A healthy mom equals a healthy baby and to achieve this, having a healthy diet is important, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. A normal pregnancy generally lasts for 40 weeks, which is divided into three trimesters. The first trimester ranges between 0-13 weeks, second between 14- 26 weeks and the third lies between 27- 40 weeks.
During the third trimester, women are usually advised to have a healthy and nutritious diet. This is to ensure that the mother receives enough energy to keep up with everyday routines and the child receives enough nutrition to grow salubriously. This is not a time for mothers to give in to food cravings like in the early stages.
If you are not sure about the types of diet changes that you need to make during this phase of pregnancy, here are some diet tips for you to follow.
Diet Changes for a Healthy Pregnancy
During the third trimester, pregnant women experience a lot of reflux and heartburn, mostly because their diet and food timings are not right. Making the following dietary changes during this phase can help avoid these problems.
1. Keep munching on small meals or snacks every few hours during the day:
With a growing baby inside, it can be difficult for expectant mothers to make room for more food in their belly. Hence, expecting mothers are recommended to eat small meal portions, every couple of hours, to receive the required extra 500 calories in a day.
2. Avoid adding extra salt to your food
It is best to avoid the consumption of extra salt or foods that are high in sodium during the third trimester of pregnancy. The reason why this is recommended is that pregnant women often face the problem of fluid retention during this phase. Consumption of extra salt further heightens the condition causing discomfort to the mother. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans established by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the recommended intake of sodium for a healthy baby is one teaspoon or six grams in a day.
3. Stay hydrated
On average, a pregnant woman must consume at least 10 cups or 2 litres of fluids per day, inclusive of milk or other healthy beverages like herbal tea, soup, or natural fruit juices. However, if the weather is too warm, this dosage can be increased according to the requirement of a woman’s body. Consuming enough fluids can help mothers in regulating their body heat, wash out toxins, and support their baby’s growth.
4. Eat key nutrient-packed foods
As your baby develops inside your womb, he/she requires the key nutrients to supplement his/her needs. Additionally, this is also important for the expecting mother as well. So, expecting mothers should ensure to pack their meals with foods packed with vitamins, nutrients, healthy fats, and proteins to meet the daily calorie needs.
The third trimester is usually considered the toughest time for a woman, considering all the discomfort that comes along. Also, this is an important phase that greatly contributes to the development of foetus’ metabolism. Hence, keeping a healthy diet and following a healthy regime can help in making things easy and ensuring good health for the mother and the baby.