At seven weeks, you are probably still in disbelief about the pregnancy. The excitement and shock you had when you tested positive for pregnancy is still fresh. At this time, a lot of questions must be running through your mind. What should I eat? How long is the first trimester?
Well, first, you should know that at seven weeks, your baby is about a centimetre long, presumably the size of a blueberry. They have started developing baby-like features. The tongue and eyelids begin to form, and the umbilical cord is also taking shape. It is through this cord that you are going to nourish your baby. Are you wondering what to eat while pregnant? Here are pregnancy week 7 diet tips on how to get the best nutrition for you and your baby.
7-Week Pregnancy Diet: What Are The Best Foods To Eat While Pregnant?
Nutrition is an essential part of pregnancy. Both you and your baby need adequate nutrition. So try to eat healthy meals even though for some women, nausea, food aversions and morning sickness may make this problematic.
At 7 weeks, it is improbable that the person next to you can tell that you are pregnant. But, even then, there are a lot of changes happening in your body. Every tiny organ has started to form for your baby, and they may have started developing baby-like features. His head and face are growing, and tiny arms and legs have started sprouting. His nostrils and eye lenses are also beginning to form.
Your baby is growing rapidly at this point, even though you can hardly feel it. For this reason, you need a healthy diet with enough nutrients to support both your and your baby’s needs.
The diet in week 7 of pregnancy should be healthy and nutrient-dense.
You may experience symptoms such as:
- Darkening of the areolas
- Swollen and tender breasts
- Frequent urination
- Occasional spotting
- Mild abdominal cramping
At 7 weeks pregnant, you need to eat a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Remember to eat nutritious foods and avoid empty calories. Here are some examples of foods you can include in your 7-week pregnancy diet.
Read More: Food Cravings When Pregnant With A Boy: Here’s What Science Says
7-Week Pregnancy Diet: Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables play an essential part in a healthy pregnancy. They are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre that are beneficial to the unborn baby. Here are fruit and vegetable suggestions to eat while pregnant.
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are packed with vitamin C (24, 3). This vitamin is essential for helping your baby’s bones grow properly (23). Citrus fruits may also help ease your digestion and keep nausea and morning sickness at bay (25).
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 (0.4mg/100g), which helps relieve nausea and morning sickness symptoms (1). It is also rich in iron which enables you to avoid pregnancy anemia. Bananas are also a great source of folate, which is essential for fetal brain and spinal cord development (1). Folate deficiency may lead to congenital disabilities and even premature delivery.
Apart from being delicious and a favorite of many people, kiwis are also rich in folate, which is essential in preventing birth defects (13). Moreover, for pregnant women, the vitamin C in kiwi helps their bodies absorb iron more efficiently, thereby ensuring that the mother’s blood carries enough oxygen to the baby (21).
Watermelon is an excellent addition to your fruit bowl. It comes packed with vitamins such as vitamin B6, A and C. It also contains potassium and magnesium, which help fight morning sickness and reduce dehydration (26).
At 7 weeks pregnant, a lot of hormonal changes are happening in your body. Unfortunately, these changes come with discomforts, such as heartburn and acidity. Watermelon is known to provide instant relief to heartburn and acidity.
This is a cruciferous vegetable full of phytochemicals, antioxidants and nutrients. It is safe to be eaten during pregnancy in moderate amounts. Broccoli is rich in vitamin A (8𝜇g), K (102𝜇g) ,C (91.3mg), B6 (0.191mg), fiber (2.4g), calcium (46mg) and folate (65𝜇g) (2).
Including this superfood in your diet helps strengthen your baby’s bones, prevent skin ailments, congenital disabilities, and boost the body’s ability to absorb other nutrients.
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Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A( 469𝜇g), folate (194𝜇g) and potassium (558mg) (20). It is a perfect addition to the pregnancy diet. Folate found in these vegetables helps in the cognitive development of the baby. Vitamin B9, also present in spinach, helps reduce the chances of miscarriages. Iron helps in the formation of red blood cells, lowering the risk of anemia.
Adding spinach to your diet helps regulate blood pressure levels in the body. High blood pressure is a common pregnancy issue. Spinach has a high potassium content which can help lower your blood pressure and bring it back to normal (5).
7-Week Pregnancy Diet: Proteins
Proteins are vital during pregnancy as both you and your baby need them as a building block to create skin, hair, muscle and bones. It is also crucial in other areas of development such as:
- Making antibodies for the immune system
- Making enzymes and hormones
- It helps muscles function properly
- Transport oxygen throughout the blood
Great sources of proteins include:
You may want to let go of fatty steak for now and choose lean meat cuts. You need high-quality protein at this point, and lean beef, chicken, and pork are excellent sources. In addition, beef and pork are especially rich in iron, choline and B vitamins, all of which are essential for you and your baby.
Low iron in your body may lead to iron deficiency conditions such as anemia. Anemia puts you at risk of delivering a low birth weight baby (15).
Peanuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios and almonds are excellent sources of plant protein. The first trimester is usually characterized by food aversion. You may find yourself hating meat, yet it was one of your favorite dishes. Don’t worry, as this is normal (8). If you can’t stand meat, plant protein is your best alternative.
Eating nuts during early pregnancy, say 7 weeks, may improve your child’s neuropsychological development (4). Children of mothers who eat nuts during their first trimester have been demonstrated to have better cognitive function, memory and attention span (17).
Oily fish such as salmon and sardines are particularly rich in bodybuilding fatty acids. They are a good source of DHA, a type of omega 3, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (18). These are essential for fetal eye and brain development and also help to increase gestational length (10).
Try to eat 8 to 12 ounces of fish per week, and choose a variety of fish that are lower in mercury. And make sure your fish is thoroughly cooked to avoid the risk of foodborne illness, which can be dangerous during pregnancy.
Beans And Lentils
These grains might be small, but they are nutritional powerhouses. They are packed with folate, iron, protein, and fibre, all of which are necessary for your baby’s healthy development. Fibre helps you to combat constipation which is expected during the first trimester.
Folic acid (aka folate) is essential to prevent neural tube defects in your baby. Did you know that you need nearly twice as much iron during pregnancy (12)? Eating beans and lentils supplies this iron, boosting the amount of oxygen carried to your baby.
Read More: How Many Calories Should A Pregnant Woman Eat? The Truth Behind “Eating For Two”
7-Week Pregnancy Diet: Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
On the flip side, there are foods you should avoid while pregnant. This is because they may harm you or the baby. Remember that when you are pregnant, everything you eat eventually finds its way to the baby. So, you need to be careful about what you eat. Here are some of the foods you need to avoid.
Raw Or Undercooked Eggs
Now isn’t the time for your favorite runny, sunny-side-up eggs. You risk salmonella food poisoning if you eat raw or undercooked eggs, which can be dangerous for the baby (19). This also includes foods such as mayonnaise which contains raw eggs. Eggs are good for you while pregnant, but ensure they are well cooked until both the whites and the yolks are solid.
Fish High In Mercury
Avoid king mackerel, shark, ray, gemfish and swordfish as they have high levels of mercury (7). Your unborn baby is susceptible to the effects of mercury, especially during the first trimester (16).
However, you may not notice the adverse effects of mercury on your baby until developmental milestones such as walking and talking get delayed. Therefore, it’s best to steer off fish with high mercury levels.
Limit your caffeine intake to the recommended maximum, which is 200 mg per day (or one 12-ounce cup of coffee). . Caffeine has been linked to pregnancy complications such as miscarriages, low birth weight and stillbirth (11). Avoid or limit coffee and coffee flavored products, tea, energy drinks, chocolate and chocolate products.
Raw sprouts such as snow pea sprouts, alfalfa, mung bean and radish are highly prone to salmonella, listeria and E.Coli bacteria. Listeriosis has nasty effects on you. It can lead to premature birth, miscarriages and stillbirth (14). On the other hand, E.Coli and Salmonella can lead to severe illness (6, 9).
Remember to avoid luncheon meats and soft cheeses due to the risk of listeria and other foodborne illnesses.
Avoid alcohol as well.
The first trimester usually lasts from the first week to the end of the twelfth week. During this time, your baby is growing rapidly, and most organs are forming or starting to form. A healthy diet is therefore required to support these changes.
We are sure you want what’s best for your baby, and that’s why we compiled this simple 7-week pregnancy diet guide to help you. As you eat for two, ensure that whatever goes into your mouth will provide proper nutrition for you and your little one.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility.
- Bananas, ripe and slightly ripe, raw (2020, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Broccoli (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Eating nuts during pregnancy tied to brain benefits in baby (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effect of Spinach, a High Dietary Nitrate Source, on Arterial Stiffness and Related Hemodynamic Measures: A Randomized, Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Escherichia coli bacteraemia in pregnant women is life-threatening for foetuses (2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Fish consumption in pregnancy and fetal risks of methylmercury toxicity (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Food aversions and cravings during early pregnancy: association with nausea and vomiting (2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Food-borne illnesses during pregnancy (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Impact of erythrocyte long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in early pregnancy on birth outcomes: findings from a Belgian cohort study (2020, nature.com)
- Impacts of Caffeine during Pregnancy (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Iron Supplementation during Pregnancy and Infancy: Uncertainties and Implications for Research and Policy (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Kiwifruit, green, raw (2020, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Listeriosis during pregnancy (2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Maternal Anemia during pregnancy and infant low birth weight: A systematic review and Meta-analysis (2017, ppuhmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Maternal fish intake during pregnancy, blood mercury, and child cognition at age 3 years in a US cohort (2008, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Maternal nut consumption during pregnancy linked to improvements in neurodevelopment in children (2019, sciencedaily.com)
- Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: health benefits throughout life (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih)
- Salmonella and Eggs: From Production to Plate (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Spinach, raw (2019, fdc.nal.usda)
- The effect of gold kiwifruit consumed with an iron fortified breakfast cereal meal on iron status in women with low iron stores: A 16 week randomised controlled intervention study (2010, ncbi.nilm.nih.gov)
- The implications of iodine and its supplementation during pregnancy in fetal brain development (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The roles and mechanisms of actions of Vitamin C in bone: New developments (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Vitamin C and the role of functional juices as functional food (2009, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.gov)
- Vitamin C Supplementation in pregnancy (2015, who.int)
- Watermelon,raw (2019,fdc.nal.usda.gov)