Navigating The First Trimester

Congratulations!! Chances are you’re more than 4 weeks pregnant and it’s such an exciting time in your pregnancy.  Here are a few basic tips to guide you through the first 12 weeks:

1.    From about week 5 (from actual conception) to week 8, the embryo is developing the foundations for a healthy baby.  This is the most critical window in which good nutrition and the avoidance of alcohol and drugs can influence the development of your baby.

2.    Morning sickness or hyperemesis, some of us get it and some don’t.  I know it doesn’t feel like it but it’s a good sign that the pregnancy is progressing.  Your body is producing the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in large quantities. The hCG levels will calm down once the placenta takes over around week 12 and the nausea will begin to subside, so hang in there.

3.    There are the usual remedies to help abate the sickness like freshly grated ginger tea or avoid spicy, fried, rich, fatty, and greasy foods. Foods rich in B6 like bananas, chicken, sweet potatoes and avocados are advised but if you are finding it hard to keep food down you can supplement with a good quality B complex vitamin.  Try to keep hydrated and rest as much as you can.  Don’t worry about baby, s/he is getting everything s/he needs from you regardless of your food intake at this stage.

4.     Keep taking your folic acid for at least 12 weeks into the pregnancy because this is when your baby’s nervous system and brain is developing rapidly.  You can also get folate from beans, peas and lentils, oranges, asparagus, broccoli, and dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach.

5.     In relation to exercise, always keep your health care provider informed of the type of exercise you intend doing.  Always eat well, stay hydrated, don’t over heat and above all don’t over-do it.   Perhaps check out some pregnancy yoga or pilates classes in your area. 

6.     And finally keep your diet clean, avoid pesticides and any harmful chemicals as much as you can.


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Coconut Roasted Sweet Potato and Avocado and Tomato Salsa


  • One medium Sweet Potato (slice into disc shapes)
  • Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Sprinkling chilli flakes or fresh chilli (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 180 C and rub coconut oil all over sweet potatoes.


  1. Place sweet potatoes on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 mins.
  2. In the meantime, dice avocado and tomato and mix gently in a bow.l
  3. Add the lime juice and chilli.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and spoon avocado mix on top. 
  5. Enjoy hot or cold.