The 3rd trimester of pregnancy comprises twelve weeks from weeks 28 to week 40. As this is the final stage of pregnancy, a lot of pregnant women are anxious about the nutrition they need to get in this period. Here, in this article, we will assist you in understanding your nutritional needs and the type of foods that you should eat and avoid in the 3rd trimester of your pregnancy.
Nutritional need in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy
During the 3rd trimester, your body requires foods that provide an extra 500 calories per day to your existing nutritional needs. It is important to note that these calories should only come from healthy food sources. Let us see what other nutrient does your body need in addition to calorie:
- DHA is essential for the better development of the retina and brain. You need to up your intake from 100 mg to 200 mg daily.
- As the growth of the fetus increases, the need for iron also increases. It has to be in proportion to the weight of the fetus. An average pregnant woman in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy needs around 27mg of iron daily.
- Protein is essential for building muscles and bones in your baby. As he is growing, your body needs more of it in a day. In addition to your basic protein needs, you require an extra 26g of protein daily.
- You now need to consume 1,000mg calcium daily to develop teeth and bones in your baby. Yogurt, cheese, and milk are the best sources of calcium.
- Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium in the body. So, when you are increasing the intake of calcium, you need to consume more amounts of Vitamin D as well approx. 15 µg daily.
- Folic acid helps in preventing any neural malfunction in a baby. You need 800µg of it daily.
Foods to include in your 3rd trimester
Fruits: Fresh fruits rich in Vitamin C should be needed for the sound functioning and development of the placenta. This vitamin strengthens the immunity system in the body. Kiwis, bananas, melon, and strawberries are a good inclusion in your diet.
Lentils: Have cooked lentils in your daily diet. They have good amounts of vitamin B1 and fiber in them.
Vegetable salad: Vegetables are a good source of essential vitamins for your body. Make it a habit to eat a rainbow salad daily that comprises radishes, bell peppers, sweet corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and ham.
Nuts: Nuts and seeds are loaded with thiamine, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. Sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts make it a healthy evening snack.
Baked beans: Beans are rich in fiber, and thiamine that helps you rid of constipation. They keep your energy high throughout the day.
Green smoothies: Green smoothies contain fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Prepare a smoothie by adding baby spinach, kale, coconut water, and ice. To make it more flavorful you can add mango, berries, orange, pineapple, mint, and ginger to it.
Milk products: To fulfill your increased requirement of calcium in the 3rd trimester, you need to consume more dairy products such as homemade curd, cottage cheese, and milk.
Iron-rich foods: Spinach, broccoli, jaggery, and tomatoes are good sources of iron. These foods help in increasing blood supply to the placenta.
Folate-rich foods: Bread, beans, yeast, green leafy vegetables, and chickpeas, are all good folic acid sources to include in the diet.
Foods To Avoid
Unpasteurized Milk: Drinking unpasteurized milk should be avoided as it contains the harmful element “toxoplasmosis”. It can cause health risks to you as well as your baby.
Coffee: Caffeinated items can cause constipation in your body. In place of caffeine beverages, opt for coconut water, green tea, buttermilk. It will not just cool your body but also prevent any contamination.
Alcohol and Smoking: Stay away from alcohol, and smoking as it is highly injurious for the sound development of your baby at this critical phase of his development.
Fried Foods: Fried foods do not add any nutritional value to your diet. On the contrary, they can cause gastrointestinal issues and digestive troubles such as heartburn, acidity, etc. To avoid such discomforts, you must avoid eating fried foods at all during pregnancy.
Diet is one of the prime aspects to consider during pregnancy as it affects the physical and mental health of your growing baby. So, with this knowledge, make a proper diet plan and stick to it through your entire pregnancy. It will ensure the best health of you and your baby.