuses at this stage. One of my favourite motivators for my clients is to remind them (and now you) that exercise is essential to prepare you for the physical demands of labour. So, don’t give up. If you’re suffering from morning sickness, you may need to adapt your exercise routine to fit around how you are feeling. For example, if your morning sickness reflects its name, change your exercise schedule to undertake less demanding tasks in the morning, and shift your work out to the evening, or vice versa. Keep in mind, however, that many of the clients I see actually prefer to exercise when they are feeling a little nauseous as the fresh air really can make a big difference.
A hot gym and stinky, sweaty bodies are not the best environment for a queasy tummy. If you are a gym fan, I encourage you to stick to your usual routine of going to the gym, but instead of going inside, leave your car there and go for an outdoor walk/jog instead. This will help to keep you in your routine for when you are feeling a little less nauseous.
As I mentioned, one of the other key excuses for not exercising at this stage is tiredness. Tiredness is not a good enough excuse for not exercising. If you are tired, take a good hard look at your schedule and cut something else out. Do you really need to go to that meeting? Do you really need to go to that party? Can you post a gift and handwritten card instead? You’re pregnant. This means that your health and the health of your baby need to be your first priority. I know you’re feeling tired, but at the moment you’d still be feeling tired even if you slept all day, but sometimes a walk around the block or a swim in the ocean can be just what you need to make you feel a million dollars again – trust me!
Now, to help get you started, I’ve put together a 7 day pregnancy meal plan. It will help make everything so much easier for you! Simply choose which breakfast you’d like, which lunch, which dinner and which snacks. To download it now, all you have to do is click here and happy reading!
I like forward to chatting to you again soon!
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