As your pregnancy will progress, so will the needs of your body.Remember, that you are not eating for yourself alone. Your unborn baby’s needs too are fulfilled by your body. Therefore, a lack in the diet might prove to be detrimental for both your baby and you.
By the time you enter the third trimester of your pregnancy, your belly will protrude and it will feel like you have no space left for food! However, you have to continue to eat healthy so that your body can supply all the necessary nutrients to your rapidly growing baby.
A woman’s diet during third trimester of pregnancy should be extremely healthy and devoid of all junk food. She must continue taking her prenatal vitamins and also ensure that her diet is inclusive of important nutrients such as folic acid, iron, calcium and fibre.
This is one of the most important nutrients in a pregnant woman’s diet. Folic acid should be consumed regularly during the course of the entire pregnancy. You should continue your folic acid intake even during the third trimester of pregnancy. Natural sources of folate or folic acid are green veggies, bread, yeast, beans and citrus fruits. Include one or more of these items daily in your diet and also remember that folate can be easily lost during the lengthy process of cooking. Therefore, try to eat some products like green vegetables after boiling them.
Calcium is important for bone and teeth development and management. A woman’s calcium needs double during pregnancy and they keep increasing as the foetus develops. Therefore, by the time you are in the third trimester of your pregnancy your calcium needs will be even bigger. Milk and milk products, figs, almonds and calcium supplements should be included in your diet to meet your requirement for calcium. On an average, 1000mg - 1300mg of calcium should be consumed by a pregnant woman per day.
Iron rich foods should form a part of your diet right from the onset of your pregnancy. During the last trimester of pregnancy it becomes even more important as your body will increase the supply of blood to the placenta. It is important to realise the problems that a lack of iron in the body can lead to. One of the worst things to go through is iron deficiency, leading to anaemia. Make sure that you include dates, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, whole-grain breads, potatoes and raisins in your diet. In case of a deficiency, your doctor will prescribe iron supplements to you.
Constipation is a crippling problem that plagues many pregnant women in their third trimester. Therefore, you need to incorporate fibre-rich foods such as beans, pulses, brown rice, nuts and peas in your diet.
It is very important to remain well-hydrated in the final stages of your pregnancy. Dehydration can lead to cramping and even premature labour. You may also drink fresh juices and smoothies to keep the fluid content in your system high.
You need to fortify your body with enough protein necessary to sustain you. Fish, meat, peas, dairy product and eggs are good sources of protein. However, you need to regulate your intake of these items as they contain fat too.
Vitamins are essential for healthy growth of the placenta as well as for breaking down other dietary nutrients such as proteins and finally, for developing the unborn baby’s muscular system. Include citrus fruits, bananas, prune juice, carrot juice, chickpeas and wholegrain cereals in your diet especially during the last trimester of your pregnancy.
Diet is the most crucial part of a woman's diet during pregnancy. It has the sole authority to decide whether the woman's baby will be healthy or not if at all she reaches to the point of delivering him/her. It is therefore, a prerequisite to healthy pregnancy. Dunk in a clean plate of healthy meal and stay safe.
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