Diet in the third month of pregnancy

Diet in the third month of pregnancy

Let’s know about Diet in the third month of pregnancy. The third month of pregnancy (9-12 weeks) can be a difficult time for a mother-to-be, as morning sickness (vomiting), fatigue, and mood swings can increase drastically. This is also the time when most abortions are recorded. Hence, it is very important for mothers-to-be to remain stress-free. They should also eat nutritious food to ensure healthy growth and development of the child. The diet taken during the third month of pregnancy plays an important role in determining the health of the foetus.

Essential nutrients in the third month of pregnancy

Diet in the third month of pregnancy
Diet in the third month of pregnancy

Your first trimester diet should contain all the essential nutrients that the fetus needs to develop into a healthy baby. Are you wondering what to eat during the third month of pregnancy for a healthy baby? Here is a list of foods that you should include in your diet table for third month pregnancy:

1. Foods Rich in Vitamin B6

In the third month, the problem of morning sickness will increase till the 9th week and start reducing by the end of the 12th week. Vitamin B6 helps reduce nausea and vomiting. Foods that contain vitamin B6 are: lean meat, chicken, eggs, citrus fruits, legumes, soybeans, nuts, seeds, and avocados.

2. Folate-Rich Foods

Folate or folic acid is very important for the proper development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Even if you are taking folic acid supplements, be sure to include natural sources of folate-rich foods in your diet. Foods that contain folate are: broccoli, citrus fruits, legumes, peas, lentils, avocados, cabbage, okra, asparagus and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale).

3. Omega-3 rich food

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient needed for healthy eye and brain development in a baby. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are soybeans, canola oil, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, rawas (salmon) fish, bangda (mackerel) fish, and wild rice.

4. Fresh fruits

Various types of nutrients and antioxidants are found in fruits which are very essential for the healthy growth and development of the child. Fresh fruit provides more nutrients than any canned or frozen fruit juice. So include lots of fresh fruits in your diet like cantaloupe, avocado, pomegranate, banana, guava, orange, sweet lime, strawberry and apple.

5. Vegetables

A pregnant woman in the third month should include at least 3 cups of vegetables per day in her diet. Mix and eat vegetables of different colors, this will keep the variety in taste and keep in mind that you get nutrients from them. Examples include kale, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cabbage, drumstick, etc.

6. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy to our body. Complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains, legumes and starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, take longer for the body to digest and metabolize. It helps in providing regular amount of energy. Carbohydrates from fiber-rich fruits and vegetables are great for your growing baby. Avoid consuming carbs found in processed foods like flour, cookies, and cakes. These unnecessary calories are harmful to your baby.

7. Protein

Protein is basically what makes up DNA, tissue and muscles. It also plays an important role in activating enzymes in our body. Therefore, protein is extremely essential for the proper development of the fetus. Examples of protein-rich foods include legumes, quinoa, seeds, pulses, chicken, nuts, nut butters, meat and soybeans.

8. Milk Products

Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, which is very important for the development of strong and healthy bones in the baby. Examples include milk, curd and paneer etc. If you are allergic to dairy products, opt for other sources of calcium-rich foods like cabbage, watercress, etc.

9. Vitamin ‘D’

Vitamin ‘D’ plays an important role in the development of the immune system, healthy teeth and bones in the child and healthy cell division in the child. Examples of foods rich in vitamin D are fatty fish, such as ravas (salmon), mackerel and tuna, egg yolks, cod liver oil, and milk or cereals fortified with vitamin D.

10. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral, important for healthy immune system and nervous system development. Foods rich in zinc include spinach, wheat sprouts, mushrooms, oysters, pumpkin and squash seeds, chicken, nuts and legumes.

Third Month of Pregnancy – What Not to Eat

These are the foods that should be avoided in the third month of pregnancy:

1. Seafood

Seafood and seafood contain high levels of methyl-mercury, which can affect fetal brain development. Hence, avoid sea food and stick to freshwater fish.

2. Raw eggs and unpasteurized milk products

Raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria which can cause food poisoning. Unpasteurized milk products such as soft cheese can contain listeria and can also cause severe food poisoning. Therefore, avoid raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products.

3. Raw or undercooked meat

Raw and undercooked meat may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning and thus cause serious harm to the baby.

4. Vitamin ‘A’

Excessive intake of Vitamin ‘A’ has been associated with birth defects. Vitamin ‘A’ found in natural foods like fruits, vegetables, eggs and milk is not harmful. However, chicken liver contains high amount of Vitamin ‘A’. You should not consume too much Vitamin A at a time, so it is better to avoid eating it. Also, avoid taking vitamin ‘A’ supplements.

5. Caffeine

The caffeine in coffee, tea and aerated drinks can cross the placenta and increase the heart rate in the baby. Therefore, it is better to limit or avoid caffeine intake.

6. Roadside Food

Eating food prepared on the roadside increases the chances of contracting bacterial infections like gastroenteritis. Such infections can harm the developing baby. So, don’t eat street side food at all.

7. Canned Foods

Packaged foods contain high amounts of preservatives that can harm the developing fetus. They also contain a chemical called Bisphenol-A (BPA), which can cause miscarriage. So, stay away from packaged foods and stick to fresh home-cooked food.

Diet tips for third month pregnancy

  • Drink enough fluids and plenty of water. You can also have fruit juices and soups, but drinking water is best for hydration.
  • Include fruits and vegetables in your diet at least 5 times per day.
  • Instead of eating large meals 3 times a day, eat 5 to 6 healthy, small meals.
  • Completely avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs as these can cause serious birth defects and developmental problems in your baby.
  • Take the nutritional supplement prescribed by your doctor without missing a minute.
  • Avoid making any changes to your diet without checking with your doctor.

The third month of pregnancy can be tough for you as there is a lot of nausea and vomiting during this time. However, morning sickness starts to subside by the 12th week and is usually over by the start of the second trimester. Follow the dietary tips given in this article to provide the necessary nutrition and encourage healthy growth and development of your baby.