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Pregnancy Diet: What You Should Be Eating During Your Second Trimester

Pregnancy Diet: What You Should Be Eating During Your Second Trimester

Many pregnant mums know how crucial diet is for their wellbeing and that of the unborn child but not many of these mums know exactly what diet would help them optimise their health and that of their baby’s. If you are wondering what foods are best to consume during pregnancy, you are not alone. Your second trimester will probably come  with a big sense of relief, the chances of a miscarriage go down significantly, and if you were having morning sickness, that should start to ease up at this point. Your energy should also return as well by this time in your pregnancy.

But the second trimester, however comfortable it feels, is not the time to take for granted healthy, nutritious foods because this is the time when your little one is beginning to look more like a baby than a tadpole and his brain, spinal cord, and major organs start developing even more rapidly.

READ ALSO: 10 Food Tips In Pregnancy

Well, according to a prenatal and postnatal health coach who is also a mum, Carolyn Tallots, here are 6 aspects of diet in your second trimester that you should take seriously.

1. Increase your overall calorie intake

Finally! The words you were waiting for. But there is a catch.

While most women can and should increase your caloric intake by 300 to 500 calories per day (if you haven’t done so already), make sure to get the most bang for your buck out of those calories by filling up on wholesome, nutritious foods. If you are expecting multiples (bless you), increase your caloric intake by around 500 to 650 calories, but your doctor will tell you exactly what is appropriate.

2. Proteins

During that big growth spurt we talked about, you can expect to see a strong correlation in your hunger levels. Protein will keep you satiated and help the baby gain weight appropriately. A non-pregnant person should aim to get a half-gram of protein per pound of body weight per day, so if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be getting around 75 grams of protein per day. A pregnant woman should add an extra 25 grams to her daily intake. This extra 25 gram is about the equivalent of four eggs or a 3-ounce chicken breast.

3. Calcium

As the baby’s bones and teeth continue to develop, calcium is needed to help them become denser and more structurally sound. Research shows that many women aren’t getting enough calcium—if you aren’t getting enough for both you and baby, the body will reallocate your stores to make sure he gets what they need.

Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli) not only contain calcium, but they also contain other vitamins and minerals that help the body absorb it, so make sure to get your greens.

4. Vitamin D

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This is one of the special nutrients that help absorb the calcium and can be found naturally in salmon, dairy, egg yolks, and other fortified products. Pregnant woman are advised to get 4000 IU of vitamin D—most prenatal vitamins only have 400, so talk to your provider about an additional vitamin D supplement.

5. Iron

The importance of iron continues through all the trimesters, to avoid developing anemia. It’s critical around the midpoint of pregnancy as the baby’s own blood supply grows. Like calcium, the body will make sure the baby is getting enough iron first, so it will deplete your stores if necessary, increasing your chances of anemia a second time. Pregnant women should aim for around 27mg of iron daily.

A note of caution, though. Iron pills can often lead to constipation. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and eat lots of high-fiber foods (like bran, fruits, and veggies).

6. Balance Your Diet

A balanced diet high in vitamins and minerals has endless benefits during this phase of pregnancy, so now that you can hopefully stomach something more than white rice, aim to fill your plate with 50% of complex carbs (fruits, vegetables and whole grains), 30% of healthy fats and 20% protein to get the optimal mix of nutrients. It will help you feel your best, gain weight appropriately, boost your energy and make staying active easier, provided your doctor gives you the okay.

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