The 3rd month of pregnancy is the last one of the first trimester. In this month, you will need to follow a third-month pregnancy diet as you may not be able to have certain food items due to the heightened symptoms.
Common pregnancy side effects such as vomiting and nausea are at their peak during this period; hence, the food you eat should ease that discomfort. Besides, it should provide you with all the necessary nutrients for you and your baby.
Read on as we give you all the pieces of information about what you should and should not eat in your third month of pregnancy.
The 3rd Month of Pregnancy Diet: Foods To Eat
By the third month, your nausea, sleepiness and hunger will have elevated immensely. Luckily, this is the last month when you will feel nausea, so you can look forward to relishing food in the forthcoming month. Your nipples will no longer be sore and the cramping will also reduce. Your weight should start to rise a tad more quickly as well.
The bad thing is that the secondary symptoms such as irritability, food aversion, and smell sensitivity might set in. So here’s a to-do list of dietary recommendations for your third month (1)You can also seek advice from your doctor and prepare a first-trimester diet chart or a 1-to-3-month pregnancy diet chart to ensure optimum nutrition.
1. Vitamin B6-rich foods
Chances are your nausea is at its peak during this month, which can make you feel blue and fatigued. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 help a lot by reducing nausea and boosting your moods. Incorporate citrus fruits, eggs, green leafy vegetables and potatoes as a part of your prenatal nutrition to get a steady dose of this vitamin (2).
2. Fresh fruits
During pregnancy, it is best to stick to fresh fruits as the canned ones contain preservatives that can cause acidity. Fruits are an arsenal of vitamins and provide hydration. So choose fruits of all colors; they contain water, natural sugar fiber and antioxidants too.
Once enemies of your thin waistline, carbs now become a lifeline for your demanding baby. By adding whole grain and simple carbs like bread, atta, rice and potatoes to your diet, you can give a treasure of energy-boosting carbs to your baby. Remember, snacking on complex sugars (pastries, chocolate) is not recommended (3).
If you are a meat eater, now is the time to go berserk over them. Just make sure that the meat is cooked very well and is prepared with good hygiene. Beef, mutton, and fish (fresh water) are excellent sources of minerals, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and a whole lot of good taste. However, organ meats such as liver should be consumed with caution. The liver contains high levels of vitamin A, too much of which can be harmful to the developing fetus (4).
5. Iron and folate
These twin elements are so vital for the fetus that ignoring them can cause moderate to severe mental and physical retardation in the fetus.Make sure that your diet provides you with both and to do that, add folate and iron-rich foods such as beetroot, chikoo, oatmeal, bran, tuna (tinned), beans and meats (for iron) and oranges, potatoes, broccoli, eggs and greens (for folate) to your diet (3).
Zinc is an important element that helps in protein and DNA synthesis and helps improve immune function. It also helps produce insulin and other enzymes. Therefore, zinc is known to support healthy growth and development during pregnancy. It is recommended for pregnant women above 19 years to consume 11mg of zinc daily. Zinc intake may be improved by including meat, fish, and seafood in the diet. Oysters provide the maximum zinc per serving (cooked oysters contain about 28mg of zinc per three ounces). However, beef is more commonly consumed, and so it contributes to about 20% of zinc intake from food. It may also be obtained from poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products (5) (6).
6. Dairy products
This is true for your entire pregnancy, as well as for the time you breastfeed: Milk and milk products stored safely and pasteurized properly are your best bet for a healthy baby. The fetus needs calcium and minerals found in milk products, so don’t deny milk, curd, cheese and ghee (7).
Brittany, a mother of two, from the USA shares about her daily diet during her 1st trimester (three months of pregnancy). She says, “During the first trimester, I started with Decaf coffee, and my favorite peanut butter banana oats with a little granola on top. I drank plenty of water and then, I made a salad, totally embracing the fact that I actually liked vegetables during my first trimester because, with my first pregnancy, I wasn’t a big fan. I also had two clementines as a snack and had butternut squash turkey chili for dinner (i).”
Foods To Avoid During The Third Month Of Pregnancy
Soon, weeks 9-12 will end and you will be stepping into your second trimester. But beware, now you are in the most crucial and fragile stage of pregnancy. So, take no chances with your diet and follow your diet:
1. Junk food
Needless to say, junk food including burgers and pizza, chaat and tandoori chicken seem so very alluring during this phase. But, avoid them as much as possible due to the hygiene factor.
Seafood is a good source of nutrition but may harbor parasites and bacteria like Listeria, which is harmful to both mother and the baby. They should be thoroughly cooked before consumption. Preparations containing raw seafood, such as Sushi, Sashimi, or Ceviche, should be avoided (8). According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Listeria infection is the third leading cause of food-borne diseases induced deaths in the United States. Pregnant women are ten times more likely to get Listeria infection when compared to the general population. Moreover, pregnant Hispanic women are 24 times more prone to getting Listeria infection than others.
3. Tinned food
Be it tuna or peas, pineapple, tinned goods are laced with excess sugar and salt. They also contain artificial flavors and preservatives. Instead of a cocktail of synthetic food items, opt for natural and fresh food.
4. Unpasteurized dairy products
During this crucial month, protect yourself and your baby from infections like listeria and food poisoning by using only pasteurized milk products. Soft cheeses should be replaced with hard ones and try to use homemade milk products as much as possible (8).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What dry foods can I eat during pregnancy?
Many pregnant women claim that eating salty crackers or nuts helps in reducing morning sickness. However, these claims are anecdotal and have no scientific backing.
2. Can I drink milk daily during pregnancy?
Milk contains calcium and other nutrients, which are good for the growth of your fetus. Studies show that consistent milk consumption while pregnant may reduce the risk of lactose intolerance in your baby in the future (9) (10). However, milk should be consumed in moderation along with other healthy food.
3. Can I eat rice or bananas while pregnant?
The 3rd month of pregnancy diet must include foods rich in vitamin B6 to fight nausea and boost your moods now that your morning sickness, tiredness, and hunger pangs have increased significantly. Fresh fruits, meat, pasteurized dairy products, carbohydrates, iron, and folate-rich foods should also be included in your diet to ensure adequate gestational nutrition. However, avoid consuming seafood, junk food, canned foods, and unpasteurized dairy products. Though pregnant women are subjected to plenty of beneficial and harmful food advice, they should evaluate the information and consult a doctor before making any changes to their diet.
Infographic: Foods To Eat In The 3rd Month Of Pregnancy
In your first trimester, you must consume a nourishing diet, including various vegetables, fruits, grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, to ensure that you and your baby get the necessary nutrients. The infographic suggests a few dietary choices during the third month of pregnancy. Alongside these foods, it is critical to keep an adequate intake of fluids and refrain from consuming raw, uncooked foods.
- As the baby’s bones and muscles develop during the third month of pregnancy, it’s important for the mother to consume a diet that provides all essential nutrients.
- During the third month of pregnancy, mothers may experience weight gain, nausea, sleepiness, irritability, food aversion, smell sensitivity, fatigue, and hunger.
- Incorporating foods rich in vitamin B6, carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, proteins, iron, folate, and calcium can help deal with these symptoms.
- To promote fetal health and boost energy, mothers should consume pasteurized dairy products, vegetables, whole grains, beans, meats, eggs, and fresh fruits (including citrus fruits).
- However, junk foods, seafood, canned foods, and unpasteurized dairy should be avoided to prevent infections and unnecessary weight gain.
Nutrition is a crucial part of the third trimester. Learn how to nourish your body and baby with the right nutrition for a healthy pregnancy.
Personal Experience: Source
- Eating right during pregnancy.
- Natural Sources of Vitamin B During Pregnancy.
- Michelle A. Kominiarek; (2016); Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation.
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- Pregnancy Vitamins and Nutrients.
- Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Quick tips.
- People at Risk: Pregnant Women.
- Have a healthy diet in pregnancy.
- Anne Lise Brantsæter et al.; (2012); Does milk and dairy consumption during pregnancy influence fetal growth and infant birthweight? A systematic literature. review.
- An Essential Guide on What to Eat During Pregnancy.
- Vitamins supplements and nutrition in pregnancy.
- Nutrition During Pregnancy