You’re Starting to Show…

You’re in the second trimester!

These three months are an important time during your pregnancy because it’s when your baby is developing the most rapidly. Here are some tips to make sure you are eating a nutritious diet in order for your baby to grow strong bones and muscles.

Eat for Two

During this time, you can begin “eating for two.” However, this doesn’t mean to simply eat twice as much as you normally do — it’s all about quality. Add about 340 calories a day to your diet. This is an average based on your current weight. If you are overweight or underweight, adjust accordingly.

Eat a variety of foods, including different colors, types and textures. 340 extra calories can be achieved with a glass of low-fat milk, a tuna sandwich, yogurt, nuts or hard-boiled eggs.

Protein, Of Course!

The second trimester means your body is making changes to accommodate your baby’s rapid growth. Taking in enough protein and amino acids are essential to your baby’s muscle development and your continued health, as well.

Try adding roughly three to four servings, or 40 to 70 grams, of protein to your daily diet. Hit this goal by eating protein from a range of great sources, including dairy, beans and nuts, meat, poultry and fish.

These are great meal options that are rich in protein:

Breakfast: Two fresh eggs, one whole wheat bagel topped with peanut butter and a smoothie filled with berries, a banana and low-fat milk.

Lunch: One sweet potato cooked in a skillet with coconut oil and a bowl of low-fat yogurt.

Dinner: One beef burger topped with swiss cheese with a side of a cup of green beans.

Calcium is Key

Calcium attributes to your baby’s development of strong bones and teeth, as well as to a healthy heart with a normal heartbeat rhythm and nerves.

Experts suggest that women between the ages of 19 and 50 should aim to take in 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, while those under 18 should take in about 1,300 milligrams. If you are taking a prenatal vitamin, you are getting about 150 mg of calcium. You should strive to fill your diet with calcium-rich foods aside from the supplement.

Try working these options into your meals throughout the day to ensure your healthy dose of Calcium:

  • 1 ounce of mozzarella cheese
  • 3 ounces of sardines
  • 8 ounces of nonfat milk
  • 6 ounces of calcium-fortified orange juice
  • 1 cup of raw kale and other dark, leafy greens
  • 3 ounces of pink salmon

Don’t Forget the Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide the most energy and act as an important source of fiber. Women should eat about 9 to 11 servings per day to supplement the needs of a growing baby. Don’t be alarmed if about half of your calorie intake is from carbs – this is how it should be!

However, pay attention to the kind of carbs you’re eating. Avoid simple carbs, or foods that quickly turn into sugar. This includes processed or refined foods, such as white bread, white rice and chips. These foods are detrimental to you and your baby’s health as they make your blood sugar levels inconsistently fluctuate, which could complicate your pregnancy.

Be sure to choose whole grain sources:

  • Bananas
  • Whole grain breads and cereals
  • Wholemeal pasta and noodles
  • Rice
  • Maize
  • Couscous
  • Fruits and vegetables with skin

Weight gain is normal in the second trimester, but be sure to keep track of your added pounds. Maintaining a healthy weight while carrying reduces labor complications. If you were a healthy weight before getting pregnant, you should have gained one to five pounds in the first trimester. Now, you should expect to gain about one pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy.

Of course, always ask your physician at Mt. Auburn if you have any questions regarding your diet or achieving healthy weight gain.