Holistic Nutrition For Pregnancy: During The Third Trimester
A developing fetus rapidly gains weight towards the end of pregnancy.
Therefore, a nutritious diet is very important for healthy fetal development during the third trimester of pregnancy.
As a student completing a diploma in holistic nutrition courses at Edison Institution of Nutrition, you’ll learn about the nutrition requirements for a healthy pregnancy.
This is the third in a three part series about how to support your clients during pregnancy.
So far, we’ve covered holistic nutrition for first trimester pregnancy, and holistic nutrition for second trimester pregnancy.
In this article, you’ll learn some basics about holistic nutrition during the third trimester of pregnancy.
If you’re considering studying at a school of holistic nutrition, this article can serve as an introduction to some of what you’ll learn during your studies.
And if you yourself are pregnant, you can find out more about how to keep both you and your baby healthy toward the end of your pregnancy.
It’s important to remember, however, that blog articles are not a supplement for proper health advice – be sure to speak with your holistic nutritionist or other healthcare provider before beginning any supplement regimen, especially during pregnancy.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s dig in.
What Happens During The Third Trimester
The third trimester occurs between weeks 27 to 40 of pregnancy.
Each trimester of pregnancy is typically characterized by a specific set of symptoms.
Symptoms you might experience during the third trimester include:
- Shortness of breath
- Urinary incontinence
- Enlarged, twisted veins (varicose veins)
- Sleeping problems, such as insomnia
During the third trimester of pregnancy, your baby’s eyes will open, and their nails and hair will begin to grow.
Caloric Intake During The Third Trimester
Caloric intake should increase by 200-300 calories per day during the third trimester or 36kcal per kilogram of pregnant body weight. Overall weight gain should 25-30 lbs. throughout the entire pregnancy.
Avoid all foods and liquids such a junk food, fried, processed, fast food, alcohol, pop, and sugars that are detrimental to the health of your baby.
Your caloric intake should come from nutritious foods such as:
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Protein rich foods, such as lean, grass fed meat and eggs
- Whole grains
- Healthy fats and oils, such as nuts and avocados
Remember – your baby eats everything you eat.
Important Nutrients During The Third Trimester
Some of the most important nutrients during the third trimester of pregnancy include the following:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A does a lot for health in general.
However, vitamin A serves an especially important role during pregnancy.
It helps support healthy bone development in your baby, along with calcium and vitamin D with K2.
Additionally, it helps the development of the baby’s organs and eyes, as well as their circulatory, respiratory, and central nervous systems. Cod liver oil is a good source.
2. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is important for the production of red blood cells and fetal brain development.
It can also help in the development of a healthy nervous system.
Additionally, vitamin B6 can help the baby metabolize other nutrients, such as protein and carbohydrates.
As well, because vitamin B6 is a nutrient deficiency linked with depression, it can help you stave off the baby blues.
3. Vitamin C
The benefits of vitamin C are vast – it’s no wonder so many different foods are touted as being high in this vitamin.
During pregnancy, however, vitamin C aids the intake of iron, which is crucial for both you and baby.
Additionally, it provides benefits to fetal development, such as the development of the baby’s teeth, gums, and bones.
Vitamin C may also help to improve the immune system.
And because vitamin C can help you manage your stress levels as well, it may help you stabilize your mood during this later stage in your pregnancy.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D with K2 helps both mother and baby better absorb calcium.
Additionally, research points to vitamin D with K2 as a potential preventative for pregnancy related complications, such as gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and infection.
It’s also linked with depression, so making sure you maintain your levels of vitamin D with K2 is important during pregnancy for lifting your mood.
Calcium and magnesium aid in healthy development of the baby’s bones, teeth, heart, nerves, and muscles.
Additionally, it may help reduce the risk of hypertension and preeclampsia.
While it may be wise to take a calcium supplement, it’s best to speak with a healthcare provider first, since in most cases you can get all the calcium you need from your diet.
Iron is one of the essential building blocks of hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is responsible for taking the oxygen you inhale and distributing it through your blood to the various parts of your body where it’s needed.
When you’re deficient in iron, it can cause your baby to not get enough oxygen.
It also plays a role in your baby producing their own red blood cells, and can reduce the risk of a premature birth.
If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue during your pregnancy, it might be related to an iron deficiency as well.
Your body uses protein to build and repair your bones, muscles, and other tissues, as well as to create hormones, among other things.
Since your baby gains weight quite rapidly during the third trimester, they’ll need plenty of protein as well to help their tissues develop.
It can also help both you and your baby produce blood, and with keeping your uterus healthy.
If you plan on breastfeeding, protein is even more important, since it plays a significant role in ensuring your breast milk is nutritious.
8. Essential Fatty Acids
Fish, Flax and borage seed oils provide essential fatty acids (EFA), including ALA, LA, and GLA.
Fish oils provide omega 3 fatty acids that help to support brain, eye, and cardiovascular health.
DHA is the most abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain and is essential for the proper development of the brain, retina, and visual acuity in young children.
Flax and borage seed oils provide essential fatty acids (EFA), including ALA, LA, and GLA that further maintain optimal health by balancing hormones and support the nervous system.
During your pregnancy, baby will require plenty of EFA’s.
Beyond that, though, deficiency in these essential fatty acids is linked with depression, so they can help you stave off postpartum depression.
Foods To Eat During Pregnancy
Below are some recommendations for nutrient rich foods to eat during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Good sources of vitamin A include:
- Goji berries
- Sweet potatoes
Good sources of vitamin B6 include:
- Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn
- Whole grain
Good sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit
- Red and green peppers
Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish, such as salmon and bluefin tuna
- Fortified foods, such as cereal and milk
- Egg yolks
Good sources of calcium include:
- Canned anchovies
- Sardines with bones
Good sources of iron include:
- Dark meat, such as poultry legs
- White beans
- Kidney beans
Good sources of protein include:
- Red meats such beef and lamb
- Cold water wild caught fish
Contact The Edison Institute Of Nutrition Today
Have you been considering pursuing a career in holistic nutrition?
Whether you’re just starting your career or considering a switch to a new career as a holistic nutritionist, we can help.
At the Edison Institution Of Nutrition, we are committed to providing expert training to prepare our students for success through our Diploma in Holistic Nutrition program.
Holistic nutrition CEUs are also offered, which can be taken by holistic nutritionists and allied holistic practitioners alike.
Contact the Edison Institute Of Nutrition today to get started on training, or enhance your skills, as a holistic nutritionist.