Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

The ‘2nd month’ begins at five weeks of pregnancy. Many women tend to cross their 1st month of pregnancy without even realizing that they are pregnant. During this time, your nutrition is one of the most important things, as it will help your baby develop normally and healthily.

In the second month of pregnancy, you may suffer from morning sickness and this can turn you off food. However, you should persist in eating properly, as 2nd month of pregnancy diet place a crucial role; this is when the neural tube begins forming and later develops into your baby’s brain, spinal cord and nerves. In addition, basic circulatory system and heart beat also develop during this period. Hence, 2nd month of pregnancy diet is extremely important. Read on to know more about which foods to eat and avoid in your 2nd month pregnancy diet.

Some Vital Nutrients That You Should Include In 2nd Month Of Pregnancy Diet.

1. Folic Acid:
Folic acid or folate is a B vitamin, an important vitamin to be taken in the first few weeks of pregnancy, as it facilitates normal development of the neural tube. If you do not take folic acid supplements, your baby has the risk of developing neural tube defects or being born preterm.

Foods such as spinach, fortified cereals and beans are high in folic acid. You should ideally consume about 400 mcg of this vitamin every day during the second month of pregnancy.

2. Iron:
During this period, your blood supply increases to support your baby. If you do not get enough iron from your food, you will end up feeling tired all the time and also develop anemia. You should be looking to consume 27 mg of iron every day from the time you become aware you are pregnant. While you can get some iron through food, the amount is not sufficient. Hence, you also should be consuming iron supplements after speaking to your OB-GYN.

3. Calcium:

In the second month of pregnancy, your baby’s bones begin ossifying. This requires calcium. You should consume 1,000 mg of calcium every day. You can easily get calcium through food sources, such as dairy products and leafy green vegetables. If you do not add calcium in your diet, your body will leach calcium from your bones and teeth, making them weak and brittle.

4. Protein:
While most women are under the impression that protein intake is necessary during the second and third trimesters, it is not true. You should begin consuming extra protein the moment you know you are pregnant. Protein ensures proper blood supply to your baby and also facilitates normal development of muscles in the baby. You can get protein through low-fat cottage cheese and fish. However, make sure the fish has low mercury content. Your daily protein consumption should be anywhere from 75 g to 100 g.

5. Foods to Avoid:

Many pregnant women are so focused on eating right to aid their baby’s development that they often forget there are some foods that should be avoided during pregnancy.

Here is a list of foods that you should not eat during 2nd month of pregnancy diet, as well as the rest of your pregnancy.

1. Meat Spreads:
This is one food you should avoid, as meat spreads contain Listeria, which can adversely affect the growth of your baby.

2. Soft Cheese:
Cheese, such as Brie, Roquefort and Cammbert, should not be consumed during the second month of pregnancy as it contains E. coli bacteria. You risk infection or pregnancy complications when you consume soft cheese.

3. Liver:
Since you are looking to increase your iron content, you may consider eating liver in the second month of your pregnancy. However, this is one food you should not eat just now, as it contains retinol and can result in a miscarriage.

4. Unpasteurized Milk:
If the milk is not pasteurized, do not consume it. Such milk contains microorganisms and pathogens that put your health at risk. Also, unpasteurized milk may contain salmonella and other harmful bacteria.

5. Alcohol:
You may already know this. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is dangerous, as it could lead to birth defects. So, it is best to stay away from it completely.

6. Raw Eggs:
Raw or slightly cooked eggs are a no-no during the second month of pregnancy, as you risk salmonella infection. This could prove to be dangerous for you and your baby.

7. Processed Meats:
Avoid all types of processed meats, such as luncheon meat and salami. These are refrigerated and prone to pathogens. Any meat you eat should be cooked well to kill all bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.

8. Raw Fish:
Do not give in to your desire to eat sushi and peeled seafood, such as crabs, lobsters and shrimp. If you are looking to eat cooked fish, you can eat fish where you are certain that mercury levels are low.

9. Pre-Stuffed Birds:
Stuffed turkey and other poultry should be avoided during the second month of pregnancy if they have not been cooked beyond 180 degrees. The juices of the raw meat could cause proliferation of bacteria and you risk infection and also threaten the well being of your baby.

10. Cookie Dough:
You may love baking and as a result, you could have the habit of tasting your cookie dough before you place it in the oven. However, refrain from this habit, as cookie dough contains raw eggs and this means you risk exposing yourself and your baby to salmonella infection.

Your Second Month Of Pregnancy Diet:
You should be looking to consume fresh food, like fresh vegetables and fruits. Do not consume or be partial to frozen foods. Make sure you eat lots of protein to help your baby’s muscles develop. Also, increase your calorie intake by consuming more starchy food rather than going in for sugary foods.

You should be keeping a close watch on what you eat. Try not to eat too much salty, fatty and sugary food. In case you are suffering from morning sickness during your second month of pregnancy, drink ginger ale made from real ginger root or chamomile tea. Try not to worry about your food intake. Once you cross 12 weeks of pregnancy, your morning sickness will disappear and you will be able to eat a healthy and nutritious diet to support your pregnancy.

Pregnancy demands good nourishment for the health of the baby and mother. Well planned meals made with fresh ingredients provide all the nutrients required. The basic principles of a healthy diet remain the same, which means each meal should provide macro nutrients like - Proteins, Carbohydrates, and fats and micronutrients including vitamins and minerals in adequate amounts.

Some of the definite must haves for a healthy pregnancy are:

1. Proteins: Proteins are essential for the healthy growth of the foetus and to maintain the mother’s health. Proteins form the building blocks for blood, bones, organs, muscles and tissues. Inadequate protein intake can lead to severe malnourishment. Your daily diet should have an additional 0.5g of proteins in the first trimester, 6.9g in the second and 22.7g in the third trimester. So you need about 78g of proteins in the third trimester.

2. Folic acid or Folate: Folic Acid is very essential for preventing neural tube defect, serious abnormalities of the spinal cord and brain. It is also helpful in increasing birth weight, synthesis of haemoglobin and reducing the incidence of pre-mature births. The recommended allowance is 500micro g/day

3. Iron: In the form of haemoglobin, Iron is essential to carry oxygen in our blood. During pregnancy the body needs to increase the blood volume to meet the demands of the growing foetus, hence more Iron in the diet is essential. Anemia is one of the leading causes of premature birth and low birth weight. Indian women need 35mg/d of Iron during pregnancy.

Non vegetarian sources are considered better as the iron absorption is more enhanced. To improve iron absorption from vegetarian sources, adding a Vitamin C source helps. So squeezing some lemon on the food, or adding a tomato salad or just an amla improves absorption.

4. Calcium: Calcium is needed to build healthy bones and teeth of the baby and for the production of calcium rich breast milk and prevention of osteoporosis in the mother. ICMR has listed the daily Calcium requirement for pregnant women at 1200mg. An important factor in choosing the source of calcium is its bioavailability- Milk is one of the best sources of biologically available calcium.

5. Vitamin A is required for healthy vision, immune function and foetal growth and development. Mothers are susceptible to Vitamin A deficiency particularly in the third trimester because of rapid foetal development and an increase in the blood volume. Including Vitamin A containing foods like animal sources such as milk, butter, egg and fish or Beta carotene rich vegetarian sources in daily diet can help achieve the daily requirement of 800µg of Vitamin A or 6400µg of beta carotene.

The months of trying and fretting over conception are finally over and you can now feel part of that magical world of new parents!

Going to have a baby soon? That’s wonderful news! It’s an amazing feeling one moment and utterly confusing in another. You feel like you know everything as you have already memorized a thousand websites and books, and then you stumble on one query and feel like you know nothing at all.

It seems like the best of the times and the worst of the times. Your body changes rapidly, one day you weigh your normal self and the next day you bloat and retain an ocean of water. You get moody and irritable at times and the next second you are insanely ecstatic. And this is just the first month!

Your First Month:
Most women don’t even know that they are pregnant until they miss a period and proceed to test for pregnancy. In this situation, by the time you test positive for pregnancy, you are considered 2 to 2.5 weeks pregnant, and the first month is already almost through, maybe even more. That realization in itself is enough to trigger a panic attack!

Don’t all websites and books say that the first trimester is the riskiest and that a lot of brain development takes place in the first three months? And here you were, utterly unaware that you were potentially harming the fetus by lifting heavy weights, not eating properly, having junk food, travelling, fighting and worse – having sex. Wow, so much stress!

First Month Pregnancy Diet: What To Eat:

Want to know what to eat during first month of pregnancy? Then here is you answer. The first few months of pregnancy are wrought with symptoms like nausea, bloating, vomiting, headaches, tender nipples, menstruation-like cramps, famishing hunger and excessive sleepiness. With each woman, these symptoms appear at different times in the first trimester, and in a different order. Some symptoms may not appear at all and some might be very severe.

In any case, it is vital to maintain a healthy, balanced diet to ensure a healthy mother and fetus. So be sure to incorporate the following in your diet during first month of pregnancy:

1. Folate-Rich Foods:
Even though your doctor may have prescribed you folic acid pills and supplements, you still need to include folate-rich foods in your diet, as it is important for sustaining a pregnancy and also for the development of the embryo. Foods rich in folate include oranges, potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, eggs, beans, greens, etc.

2. Vitamin B6:This particular vitamin is important during the first month of pregnancy diet, as it can help inhibit nausea and vomiting. Nausea/vomiting is most often the biggest issue and almost all women feel varying degrees of it. Instead of taking medications for the problem, include foods rich in Vitamin B6 like whole grains, salmon, peanut butter, bananas, nuts, etc.

3. Fruits:
Fruits are mega foods that contain a little of everything and none of fats – the perfect recipe for a healthy pregnancy. They are rich in vitamins, water content and antioxidants. Some fruits are rich in fibre too. At least 3 servings of fruits taken everyday is a good way to kickstart your diet in first month of pregnancy.

4. Milk Products:
If you can digest it, milk is a wonderful source of proteins, vitamins, calcium, water, healthy fats, folic acid and Vitamin D (if fortified with a supplement). Dairy products like yogurt and hard cheeses are as good as a glassful of milk too. Your daily intake of milk and milk products should come to about one liter. To avoid boredom, mix and match flavours and innovate to find out what you like best.

5. Meats:
Almost all meats are safe for the first month of pregnancy except for pork. Seafood is also to be avoided. Pork, if even a little undercooked, can carry dangerous bacteria and viruses. Seafood contains high quantities of methyl-mercury which is devastating for fetal development. Apart from these, all hygienically cooked meats are safe for expecting mothers, as they are rich sources of proteins and vitamins.

6. Iron-Rich Foods:
It is common knowledge that iron is the magic mineral vital for maintaining a steady flow of blood for both mother and fetus. The fetus requires a supply of iron rich blood to provide it with oxygen and nutrients. Add a lot of iron rich foods in the first month as your doctor will not be prescribing iron pills until the fourth month of pregnancy. To include iron, eat foods like: Beetroot, oatmeal, bran, tuna (tinned), beans, dried fruits, chicken and mutton.

7. Sugary Foods:
Contrary to popular belief, you do not immediately start gaining weight in the initial stage of pregnancy, and you do not need to ‘eat for two’. However, carbohydrates and sugars are essential for maintaining a level of at least 200-300 extra calories a day that your body needs to make a healthy baby. Eat non-complex sugars, natural sugars to give yourself that spurt of extra energy. Consume fresh fruits, sweetened porridge, pancakes, puddings, fresh fruit juices and smoothies, etc.

First Month Pregnancy Diet: What NOT To Eat:
The first month of pregnancy will zoom past and you won’t even notice it (except for those nauseating hours!). So it becomes very easy to forget what NOT to eat during the first month. You euphoric feelings will give way to guilt if you consume something that harms your unborn child. Therefore, take care to avoid the following foods in your diet during first month of pregnancy:

1. Contraction-Inducing Foods:
Your mother and other older women from your family may have already warned you to steer clear of foods such as pineapple, licorice and raw papaya during the first few months. And they are right! These foods have the power to create contractions early in pregnancy, which may result in miscarriage and serious cramping.

2. Seafood:
As said earlier, sea food normally contains high amounts of methyl-mercury, a compound which can severely hamper fetal brain development. Since you may not know you are pregnant at all, in the first month, it is advisable to limit seafood while trying for a baby. If you must, include freshwater fish in your diet.

3. Soft Cheeses:
Avoid all kinds of soft cheeses as they are mostly made with unpasteurized milk and can be the carriers of food poisoning and other bacteria. Besides, soft cheeses also induce gas.

4. Packaged/Processed Foods:
Though they tote their virtues in ads, the first month of pregnancy should not include processed or packaged foods like juices, condensed milk, etc., as they could be laden with disease causing bacteria. instead, opt for freshly squeezed home-made juices and fruit salad (consume them within 20 minutes of preparation).

This list, though brief, is comprehensive and hopes to encourage you to plan wisely to suit your 1st month of pregnancy diet . Try different recipes, be careful and have a happy voyage through the next eight months!

Month One of Pregnancy

The amniotic sac is a water-tight sac that forms around the fertilized egg. It helps cushion the growing embryo throughout pregnancy.

The placenta also develops at this point in the first trimester. The placenta is a round, flat organ that transfers nutrients from the mother to the baby, and transfers waste from the baby.

A primitive face takes form with large dark circles for eyes. The mouth, lower jaw, and throat are developing. Blood cells are taking shape, and circulation will begin.

By the end of the first month of pregnancy, your baby is around 6-7mm (1/4 inch) long - about the size of a grain of rice!

Month Two of Pregnancy

Your baby's facial features continue to develop. Each ear begins as a little fold of skin at the side of the head. Tiny buds that eventually grow into arms and legs are forming. Fingers, toes, and eyes are also forming in the second month of pregnancy.

The neural tube (brain, spinal cord, and other neural tissue of the central nervous system) is well formed. The digestive tract and sensory organs begin to develop. Bone starts to replace cartilage. The embryo begins to move, although the mother cannot yet feel it.By the end of the second month, your baby, now a fetus, is about 2.54cm (1 inch) long, weighs about 9.45g (1/3 ounce), and a third of baby is now made up of its head.

Month Three of Pregnancy

By the end of the third month of pregnancy, your baby is fully formed. Your baby has arms, hands, fingers, feet, and toes and can open and close its fists and mouth. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop and the external ears are formed. The beginnings of teeth are forming. Your baby's reproductive organs also develop, but the baby's gender is difficult to distinguish on ultrasound. The circulatory and urinary systems are working and the liver produces bile.

At the end of the third month, your baby is about 7.6 -10 cm (3-4 inches) long and weighs about 28g (1 ounce).Since your baby's most critical development has taken place, your chance of miscarriage drops considerably after three months into the pregnancy.

Pregnancy can be a challenging time for women with all the emotional and physical changes their bodies go through. While there is excitement to welcome a newborn into the world, it's no secret that nine-months of morning sickness, midnight hunger pangs and mood swings can be pretty daunting too. It needs a lot of patience and care to look after the mother and the baby. While fruits are said to be nutrient-dense and cater to untimely hunger pangs, there are a bunch of them that could be avoided as they may affect pregnancy in some way or the other.
According to Dr. Rahul Manchanda, Gynae Endoscopic surgeon PSRI Hospital, craving is one thing that strikes every woman during pregnancy due to hormonal surge but there are some fruits that are recommended to be avoided during pregnancy. Such fruits may include papaya as it could lead to early labour or miscarriage and sometimes even grapes as they contain a compound known as resveratrol that elevates hormonal imbalance during pregnancy."

According to Dr. Sadhna Singhal, Senior Consultant Gynaecologist, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, "fruits are always healthy and nutritious to have. But there are some fruits which should not be consumed during pregnancy as they might end up causing negative impact to the womb."

Here are some fruits that pregnant women should avoid, as suggested by the experts:

1. Pineapple

Although pineapple is a super healthy fruit, it should be kept away from pregnant women. It comprises a rich amount of bromelain that may cause the softening of the cervix that may induce early labour. Moreover, eating a lot of pineapple can cause stomach problems like diarrhoea, resulting in dehydration.

2. Grapes

Grapes have heat producing properties, which can affect both the mother and the baby. It is also the presence of a compound known as resveratrol, which is known to elevate hormonal imbalance during this period.

3. Papaya

Papaya is one of the most common fruits that are forbidden in this list. Papaya is said to promote early labour and in worst case scenario, miscarriages. Papayas, usually the unripe and semi-ripe ones are believed to be rich in latex that is known to trigger uterine contractions.

4. Bitter Melon

Bitter melon is said to be an irritant to the uterus, which can lead to premature birth or miscarriage. In fact, they contain highly toxic components like quinine, saponic glycosides and morodicine. When absorbed in the body, they can cause nausea, rash, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Notes To Remember

You must never consume fruits that are not washed properly. The presence of pesticides, mud or any residue can give rise to infections, affecting the mother and the foetus.

Make sure you wash them thoroughly under running water, especially fruits that need cutting or peeling.

Cut away the bruised or damaged areas, as bacteria thrive in these spots, which make the mother and baby susceptible to infections.

As an added precaution, use a vegetable brush to remove surface dirt from the fruits.

Make sure you are not using detergents, soaps or bleach solutions to clean your fruits.

Dr. Sandeep Mengade
Dr. Sandeep Mengade
BAMS, Family Physician General Physician, 17 yrs, Pune
Dr. Mayur Ingale
Dr. Mayur Ingale
MBBS, ENT Specialist, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Amrut Gade
Dr. Amrut Gade
BHMS, Homeopath, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sandeep Patil
Dr. Sandeep Patil
BHMS, Homeopath, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Pujitha Chowdary
Dr. Pujitha Chowdary
MD - Allopathy, General Medicine Physician Diabetologist, 6 yrs, Chennai