Day 0: conception
In case of concerns or difficulties during pregnancy, a woman should always see a health professional at the local health center and go for antenatal care visits!
You are invited to register at the MindUp and come for visits regularly (preferably every 100 days)!
Antenatal care (ANC):
- It is important to go for ANC to screen for potential complications and treat problems as they arise during pregnancy
- Go for your first ANC visit at the local health center in the first trimester of your pregnancy
First 1,000 days and the prevention of stunting:
- The first 1,000 days covers the period of 9 months pregnancy + first 24 months of life
- During this period children grow at very high speed: they triple their weight, almost double their height, and their brain makes millions of connections
- This period is crucial for helping children to reach their full potential
- Even before birth, the fetus is at risk if the mother lacks essential nutrients needed for the brain, bone, and organ development of the baby
Note: most stunting (low height-for-age) happens in this critical period and is almost always irreversible!
Adequate weight gain is important during pregnancy:
- A woman gains around 11-16 kg during pregnancy
- Normal weight gain during the first months of pregnancy is only about 1-1,5 kg
- To see if you gain weight adequately during pregnancy, it is important to yet your weight measured regularly at the local health center or MindUp
- During the first trimester you need more energy and therefore it is recommended to eat 3 meals + an extra healthy snack
Eating healthy and staying physically active during pregnancy is important for the development of the baby’s brain and organs
During the first trimester it is recommended to take the following supplements:
- Folic acid supplements: can help to prevent defects of the baby's brain and spine at birth
- Vitamin A supplementation: is only recommended for pregnant women in areas where vitamin A deficiency is a severe public health problem, to prevent night blindness
Note: Take the supplements always with or after a meal and with lots of water. Eating a piece of fruit or drinking a glass of juice together with the supplements can help to absorb the micronutrients better (because it contains vitamin C). Iron and folic acid supplements can give some side effects (such as constipation) in the first few days after starting.
During the first trimester, you might experience morning sickness (a sign that the placenta is growing well) - this is what you can do against it:
- Eat a small snack (such as crackers or toast, before getting out of bed)
- Eat small frequent meals
- Avoid sudden movements: get out of bed slowly
- Breath fresh air
- Avoid food or smells that make you nauseous
Good hygiene is important, especially during pregnancy!
What to eat during the first trimester of pregnancy:
Avoid the following during pregnancy (because it can harm the baby):
Eating raw fish and meat, and unpasteurized dairy (can cause bacterial infection)
High daily caffeine intake (not more than 2 cups per day)