Aren’t you glad that your first trimester is finally over? Phew! The second trimester is a beautiful time and people call it the pregnancy honeymoon period. Chances are that by now all that annoying nausea, vomiting, headache, sleepiness, bloating and peeing will go away.
You will now feel more active, energetic and less anxious; it is during this magical trimester that you will begin to feel the baby’s movements. Believe me, nothing on earth beats that feeling! Towards the end of the second trimester, your belly will also start showing and people’s attention will once again be focused on your welfare.
What’s Happening With The Baby?
The aim of the second trimester is growth. By the fourth month of pregnancy, your baby is fully formed. Every organ, including brain, kidneys, spinal cord, eyes, toes, fingers, lungs and heart, is formed and fully functional.
The body works hard to calcify the baby’s bones and to fine tune all the organs. Therefore, your fourth month of pregnancy diet needs to be more growth promoting and nourishing. Here are some diet dos and don’ts for your fourth month of pregnancy.
[ Read: 5th Month Of Pregnancy Diet ]
The Fourth Month: What to Eat:
Here is a plan you can follow during the 4th month of pregnancy diet.
1. High Fiber:
This is the perfect time for you to start building a foundation for freedom from constipation in the later part of pregnancy and also after delivery. Make sure you add lots of fiber in your 4th month pregnancy diet and that too, in each meal. High fiber foods like whole grains, oats and green vegetables. Opt for iron fortified whole wheat bread instead of regular white bread.
2. Essential Fatty Acids:
Besides other things, the baby and your body need these acids to lower the risk of premature labor, low birth weight and mental and cognitive retardation in the baby. Ensure that your diet contains sufficient amounts of Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids by taking foods like fresh water fish, tinned tuna, nuts and olive oil.
3. Dairy Products:
Your body, and the baby’s, still needs increasing amounts of calcium. Your doctor will probably prescribe you a vitamin D and calcium pill on entering the fourth month of pregnancy. You can help your baby develop stronger bones by adding at least one liter on milk products per day. Have 2 glasses of milk or 500 gm of curd or 200 gm of paneer. These act as good supplements to your calcium medication.
[ Read: Benefits Of Milk During Pregnancy ]
If your nausea is gone, you can include meat in your diet; but do make sure it is washed and cooked very thoroughly. Undercooked meat may carry deadly viruses and bacteria. If you are tempted (or obligated) to eat out, order tandoori or roasted meat as it is sure to be cooked through and through.
Fresh fruits are a must throughout pregnancy as they have loads of vitamins and minerals; plus, they are high in water content and/or fiber. The reason why fresh fruits is the absence of preservatives and artificial coloring agents. The fourth month of pregnancy may trigger acidity and heartburn. Therefore, fresh seasonal fruits of different colors should be an integral part of your diet in 4th month of pregnancy.
6. Iron-Rich Foods:
The growth spurt of the foetus starting from the fourth month needs more iron. In addition, your body also needs to make 3-6 extra liters of blood for your pregnancy (hence the famed preggers glow!). An iron-rich diet helps you by making more blood and the baby by aiding better growth. Add foods like nuts, dhaals, eggs, dried fruits and whole wheat products to your diet. Also, consult your doctor before starting any iron supplements.
[ Read: Iron Requirements During Pregnancy ]
Fourth Month: What NOT to Eat:
Though the crucial first trimester is over and you can now look forward to your baby and its antics, there are still some precautions & foods that need to be avoided in your 4th month of pregnancy diet to ensure the safety of the baby .
1. Soft Cheese:
Often these cheeses are made from unpasteurized milk and may harbor harmful bacteria and viruses. Therefore, avoid soft cheeses of all kinds. You can always choose foods containing hard cheese as it has low water content. The low water content makes it less prone to disease causing microorganisms.
Maida or refined flour becomes a major dietary concern in the fourth month as it is difficult to digest and can cause painful constipation. Though constipation in itself is a minor thing, it can cause hemorrhoids post delivery. So, say no to foods like samosas, momos, noodles, etc.
3. Sea Fish:
As much as possible, avoid sea fish as they are loaded with methylmercury, a compound that can cause mental retardation in the fetus. If you cannot do without fish, go for fresh water varieties.
[ Read: Tuna During Pregnancy ]
4. Street Food:
Though it looks very tempting during your food cravings, street food must be steered clear of. There is no guarantee of the cleanliness and freshness of the foodstuffs and the containers. Street food can cause food poisoning and other water-borne diseases like typhoid. So, prepare a plate of that chaat, pakodis, anddahi bhalla at home itself.
5. Excess Of Dried Fruits:
Though a cup of dried fruits is good for you, avoid taking too many dried fruits during the fourth month of pregnancy. They are very rich and warm in essence, and for some women, can cause untimely contractions.
[ Read: Eating Dry Fruits During Pregnancy ]
Called mulethi in Hindhi, this otherwise wonderful herb can wreak havoc on the pregnancy by triggering contractions. Therefore avoid licorice and licorice extracts, and remember that some candies, toothpastes and Indian gravies also contain licorice.
The fourth month of pregnancy is a wonderful time to experience. There are so many new things going on with your body and attitude that this transformation seems almost magical. Do take these precautions, but at the same time – enjoy your pregnancy!
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