Diet in Pregnancy Second TrimesterAs an Indian pregnant woman, ensure that your meal plate includes food from the five essential food groups. These five food groups help you get all the nutrients, such as protein, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins vital for overall well-being. The five essential food groups are:
Whole grainsEat lots of whole grains to get carbohydrates that are the vital source of energy for our bodies. The wholegrain products are full of fibre, iron, proteins, minerals and B vitamins. Eating whole grains relieves constipation problem and prevents the risk of haemorrhoids. You can eat whole grain/ multigrain foods, such as:
- Wholemeal bread
- Brown rice
- Wheat berries
- Quinoa and other foods wholegrain items
- Oats porridge
- Whole wheat toast and omelette
- Wheat rava upma with vegetables
- Vegetable daliya
VegetablesEat loads of vegetables as a part of your diet in second trimester. Rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and other nutrients, vegetables aid in digestion and prevent constipation in pregnancy. Include different colours of vegetables and leafy greens in your diet for iron, fibre, vitamins A, B, C, E, K, beta carotene, potassium and other minerals required for healthy prenatal nutrition. Also, the nutrients received from vegetables may avoid gestational diabetes, prevent anaemia, control blood pressure and maintain healthy weight gain. According to the National Health Service, UK, eat at least 5 servings of vegetables a day. You can eat fresh or frozen or canned vegetables. Each serving is of 80g of vegetables. You can include the following vegetables in your diet in pregnancy second trimester:
- Bell peppers
- Wheatgrass and other greens
FruitsAccording to NHS UK, you need to eat at least 80g of fruits every day to supplement your diet in second trimester. Eat fruits for more vitamins, minerals and fibre. Get vitamins, such as C, B, E, K and folate and minerals, such as copper and potassium to reduce leg cramps and improve your health. You can add:
Dairy productsInclude dairy products as foods to eat during second trimester in India. In the second trimester, consume more calcium and vitamin D rich product and for stronger bones and teeth in your baby. Dairy products are rich in high-quality proteins (casein and whey) along with B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Consume dairy products, such as:
- Calcium-fortified soymilk
LegumesLegumes are plant-based crops, such as lentils, pulses, beans, peas and seeds. Supplement your diet in pregnancy second trimester with legumes for the daily requirement of folate. Legumes are full of protein, iron, folate, fibre, magnesium, potassium, calcium and other important vitamins and minerals. Eat one serving of legumes of 80g every day. Include:
- Kidney beans
- Dried beans
- Black beans and other products
Nuts and seedsEat a handful or 30g of each serving of nuts, seeds and dried fruits every day to get enough calories essential for the second trimester of pregnancy. Consume these nuts and seeds in your diet:
- Pistachios Dates
Protein-rich foodsProtein is an essential nutrient for building, maintaining and repairing the cells and tissues in our body and supporting the overall development of your baby. Protein forms the building blocks of muscles, bones, hair, skin, nails and all the cells and tissues of our bodies. So, increase protein consumption in your diet in second trimester. Add the following to your diet:
- Pulses – boiled
- Peanut butter
- Beans – soybeans, kidney beans, black beans
- Dairy products – Milk, curd/yoghurt, cheese
- Fish – Salmon, mackerel or sardines (not more than 2 servings a week)
- Lean meat – chicken, turkey or pork. Avoid liver.
- Eggs – a good source of protein source, but avoid raw and undercooked eggs
Avoid This Diet in Pregnancy Second TrimesterFor a safe and healthy pregnancy, you must also be careful of the kind of food you eat. So, here is a list of foods that must be avoided during the second trimester of pregnancy.
Foods with high mercury levels:Do not eat food that has high levels of mercury in it. Mercury is a toxic element that can harm your immune system, nervous system, brain development, and interfere with normal kidney and lung function. It also impacts your hearing and vision abilities. Avoid:
- Tuna (bigeye tuna)
- King mackerel
Organ meat:Avoid eating organ meat because it provides animal-based vitamin A, which is dangerous for your pregnancy. It may result in congenital malformations and miscarriage. Avoid eating:
Unwashed and undercooked food:
Avoid consuming unwashed, unpeeled and undercooked diet in pregnancy second trimester as it may be contaminated with bacteria, such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli. Always cook your food thoroughly to reduce the risk of infection and pathogens in food.
Unpasteurized cheese and milk:
Do not consume unpasteurized milk, juice and soft mould-ripened cheese because there is a risk of infection that can harm expecting mothers and unborn babies.
Smoking and drinking:
Avoid smoking and drinking in your gestation period. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US, expecting mothers who smoke are at higher risk of miscarriage than women who do not smoke.
Smoking may increase the probability of stillbirth, underweight babies, birth defects, such as cleft palate/ cleft lip and premature birth.
Drinking may affect normal brain development in babies, increase the odds of stillbirth and miscarriage.
Processed or junk food:
Replace your urge for junk and processed food with fresh and nutrition-dense food for a healthy pregnancy. Processed foods have more sugar, unhealthy fats and empty calories that may result in excess weight gain, gestational diabetes and birth complications.
According to the FDA, you need to avoid eating raw sprouts because it may increase the threat of eating food contaminated/infected with Salmonella bacterial. However, you can eat sprouts after thoroughly cooking them.
Restrict your caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The recommendation is based on an observation that caffeine can be easily absorbed and passed into the placenta. This may inhibit regular foetal growth and may result in low birth weight.
So, eat the right diet in second trimester to support the healthy growth of your unborn.