During your second trimester of pregnancy, you probably have a general idea of what to eat when pregnant. By now you are managing your caffeine habit, have likely overcome your morning sickness, and have made fundamental changes to your diet to increase your health, and that of your baby, during pregnancy.
The second trimester brings along its own set of challenges, however. It’s during this time that your baby grows most rapidly, and you begin to gain weight.
You may develop cravings. If you have a family history of it, gestational diabetes may be an issue. So there is actually a lot to learn about what foods to eat while pregnant, especially during these next three months.
How to Handle Cravings
During your second trimester, you may begin experiencing cravings. No one really understands what causes these cravings, though some experts feel they could point to a deficiency in your diet. Some women crave the traditionally bizarre pairing of pickles and ice cream, while others need spicy foods, citrus fruits, peanut butter, or ice.
Check with your healthcare provider if you feel your cravings are too much to control, so that she may run a check on your blood and look for any deficiencies. Feel free to indulge your cravings on a reasonable basis. For example, if you crave chocolate, allow yourself a small sample of it daily, and incorporate the caffeine into your daily quota.
Dealing with Weight Gain
These three months will mark the real test of your weight gain during pregnancy. While some weight gain is expected, the more you gain during pregnancy, the more you will have to work to slim down after you have your baby.
So be mindful—just not obsessed—with your weight gain.
Stay active by indulging in healthy activities like walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga. Snack as needed, but opt for healthy alternatives like fruit and veggies.
Drink half your weight in pounds in ounces of water to stay satiated and maintain regular digestion. A gain between 5 and 10 pounds is acceptable during this stage of pregnancy, so aim for staying within those parameters.
The Importance of Protein
During this stage of your pregnancy, when your baby is undergoing so much growth, you must ingest the proper amounts of amino acids. The best way to do that is by eating protein with every meal. You can incorporate protein by eating eggs at breakfast, lean organic protein at lunch and dinner, and have raw nuts or nut butters as a snack.
Eating enough protein will also help keep you feeling full throughout the day, and help keep your energy levels high. Once you are over morning sickness, eating enough protein becomes a much easier task.
A Word about Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes usually surfaces during the second trimester if it will show at all. If you have a family history of diabetes or if gestational diabetes is common in your family, then you should be especially vigilant. Your healthcare provider will probably administer a glucose test at some point during this trimester, but if you are concerned about it, tell her at once.
If you crave a lot of sugar, or feel dizzy or faint after meals, these are tell-tale symptoms of this illness. If your gestational diabetes goes unchecked, it can cause health problems for you and may cause your baby to grow too large, which can cause complications during delivery.
Second trimester nutrition during pregnancy is all about moderation. Use the healthy habits you learned during your first trimester and keep implementing them throughout these next three months, and continue to be mindful of what to eat when pregnant and how it affects you and your baby.