Eating during Pregnancy: Your Third Trimester

April 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Foods Safe To Eat During Pregnancy

foods safe to eat during pregnancy
by wallygrom

Eating during Pregnancy: Your Third Trimester

By the time you’ve reached your third trimester, you’ve likely conquered many of the challenges of eating during pregnancy. During your first trimester, you made changes to your diet, such as cutting back on caffeine and sugar, to make a healthier lifestyle for both you and your baby. You also conquered the nausea of morning sickness.

During your second trimester, you learned how to eat protein with every meal and handle your cravings in a sensible manner. So when you reach your third trimester, your problems are less about how you eat than how to deal with the discomforts and special issues that arise during the last three months of your pregnancy. In this article, we will cover these special issues one by one.

The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You’ve probably been taking Omega-3 fatty acids throughout your pregnancy, at a rate of 1200mg per day.

But it’s especially important to keep your fatty acid intake high during the last trimester. The proper amount of Omega-3 fatty acids can provide a wealth of benefits to both mother and child, such as:

• Decreased incidence of postpartum depression;
• Suggested easier birth and labor;
• Lower risk of premature birth;
• Babies tend to sleep through the night earlier.

Your pregnancy nutritionist can help you find a high quality fish oil supplement that will give you the DHA you need for your own health as well as your baby’s development. You can also boost your consumption of fatty acids by eating foods like walnuts, flaxseed oil, organic eggs, and wild salmon.

Dealing with Indigestion

Indigestion and heartburn become major issues during the last trimester of pregnancy, as hormonal changes in your body cause your muscles to relax in preparation for labor. This also causes the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach to relax, allowing stomach acid to back up into your throat.

There is no cure for indigestion caused by pregnancy, and most of the over-the-counter medications that ease the pain of indigestion are not safe to take while pregnant.

You should eliminate foods that aggravate this issue, such as spicy foods, citrus fruits, and foods with a vinegar base. Try eating foods that neutralize stomach acid, such as papaya. You can also deal with the symptoms of indigestion by eating smaller meals more frequently, and by sleeping in an upright position.

Handling Fatigue with Ease

You may start feeling very tired during your third trimester. This is common as you might find it difficult to get comfortable for sleep, or find that the baby moves too often for you to get a good night’s sleep. A body pillow might be helpful, as it cushions your baby bump and can help you get into a comfortable enough position for sleep. Try “setting the stage” for sleep, too—a practice recommended by sleep experts.

Don’t watch television or stare at your computer screen for a few hours before bed, as this can interfere with your body’s natural melatonin production. Instead, dim the lights and play relaxing music. Take a long bath or shower and read an enjoyable book. You might try a cup of herbal tea. These preparations alert your body that it’s time for bed, and can help you get more restful sleep through the night.

Getting Your Exercise In

You may be tempted to give up exercise during this last stage of pregnancy, but it’s crucial to stay in shape for your upcoming labor. Try low or no impact forms of exercise that are easier on your body. Yoga, swimming, and walking are all excellent ways to stay fit without getting exhausted during pregnancy.

Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress. It can also help promote restful sleep. So make sure you are getting at least 15 minutes of gentle movement per day. It will make all the difference to your pregnancy.

Are you looking for the best advice for eating during pregnancy? Need advice from a real pregnancy nutritionist? Visit exercise recommendations and eating tips for a healthy pregnancy.

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