Nutrition for baby and you
One of the best things you can do for yourself and the little one growing inside of you is to maintain a healthy diet. By your third trimester you need about an extra 300 calories daily to meet the growing demands of your developing baby.
Protein is especially important during your pregnancy. It’s essential to help build your baby’s muscles, ligaments, hair, fingernails, bones, brain tissue and blood and to produce enough blood cells to keep up with your increased blood volume. Most women find it easy to include the recommended additional 10 grams of protein needed with an extra 1¼ cup of milk. Other good sources are eggs, cheese, nuts and dried beans.
Calcium is essential for bone formation and growth. Good sources are milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, calcium-fortified juice, soy drinks and tofu.
Iron requirements increase dramatically during pregnancy as a result of the increase in your blood volume and the demands of a growing baby. Good sources are red meat, liver, enriched whole grain cereal and bread, green leafy vegetables, legumes and eggs.
Carbohydrates & fats are also important. You need to eat plenty of carbohydrate-rich foods to give your body the energy to help your baby grow strong and healthy. Good sources are fruits and vegetables as well as whole grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta. Essential fatty acids help support your baby’s brain and eye development. Good sources are vegetable oils, nuts, olives and fatty fish that is low in mercury.
Fiber and plenty of water in your diet can help alleviate constipation and hemorrhoids. Good sources are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dried peas and beans, nuts and seeds.
Learn more about prenatal nutrition.