The Nutrients You Need In The Third Trimester
It’s your final trimester of pregnancy! Learn the key nutrients you need during this important & exciting time from expert nutritionist Larissa from Future Foody
5 min read
The third trimester is a time for rapid growth, which means less room for food! While it is absolutely amazing that during this time the fetus will gain half its weight, it can make for some uncomfortable times for Mum and a, potentially, decreasing appetite.
During this time of growth, the foods you are consuming will be used for increasing your baby’s birth weight and for lung and brain development that will continue through this trimester. However, just like the second trimester, your requirements for the extra growth and development is an extra 500 calories per day.
The whole experience of being pregnant is so different for everyone with some women finding the last stretch a breeze, while others struggle with the extra weight and the fatigue.
Smaller meals and nutrient-dense snacks are your friend
Small meals or snacks that are nutrient dense will help ensure you remain comfortable, but also so that you can consume enough food. Personally, I’m finding smoothies great for either a breakfast alternative or an easy snack. They are cooling on hot days and an easy way to pack in lots of nutrients, while being easy on the tummy.
Healthy fat such as avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds, and olive oil are a good source of energy. They also provide key nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and magnesium and will help the body with the nutrients required to produce breast milk.
Promote baby’s brain development by eating these nutrients
Iron and omega 3 remain a focus during the third trimester and are essential nutrients for rapid growth and brain development.
Foods such as lean red meat, eggs, legumes and oily fish such as salmon and sardines are great to regularly include in your diet.
Calcium and vitamin D are also essential to continue to build healthy bones and teeth in this rapid growth stage of your pregnancy.
It’s normal for the third trimester to feel uncomfortable
This time in your pregnancy can bring about some unpleasant feelings such as reflux and heartburn, which can be common as baby takes up more room. Some mums find rich or spicy foods to be the culprit, while others may find remaining upright during meals can help ease any pain that may occur.
Fluid retention is also common during the final few weeks and your intake of sodium can influence how much fluid you retain. Avoiding adding extra salt when cooking and foods high in salt, such as packet soups and sauces and some pre packaged savoury snacks, along with consuming at least 2 litres of water a day can help increase the amount of fluid you retain. Consuming foods rich in potassium, such a green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and beetroot can help flush out extra fluid that the body (and baby) don’t need or consume.
For a lot of women the dreaded constipation can be another issue that causes discomfort. Ensuring enough fibre is in your diet by consuming nutrient-rich food such as vegetables and fruits, as well as keeping up your fluid intake each day, can go a long way to help ‘relieve’ that difficult situation. This is especially important in warmer weather as the body requires even more fluid to be retained.