If you are moving into the final stretch of your pregnancy, the third trimester, for many women this feels like the longest phase of the pregnancy. After all, this is a stage that is increasingly awkward, there’s plenty of growth, it’s a busy time, you are preparing your birth plan, and there can be physical symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, and constipation that increase.
Nutrient needs are at the highest demand, as your baby triples its weight and size. Protein is needed for growth, iron for blood and cells, and the brain requires optimal nutrition to complete the developmental stage.
Zinc and magnesium are key during the third trimester. Increasing your zinc positively affects the cell division and DNA production. Most women are deficient in zinc even before they become pregnant. The RDA is 3 mg of Zinc daily for a pregnant woman. Good sources of Zinc include meat and oysters have the highest amount of Zinc of all foods. Zinc can also be found in plants and grains.
Magnesium is also very important, not only to the development of healthy bones and muscles, but also to the development of over 300 bodily enzymes that need Magnesium in order to function properly. While we many not normally need that much Magnesium the RDA for a pregnant woman is 320 mg. In studies, high levels of magnesium are linked to preventing premature birth and a lower risk of a slow growing fetus. Some foods that are high in magnesium include whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, seafood, and leafy green vegetables.
During your third trimester you will grow the most – in fact, you will put on an average of one pound per week as the baby grows and gets bigger. That’s about 12 pounds in the last trimester. If you’ve been eating a healthy diet all along and your weight, gain is on track that’s terrific!
Right now, your baby is converting the food you eat into nutrition it can use to provide for that rapid growth spurt as the end nears. Right now small meals more often is a better to help to keep your digestion optimal. You should also be eating foods that are high in fat content, which will keep things moving smoothly.
It’s not much longer now before you will have your baby in your arms so spend the next few months making sure that your baby is getting all the nutrients it needs – before long you’ll be many pounds lighter.