Planning your nutrition during the third trimester

Posted on: June 22, 2008

In most of my labor and childbirth classes at Healthy Mother, moms- to-be are concerned about whether their baby is getting sufficient nutrition from their diet alone. At the same time, some of you are concerned about excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Both of these concerns can be taken care of, if you follow a well- balanced diet everyday.

As your baby’s nutritional needs increase during the final growth spurt of the last trimester, you may be more at risk for developing nutritional deficiencies. Since nature intends that your baby’s extra nutritional needs are met before your own, you have to make sure that whatever food you eat is nutritious, and at the same time, provides the extra calories that you need. Also, the baby gains maximum immunities from the mother in the last trimester, so eating healthy will also lay the foundation for your baby’s good health in the long run.

In the last trimester, including sources of calcium and B vitamins in your diet becomes very important. Some good sources of vitamins B6 and B12 are:

  • Fortified bread ( I find that “7-Must” bread available in most Indian stores is a good source)
  • Brown rice
  • Baked potato (with skin)
  • Bananas, prune juice, carrot juice
  • Nuts (and peanut butter, for those who like its taste)
  • Chickpeas (Chana)
  • Fortified cereals are a great source of B-Vitamins. For those of you, who are concerned about excess weight gain, try a low-fat cereal (such as Kellogg’s Special K) with Slim Milk. This will give you the vitamins and calcium, minus the extra calories.
  • Eggs and dairy products
  • For non-vegetarians: beef, pork, lamb, fish and poultry can complement your food intake.

Some good sources of calcium are:

  • Dairy products. Yoghurt is an especially good source of calcium.
  • Paneer, soyabean and tofu
  • Almonds and other nuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Figs (ripe or dried) are an excellent source of calcium.
  • Calcium is also present is small amounts in green leafy vegetables and oranges

In the last trimester, some of you may experience discomforts from bloating, constipation or heartburn. Eating foods rich in fiber, such as bran breakfast cereals, dried prunes, apples with skin, rice, whole wheat rotis, etc. can ease some of these discomforts. Also, eating small meals, at regular intervals, can help ease heartburn.

In the end, focus on getting servings from all food groups. One way of looking at good nutrition is by “Making your plate as colorful as possible”. By all means, grab those occasional French Fries if you crave for it. However, the best way to ensure that you don’t put on too much weight while you are pregnant is by eating sensibly and by keeping as active as possible.

As always, do write in your thoughts, queries and concerns.

Dr. Vijaya Krishnan

Advertisements

2 Responses to "Planning your nutrition during the third trimester"

What if i keep losing weight in the third trimester and i am not TRYING to do this?
Is that bad?

Dear (Mamacita),

I am not sure why this would be. Even if you do not gain any weight, your baby’s weight gain continues to happen, and it does reflect in mom’s weight. I do not know why there would be a weight loss instead.

I am wondering what your Obstetrician’s findings are? Is the baby showing adequate weight gain and growth? Have they done an ultrasound scan?

Also, I would like to know how much weight gain have you had so far, and whether the rest of your pregnancy has been uncomplicated.

Take care –

Dr. Vijaya

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: