It’s Almost that Time!

You’re in the third trimester of your pregnancy. This means that you are between 28 and 40 weeks pregnant, and your baby is becoming more and more developed. By week 37, your baby’s bones and organs are considered full-term and your baby is slowly moving into a head-down position. These movements might cause anxiety in mothers as they reach their due dates, but, stay calm! There are tons of changes happening in your body. This is normal, and it’s important to tackle them with confidence. A healthy diet contributes to your baby’s metabolism and your preparation for lactation. Keep these tips in mind for eating right as you reach the light at the end of the pregnancy tunnel!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Your Best Friend

It is reported that pregnant women do not intake enough omega-3 fatty acids, because this supplement is most often found in fish. Pregnant women tend to avoid most fish options due to the the risks mercury presents for a developing baby; however, omega-3 fatty acids carry with them a number of benefits, such as contributing to the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the FDA recommend two to three servings of fish a week.

Omega-3 fatty acid that has DHA is especially important to a developing baby. Experts suggest pregnant women intake 100-200 mg DHA more than the regular 250 mg per day. If fish isn’t for you, there are many alternative options to make sure you include this supplement in your everyday diet:

  • DHA eggs
  • Walnuts
  • Small amounts of poultry
  • Fish oil
  • Prenatal vitamins (contain 200-300mg of DHA)

Proteins and Carbohydrates are a Must

Proteins are especially important during the third trimester, as these contribute to the development of your baby’s organs and muscles and helps them begin to produce antibodies and hormones. Carbohydrates keep you energized as your body experiences all of these changes. You should be continuing to gain one pound per week during the third trimester. This is reached by regular exercise and eating the right amount of proteins and carbohydrates, which doctors suggest should be about an additional 300 calories of each. It is also suggested to eat 6-8 smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.

These foods are great sources of protein:

  • Lean meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Low fat milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Nuts and seeds

Pair these plates with sides rich in carbohydrates, such as bananas, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, whole grain breads, pastas and cereals. Whole grain foods, potatoes and fruits and vegetables are also great sources of fiber, which is another essential supplement to implement into your pregnancy diet. Fiber keeps your body on track with everything indigestion and constipation-related. These are uncomfortable things no pregnant woman should have to go through, so make sure you’re hitting your recommended dose of 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese, Oh My!

That’s right — calcium is one of the most important supplements for you and your baby. Calcium builds strong bones, teeth and a happily beating heart for your little one. It also reduces your risk of developing preeclampsia, a condition that typically develops after week 20 of pregnancy. It is characterized by high blood pressure and organ damage, and it can lead to serious complications, including premature birth.

Great sources of calcium include:

  • Milk, yogurt and cheese, of course!
  • Prenatal vitamin (contains about 150 mg of calcium)
  • Calcium-fortified almond milk, soy milk and orange juice

Remember – you should be getting about 1,200 – 1,400 mg a day of calcium. With this being said, you should be steadily including calcium into your meals throughout the day. Calcium levels are maintained through an equally balanced intake of vitamin d. Experts suggest including at least 15 mg of vitamin d in your everyday diet. Vitamin d is found in foods, such as fatty fish, eggs, fortified cheeses, yogurts and cereals.

Keep up the good work. It’s almost time to deliver your beautiful baby! Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact your physician at Mt. Auburn.