Start chugging milk like a little baby cow
EC: Breakfast When You’re Pregnant: The Definitive Guide
Credit: GIF by Lauren Kolm

Pregnant women have a lot on their plates. They’re dealing with wild mood swings, anxiety, cankles, and the impending feeling of doom that comes with knowing they will never sleep again. The last thing a pregnant woman wants to worry about is what to eat for breakfast. That’s why I’m here. I am a fellow cankle-having, nail-biting, whale-shaped woman incubating my own little succubus. I know a thing or two about what pregnant ladies should be eating for breakfast. Whether you just peed on a life-altering stick or if you’re going to strangle the next person who says, “Wow, you’re ready to pop!” I have the definitive guide to breakfast when you're pregnant. And to make things easy, I’ll break it down by trimester.

First trimester

Congrats, you beautiful life-giving force of nature! You’re growing a goddamn human being inside your body! You’re incredible! And chances are, you’re very hungry. Like, supernaturally hungry. Ravenous, even. Perhaps you’re reading this while crouched low to the ground devouring raw cow flesh. I don’t judge you. You’re safe here. But don’t eat raw meat. That’s on the no-no list for knocked-up ladies. Don’t worry, there are plenty of wonderful, nutritious things you can eat.

When you first find out you’re pregnant you imagine that you will become a shining beacon of healthy, organic living. You’re going to eat nothing but the highest-quality protein and produce and stay away from sugar and overly processed food. You’re going to become a glowing orb of shiny green life. You’re going to eat acai bowls. You’re even going to pronounce acai correctly.

Except that every time you even think about food you start to gag. Did you used to love waffles with maple butter tucking into each crevice like two lovers tumbling into bed? Congrats, now you hate it. This is called a food aversion, and it will turn your life upside down.

Food aversions will basically prevent you from eating anything healthy. I don’t know why that is, and I’m sure there are many moms-to-be who have claimed they ate perfectly healthily throughout their entire pregnancies, but they are liars and cannot be trusted. So here’s what you need to stock up on for your first trimester breakfast needs:

  • All the sugary cereal you can find. I’m talking Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Kix, Trix, and even a vintage box of Oreo O’s (but check with your doctor before consuming cereal from 1998).

Milk. The real stuff. Pregnant women often crave milk. I used to detest milk and now I chug it like I’m a little baby cow.

  • Watermelon. This will make you feel very healthy and hydrated. But if we’re being honest, it will probably rot in your fridge while you’re enjoying better things, like a cold bowl of Cookie Crisp.

  • Muffins, croissants, cookies, a baguette, anything with lots of carbs. You’re going to be puking a lot. And unfortunately the only thing that’s going to make you feel better is carbo loading like an Olympic sprinter.
  • Don’t feel guilty that you’re eating like a broke college student. The first trimester is about survival—and crying because your pants don’t fit.

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    Second trimester

    These are the glory days. This is when the eating gets really good. You’re plump with a baby, you’re glowing, and you don’t have your head in the toilet as much. (Seriously, whoever named it morning sickness was an idiot. You puke morning, noon, and night.)

    Second trimester is when you can indulge in weird combinations of food like turkey sausage dipped in Nutella (try it, it’s awesome.) But you don’t want to go too overboard or else your doctor will give you disapproving looks while you eat an Auntie Anne’s pretzel hotdog during your appointment.

    While everyone’s pregnancy cravings will differ here’s what I loved to wolf down during the second trimester:

    Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bagel. I mean, duh, this is quintessential breakfast food. It’s greasy, cheesy, and eggy. And, you know, the eggs have protein, the cheese has dairy, so yeah, it’s basically a super healthy thing to feed your fetus.

  • Pancakes with the most butter and syrup and a side of fruit. This should be consumed alongside the BEC. You’re going to need something sweet to wash down all that egg. And babies love sweet stuff. The fruit is just there to give you the illusion of health. Don’t actually eat it.

  • Giant size hot chocolate with extra whipped cream. You can go the cheap deli route with this or you can pay over $10 for what is essentially a melted chocolate bar. The choice is yours, but you’re going to need/want hot chocolate almost every single day. Just remember it’s not you who’s demanding all that chocolate; it’s the greedy baby.
  • Enjoy the second trimester while it lasts because soon the third trimester will rear its ugly head, and everything you thought you knew about eating while pregnant will be turned upside down.

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    Third trimester

    This is possibly the worst time in pregnancy because you’re sweaty, you’re large, you’re itchy, and you’re very, very round. You can no longer see your cankles (that’s both good and bad), and you can’t get up from the couch without assistance from a crane or strong-armed person. You’re always starving but now your selfish miracle of life is taking up ⅞ of your torso, forcing your stomach into your throat. During the third trimester there is a thin line between “WHY AM I ALWAYS STARVING” and “OMG I’M GONNA HURL.” One bite separates the two.

    That’s why this trimester it’s important to eat a hearty yet light breakfast consisting of:

    A hard boiled egg that you’ll throw away after one bite because it smells like farts and your food aversion is back.

  • Two pieces of toast slathered in peanut butter and jelly because you need some kind of sweet-salty combo to get you through the morning. Also, peanut butter is healthy, right? Very important that you make two pieces but only consume half of one slice because you’re full after three bites. Still, repeat this process every morning. Wash this down with the sweet nectar of the cows.

  • Tums. It doesn’t matter what you’re eating, at this point Tums must be included as dessert at every meal.
  • This is the final stretch before the great big stretch (get it?), and soon you’ll be able to eat like a normal person again.

    OK, actually that’s not true. After you have the baby you’ll probably eat whatever you can find that fell between the couch cushions during your third trimester, but you'll be so sleep deprived you won’t even care.