Diet during Third Trimester – What To Eat, What to Avoid and Why?

Every pregnant woman will be anticipating the arrival of her bundle of joy more, from the third trimester.

Third trimester starts from the 28th week and by this time most pregnant women would be free from the problems they faced during the previous trimesters, such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn.

But, from the third trimester, the challenges are different as they start to experience discomfort such as back pain, frequent urination, sleepless nights, ankle ache, swollen legs, uneasy sleeping positions etc.,

The significant weight gain with the onset of third trimester are the causes of these challenges and also the tummy expansion due to the growth of the baby is also another reason. Despite the new not-so-comfortable experiences, it is very important to pay attention on your diet as proper nourishment is needed for the development of the baby, especially the vital organs.

Vital organs such as kidneys, lungs, brain, digestive system, proper skin growth, sensory organs’ development grow in full cycle during the third trimester. The baby will be able to hear/react to sounds and lights, vision development during this final phase of pregnancy.

Hence, an extremely healthy and balanced diet has to be followed by the pregnant women to prepare herself for the delivery and to help her baby grow with proper nourishments.

Diet During Third Trimester

Needed diet during Third Trimester

  • Vitamin rich fruits.
  • Calcium and minerals rich vegetables.
  • Needed extra calories.
  • Low fat food items.
  • Foods rich in Iron, Calcium, Folic acids, DHA, Omega 3 fatty acids.

Foods which are rich in  vitamins, minerals, fibre, calories should be taken regularly during this period.

Read about – Baby development in Third Trimester

  • Foods rich in Folic acid

All green leafy vegetables like spinach, beans, egg, fruits like avocado, citric fruits like Lemon, orange, muskmelon.

Benefits: consuming folic acid rich food helps the healthy weight gain for the baby and also nourishes him.

  • Foods rich in calcium

Yoghurt, cheese, nuts like dates, peanuts, dry grapes, well cooked meat bones, etc.,

Benefits: consuming calcium rich food gives strength to the pregnant woman to be stronger during the labour. And also needed for baby’s bone development.

  • Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids

Egg, avocado, gooseberry, green leafy vegetables etc.

Benefits: consuming Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods help in the baby’s brain development.

  • Foods rich in Iron –

Milk, egg, spinach, wheat etc.,

Benefits: consuming iron rich foods help for better blood flow to the uterus, to prevent anemic conditions for the carrying mother and precisely, to avoid complications during labour in cases of heavy blood loss.

  • Foods rich in Protein

Meat, egg, yoghurt, chick peas, cooked green grams.

Benefits: consuming protein rich foods help in the needed weight gain for baby and also helps the pregnant woman from getting exhausted often and during delivery time.

  • Foods rich in DHA

Mostly found in fish. DHA is very important in pregnancy as it plays very important role in the baby’s retina and brain development. But, at the same time one should be careful about not having fishes are high in Mercury. It is always advisable to take DHA supplements without missing, if the doctor has prescribed.

Pregnant women in the third trimester should basically avoid having more calories or more carbohydrates in their food from her 28th week of pregnancy to the risk of unhealthy or over weight gain in the baby. If the baby growth exceeds more than 3 kgs, the normal delivery could be challenging. So pregnant ladies after their second trimester can concentrate on including minerals, vitamins in their diet rather than carbohydrates and fats.

Read about  – Third Trimester of Pregnancy – Changes and Symptoms

Plenty of water/Fluids:

At the same time,  for baby’s free rotational movements inside the womb and for saving herself from digestion issues, it is imperative that a pregnant woman takes enough fluids in her food and plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated to avoid exhaustion and tiredness as well.

This helps in maintaining the needed amniotic liquid in the sack and it is vital for the rotation of the baby and is also helpful for easy delivery.

Foods to avoid in diet during Third Trimester:

Few food items may increase the chances of infections, obesity, gestational diabetes, overweight gain in the baby, sometimes it may cause very serious complications on baby’s growth. So it is always advisable for every pregnant woman to be aware of what to eat and  what to avoid, especially in the third trimester for a healthy delivery.

  • Avoid eating undercooked meat, seafood items – this increases the chances of fungal spread, liver infection, food poisoning, stomach upset and indigestion etc.,
  • Avoid eating raw sprouts – this may increase the chances of infections in the stomach, and can cause digestion problems, which can lead the baby’s overgrowth.
  • Processed dairy products like chocolates, condensed milk, unpasteurized milk – which can increase the chances of many viral infections.
  • Few varieties of fishes which are rich in Mercury content like Shark fish, sword fish – high risk for the baby development.
  • Liquor and intoxicated drinks, which can adversely affect the baby’s brain development.
  • Smoking which affects the baby’s lung development and brain development.

Read about – Common Complications During Third Trimester of Pregnancy

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