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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

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