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PKU & Pregnancy – 1st Trimester

Congratulations on your pregnancy! These are exciting times. Don’t forget: working closely with your clinic is important before, during and after pregnancy. Your clinic can provide the best guidance for you and your baby.

Once your blood phenylalanine (PHE) levels are well-controlled and you become pregnant you enter the first of three trimesters associated with pregnancy. Each trimester will have its own challenges and rewards.

In the 1st trimester, you will gain anywhere from 1-5 pounds. Your baby will grow from the size of a tiny poppy seed to about the size of lemon. Some women report feeling nausea during their first trimester and having difficulty keeping food down; especially in the morning hours.

Despite these challenges it is extremely important to drink your formula as it provides PKU friendly protein and general nutrition, which is essential for you and your baby.

If nausea and vomiting strikes, here are some general tips to help:

  • Try eating just the foods you enjoy most
  • Cold foods are sometimes better tolerated than hot foods
  • Avoid taking any vitamin/mineral supplement on an empty stomach
  • Avoid an empty stomach with small frequent snacks every 2 hours during the day

If nausea and vomiting strikes, here are some tips if the volume of PKU formula is an issue:

  • Ask your metabolic dietitian if a lower volume PKU formula is appropriate for you
  • Divide your current PKU formula into small frequent portions throughout the day

If nausea or vomiting is triggered by formula smell, here are some tips:

  • Ask your metabolic dietitian if you can try a PKU formula with less of a smell
  • Drink your current formula through a straw from a container with a cover to avoid smelling the formula while drinking

Some women also report constipation in their 1st trimester. Here are some tips to help:

  • Focus on fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and low in PHE
  • Be sure you are drinking enough fluid / water

Request a Nutricia Maternal PKU Starter Kit for more helpful tips and tools to get you ready for this next stage in life.

All products shown are medical foods for the dietary management of Phenylketonuria (PKU) and must be used under medical supervision. Please consult your metabolic healthcare professional prior to making any changes to your PKU diet.

© 2019 – Nutricia North America

Tips for a Low Pro Thanksgiving

The holidays can be an exciting time of year. However, they can be a bit challenging for someone on a restricted diet as most festivities center around food. This blog focuses on tips for managing a restricted diet during the holiday season.

The most important thing to do is plan ahead.  The more you know in advance, the better you can plan.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Where will I be spending the holidays, and how long will the trip be?
  • Do I have enough formula so I do not run out while away over the weekend?
  • Am I dining at home or at someone else’s home?
  • Will I be preparing the food, or will someone else be?

Once you know more about what your day/ weekend will look like, you can make a plan.

One key thing is to plan the menu in advance.  If you are not dining at home, but at a friend’s or relative’s home, it will be important to ask what is being served, then…

  • Ask if you can bring a side dish (one that is suitable for you, but enough for everyone to share).
  • Let them know about your dietary needs so they can omit or serve items on the side that are not suitable for a low protein diet, like cheese or bread crumbs.
  • See if you can access the kitchen to re-heat or make additional low protein items for the holiday meal.

Get Creative!

Many traditional holiday favorites can be modified to reduce the protein while still keeping the taste and texture you and others love.

Find our simple recipe for reduced protein mashed potatoes here – this dish is sure to become a family staple at your holiday meal.

And end your holiday meal on a sweet note with this low protein dessert.  This is a dish everyone at your holiday gathering is sure to enjoy!

Easy Pumpkin Pudding

Recipe developed by Sarah Marshall, classical Phenylketonuria (PKU)


  • 1 fl oz water
  • 7 fl oz coconut milk (full fat, canned coconut milk required to get  pudding-like consistency)
  • 6 whole pistachios (for flavor, to be strained out later)
  • ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or blend of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)
  • ½ tsp vanilla flavoring
  • ½ cup Loprofin Rice


  1. In a small saucepan, add 1 oz water, 7 oz coconut milk, and 6 pistachios.
  2. Bring to a boil. Immediately when it begins boiling, add brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir.
  3. Add Loprofin Rice. Stir. Cover, and lower heat to simmer covered for 10 minutes.
  4. Once rice is cooked, remove pistachio pieces.
  5. Serve warm or cold.

Makes 2 servings

And most of all……

Holidays do not have to be all about food.  Make your holidays memorable with family traditions, such as a family football game or a checkers tournament.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from Nutricia!

Loprofin brand Rice is a medical food for the dietary management of inherited metabolic disorders, renal or liver failure requiring a low protein diet, and other medical conditions where a low protein diet is indicated. Must be used under medical supervision.

Always consult a metabolic healthcare professional prior to making any diet changes.

© 2019 Nutricia North America