3rd Trimester pregnancy nutrition
Welcome to the 3rd trimester of your pregnancy, finally!! This last stage of pregnancy is classed as 28 weeks up until you give birth, its been a long time coming and you’re probably feeling exhausted. You might find that you’re waking in the night, either to use the bathroom or for seemingly no reason at all – this is your body preparing you for waking through the night once baby arrives.
Some women can find that they feel hungry when they wake up, you should eat as small drops in blood sugar can cause you to awaken. Including carbohydrates in these night time snacks will help boost serotonin levels and help you to sleep again. Sweet potato, chia seed pudding and warm apple with cinnamon are all nice options.
During the day its now important to focus on the quality of food you’re eating vs quantity, this is due to your expanding size and it being virtually impossible to eat big meals. Turn to grazing on nutritionally dense foods and you wont go far wrong by eating 4-6 smaller meals per day.
Healthy fats are vital in this part of your pregnancy in order to support your body and lactation, good sources include nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, eggs, full fat yoghurt and cheese. In this home stretch try to avoid too many sugars as your body becomes increasingly insulin resistant.
Insulin resistance is the term used for when body tissues don’t respond properly to insulin and the blood sugar rises. This is completely normal in pregnancy and is important because it facilitates rapid fat accumulation, brain development and overall growth of the baby during the third trimester. Sticking to low sugar fruits such as berries and putting your paleo sweet treats in post walk or pregnancy fitness class/yoga will stave away gestational diabetes and excessive pregnancy weight gain.
Eat plenty of good quality protein and load up on leafy, nutrient dense dark greens such as kale and chard as well as enjoying your starches such as sweet potato, parsnips, pumpkin and squash in moderation. These foods will help keep you regular and nourish your healthy gut flora.
Because swelling is a common occurrence during the 3rd trimester it’s also a good idea to watch your salt intake too. Other useful tips include sleeping lots and getting to walk in the fresh air, enjoy this last part of total freedom before your gorgeous new bundle arrives.