During the third trimester, the baby is fully developed while the mother is preparing for labor. Both mother and child will continue to gain weight every week and nutrients from healthy foods are still the 1st priority. The mother also needs to know the foods to eat when pregnant during the third trimester to prepare herself and her body for breastfeeding. An additional 300 calories are needed each day to answer these needs.
Aside from that, some pregnant women develop lack of appetite or they easily feel full due to the pressure in the abdomen caused by the growing baby making less room for food. To avoid deprivation from nourishment, pregnant women are advised to eat small meals each day, preferably every 3 to 4 hours. Drinking between meals is not recommended since fluids can make a person feel full faster.
More or less, a pregnancy diet for the third trimester should be almost the same as that of the second trimester, priority being the adequate intake of necessary nutrients. Your pregnancy diet for this trimester still composes of foods that are rich in protein, fiber, iron, calcium and carbohydrates. Likewise, it is a time to keep up with nutrients that a woman might not have been able to get like certain vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, it is not too late for pregnant women to stop some unhealthy habits during their pregnancy like eating too much sugar, junk food or processed foods.
As mentioned, protein is still one of the foods to eat when pregnant even during this trimester as protein is not only beneficial for the continuous growth of the baby but also for breastmilk production. Protein can be found in all kinds of meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products and fish. Consult your doctor for the types of fish that pregnant women should avoid like swordfish and salmon.
A pregnant woman should continue eating complex carbohydrates to provide adequate energy for her impending labor and child delivery. These complex carbohydrates can be best found in whole grain foods like whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, brown rice, oatmeal and even in some crops like yam,. For the baby’s teeth and bone development as well as for future breastfeeding, calcium should be taken. Drink milk each day, preferably skimmed or low-fat, as well as cheese and yoghurt. For snacks, healthy treats can be in the form of fresh fruits, healthy cereal bars, seeds, nuts and dried fruits like prunes, raisins and apricots.
Foods rich in healthy fats like Omega 3 should also be one of the foods to eat when pregnant for the baby’s brain development. Omega 3 can be found in fish but consult your doctor for the right fish to eat since some fish are not healthy for pregnant women due to their high mercury content. Aside from fish, avocados and beans are also good sources of Omega 3. Lastly, most pregnant women experience edema or swelling during the third trimester usually seen in the ankles. To prevent edema, foods high in sodium should be avoided.