North Central District Health Department

3rd trimester(28-40 weeks)

NUTRITION

Eating Healthy for a Healthy Baby Eating good foods is very important during the third trimester. You need to focus on foods from the Food Guide Pyramid. The baby will be growing the most now and a variety of nutritious food is important.

Weight Gain in Pregnancy

You can expect weight gain during the last 3 months to be more rapid. Remember the baby is growing from about 2 pounds to 7 pounds during this trimester.

Low Iron

The baby is growing rapidly now and may use the mom's iron stores. So make sure you take your iron and eat iron rich foods, such as WIC cereals, lean meats and dried beans. Vitamin C helps your body use iron. Vitamin C foods include WIC juices, oranges, and grapefruits.

YOUR BABY'S SAFETY

Cigarettes, alcohol and drugs It's never too late to start healthy habits. Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs can still hurt the baby.

Caffeine

Caffeine may harm your baby. It is best to limit your caffeine beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks) to about 2 cups each day.

Artificial Sweeteners

Nutrasweet, aspartame or saccharin are found in many sugarfree products. Pregnant women are advised to limit their intake of products containing nutrasweet and avoid those containing saccharin.

COMMON DISCOMFORTS OF PREGNANCY

Swelling

Some swelling is normal and to be expected. High blood pressure and other medical conditions may increase swelling and you should contact your doctor if you are having problems. Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.

Constipation

Increase foods that are high in fiber, such as raw fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, dried beans and peas. Increase liquids, such as water and juices. Regular exercise, such as walking, may help.

Heartburn

Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Cut back on fried or spicy foods. Avoid tight clothing and avoid lying down after eating.

EXERCISE

Walking will be the easiest exercise during this trimester. Check with your doctor about what is best for you.

Breastfeeding

Breast-milk is the best food for your baby. Some of the best reasons to breastfeed are shown below.

For Mother:

  • Warm, peaceful, happy.
  • May help in weight loss after delivery.
  • Always ready, no mixing or heating
  • Less expensive.
  • Safe, simple, natural feeding method.

For Baby:

  • Closeness between mother and baby.
  • Best nutrition.
  • Fresh, clean and right temperature.
  • Easy for baby to digest.
  • Less allergy problems.
  • Decreases illness such as diarrhea, constipation, breathing problems and earaches.

PRETERM LABOR

Having the Baby Too Early- Sometimes people will have early labor. Good weight gain, no smoking, lots of rest and plenty of fluids may decrease your risk of preterm labor.

Signs of early labor- cramps, with or without diarrhea, nausea or indigestion lower back pain or a change in the lower back pain feeling of pressure or aching in the pelvis, thighs or groin change in vaginal discharge trickle or rush of fluid from the vagina. IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS, CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR OR THE NURSE.