Let us know about the diet in the fourth month of pregnancy. The fourth month of pregnancy is a time when the early side effects of pregnancy like headache, morning sickness or nausea, mood swings stop. The foods you used to dislike eating, after the first trimester, will no longer be the case, but now you will start craving for more. The second trimester is considered to be the most comfortable of all the three trimesters. This is also the period when your baby grows the most, as well as the amount of blood in your body increases so that the nutrients in your blood can nourish the baby. Therefore, your diet during the fourth month of pregnancy should include all the essential nutrients for the healthy growth and development of the baby.
Essential nutrients in the fourth month of pregnancy
It is very important to prepare a list of what you should eat during the second trimester of pregnancy. The diet plan for your fourth month pregnancy should include the following nutrients:
1. Iron (iron element)
In the fourth month, the amount of blood in your body increases, so you should include iron-rich things in your diet to meet the increasing need of iron. Foods that contain iron include meat, fish, tofu, liver, soybeans, whole grains such as brown rice, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, dried fruits, and eggs.
In the fourth month of pregnancy, the hormone progesterone slows down digestion. Your uterus grows in size to accommodate your growing baby. Due to which the problem of constipation starts. To prevent constipation and have regular bowel movements, you should eat foods rich in fiber. For example, whole grains such as oatmeal, bran, barley, seeds such as flaxseed and chia seeds, nuts such as almonds, pecans and pistachios, vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweet corn, beets, green peas and fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, figs, Apples, bananas and pears are included.
Calcium is very important for the development of strong bones in your child’s body. Some of the foods from which calcium is available in abundance are: Cabbage, milk, curd, paneer, watercress, broccoli, okra and almonds etc.
4. Zinc and Vitamin ‘C’
Zinc is an element necessary for the formation of proteins and the development of a healthy nervous system and immune system. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, beef, beef, spinach, wheat germ, mushrooms, pumpkin and zucchini seeds, nuts, chicken, and beans. Vitamin ‘C’ is essential for the absorption of iron in the body. Vitamin ‘C’ is present in abundance in foods like green and red peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and leafy greens.
5. Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for eye and brain development. Omega-6 fatty acids are very important for heart health, proper functioning of the reproductive system, skin, hair and bone development. Some of the foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: vegetable oils, salmon, soybeans, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and seeds like chia (sabza) and flaxseed.
6. Fruits and Vegetables
It is important to include at least five portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Nutrients are found in much higher amounts in fresh fruits and vegetables than in frozen ones. You should also include some raw vegetables in the form of salads. Fresh fruits are healthier than their juices.
7. Protein and Carbohydrates
Muscles, Tissues and DNA Proteins serve as a building block for building up. Whereas carbohydrates are the source of energy for our body. Include adequate amounts of protein and sugary carbohydrates in your diet. Some of the foods that contain protein are legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds, nuts, butter, meat, chicken, quinoa, and soybeans. Starchy carbohydrate foods are: potatoes, rice, pasta and bread etc. Hence Indian diet during the fourth month of pregnancy should include pulses, whole wheat roti, ragi porridge, oats, dalia, dosa, chana (chickpeas) and kidney beans.
Fourth Month Of Pregnancy – What Not To Eat?
There are certain foods that can be harmful to the baby if eaten during pregnancy. Here is a list of foods that should be avoided during the fourth month of pregnancy.
Consumption of licorice in high quantity during pregnancy reduces the intellectual level of the babies. Licorice contains chemicals that cause contractions in the uterus, which can lead to preterm labor. Therefore, it is important to avoid foods containing licorice.
Refined flour, known as maida in India, is difficult to digest and causes constipation and can lead to piles after delivery. It also increases the blood sugar level, as it has a high glycemic index. Due to which there is also a risk of gestational diabetes, which is harmful for both the mother and the child. So eat foods made of wheat and avoid refined flour.
3. Marine fish
Sea fish such as white tuna, king mackerel and swordfish etc. are found in high amounts of mercury. The mercury present in it can damage the brain of the fetus and even put the child at risk of mental disorders. Therefore, avoid saltwater fish and stick to freshwater fish like salmon or trout.
4. Blue Cheese
Blue cheeses such as ‘Camembert’ and soft cheeses such as ‘Brie’ are known to contain micro-organisms such as bacteria or listeria, which can cause food poisoning in a pregnant woman. It affects the health and development of the child. So, avoid blue cheeses and soft cheeses and stick to hard cheeses like Parmesan or Cheddar.
5. Raw eggs and undercooked meat
Raw eggs contain bacteria called salmonella, which can cause salmonellosis, a type of food poisoning. This may harm the baby. That’s why eat only whole cooked eggs. Consuming undercooked meat can also lead to food poisoning, so make sure the meat is well cooked.
Excessive consumption of caffeine increases your heart rate and due to this, problems like nervousness, irritability and sleeplessness etc. can arise, which can be very harmful for the child, even it can lead to miscarriage. So limiting your caffeine intake to 200 mg per day would be better for you and your baby.
Diet tips for 4th month pregnancy
- Here are some dietary tips in the fourth month of pregnancy:
- Drink more and more water. On an average, a pregnant woman needs at least 2.3 liters of water every day.
- Avoid fried foods, spicy foods or foods that are high in salt and sugar.
- Ground flaxseed can be eaten by sprinkling it on salads, or porridge, curd etc. It is a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Don’t eat too many sweets, as there is a risk of gestational diabetes and unnecessary weight gain.
- When you are having a meal or taking an iron supplement, do not drink tea or coffee with it, as the tannins present in them prevent the body from absorbing iron.
- Keep in mind that before consuming fruits or vegetables, you wash them properly so that the germs, soil and pesticides present in them are thoroughly cleaned.
The fourth month of pregnancy is a comfortable time for the mother-to-be. Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and staying relaxed and calm during this time will ensure that your baby is healthy. Be sure to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.