Experiencing severe morning sickness during the first trimester of your pregnancy is normal. But during the second trimester, morning sickness will be lessened and you will start to gain an extra pound and begin to feel hungry. The second trimester of pregnancy (spanning 13 to 26 weeks) is all about the development of your bump and also your baby’s eyes, bones, and other body parts. At the end of the second trimester, the size of your baby will grow for up to thirty-five cm long.
Most importantly, eating balanced and healthy diet is essential that you should do for your baby and yourself (soon to be a mommy). It is important that you eat foods loaded with nutrients since your baby acquires nutrition from this food that you ingest.
Also, in this trimester, you should consume three hundred extra calories every day (your baby is growing! So she needs more for her development). In addition, proper choice of food that you are eating is essential, as it could be dangerous for your unborn baby’s development and growth if you picked unhealthy ones.
I want to emphasize to you soon to be mommy, that proper nutrition is very important during your pregnancy.
Healthy Diet for your Second Trimester of Pregnancy
A healthy diet must consist of:
Fat is essential and plays a very important role for yourself and your baby during breastfeeding and pregnancy. The fatty acid is important in the development of your baby’s brain. In fact, you must intake enough fats during your second trimester, because good consumption of fatty acid correlates with good birth weight.
In addition, consuming a few good fatty acids (HDL) can affect your baby’s birth weight and brain development (Omega Fatty Acids).
During your pregnancy, carbohydrates are essential because it is a good source of fiber and provide you energy. However, not all carbs are healthy, because some of these are converted into sugar, which is not good especially if you are suffering from gestational diabetes.
Most importantly, you should eat a minimum of 9 servings of carbs every day. Preferably, eat carbs that are made up of whole grains. Instead of white bread try to choose a whole wheat instead.
#3 Extra Protein
Because your unborn baby is developing rapidly, consuming healthy foods that are rich in protein is important. Your body must have sufficient amount protein because it is essential for processing the cell division that normally takes place during your second trimester.
#4 Prenatal Vitamins
During your pregnancy, taking prenatal vitamin can help in covering nutritional gaps in your diet. It contains many minerals and vitamins. Their iron, folic acid, calcium, and iodine are all important. These vitamins can prevent birth deficiencies particularly spinal cord and brain damage
Getting enough minerals like calcium and iron all throughout your pregnancy is important especially in your second trimester. Calcium helps in building strong bones and skeleton while the iron aids in creating new cells (red blood). RBC transmit oxygen to your baby and to your body thru placenta. During your pregnancy, it is also important that you intake at least one gram of calcium supplements or food every day.
#6 Plenty of water
Even though you’re pregnant or not drinking plenty of water is important. Your vital organs and your body need water in order to function well. However, during your pregnancy, you need plenty of water in order to manage the changing stresses of your body.
Water is important to preserve your body hydrated and to maintain healthy cells. Drinking plenty of water is not only important during your pregnancy, but also when you already gave birth. Since it is important for better lactation and a key factor of breast milk.
However, three different food groups must be included every meal to get the proper amount of nutrients.
Also, eating foods that are rich in other nutrients like vitamin D and manganese is important during your second trimester of pregnancy. These nutrients are essential in the development of your baby’s teeth and bones. Moreover, eating foods that contain oil (omega-3) is helpful in developing baby’s brain.
Foods that are listed below contain these nutrients
Green avocado offers many health benefits especially for pregnant women like you. Avocadoes are a good source of folic acid, which is important in developing your baby’s organs. Lack of folate can cause bone deformities, however, if you consume sufficient amount your baby will be free from neural tube deficiencies. Moreover, folic acid can also prevent complications such as anemia, lethargy, mood swings, preeclampsia, and depression. Sometimes, these complications occur during pregnancy.
It is also loaded with vitamins B2, B1, K, E, B6 and C, these vitamins are essential in the development of your baby and make you healthier.
Broccoli is a good source of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and nutrients. It also offers several benefits for your unborn child and for you. Broccoli is loaded with folic acid and iron. It prevents anemia and ensures normal hemoglobin count. It also makes your bones healthier and stronger, since it comprises of phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
Moreover, broccoli can also eliminate neurological deficiencies like Spina Bifida. That is why eating this vegetable during your pregnancy is essential.
Eating cabbage is harmless during your pregnancy, only if you cooked it properly. Because raw cabbage contains many bacteria which causes myriad disease. Also, it is better to eat organic cabbage to ensure that you and your unborn baby is healthy and safe.
Nonetheless, cabbage can give several health benefits, especially for pregnant women. Because it contains several essential nutrients like protein, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, manganese, vitamins B1, B3, B6, C and K. These nutrients are proven helpful during your pregnancy.
Pasteurized yogurts are safe to eat, that is why reading the labels is important before buying and tasting it. However, yogurt provides essential nutrients like probiotic and calcium. As we all know, if you are pregnant consuming the right amount of these nutrients is beneficial for yourself and for your unborn baby. Calcium found in yogurt make your baby’s bones healthy and strong. While the probiotics will make you feel better during your pregnancy.
Most importantly, pregnant women should not consume unpasteurized yogurt because it contains too many saturated fats and can it can harm your baby and you.
#5 Dried Fruit
Your unborn baby needs more vitamins and minerals in for healthier development. Fortunately, dried fruit is a good source of magnesium that aids in developing your baby’s bones and nerves, potassium that safeguards muscle control, vitamin C that helps in boosting your immune system and acts as antioxidants and vitamin A for healthier bones and teeth.
Aside from being vitamins and minerals, dried fruit is also a good source of dietary fiber and iron. Dietary fiber prevents constipation, which commonly takes place during your pregnancy and iron for proper blood development.
#6 Canned Sardines
Canned sardines are good to eat especially during your second trimester of pregnancy because they are rich in omega 3 and protein. Omega 3 prevents preeclampsia and support your baby’s brain development. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties this is very helpful especially if you are suffering from swelling and joint pains.
Eating sardines during your pregnancy will not give you extra weight since it only contains a few calories.
Moreover, the phosphorus, vitamin D and calcium found in sardines are important for your baby’s teeth and bone development. It also contributes in forming red blood cells since it is rich in vitamin B12.
#7 Peanut Butter
Peanut butter and peanuts are nutritious sources of antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Moreover, peanuts are also loaded with folate. These nutrients can aid in reducing the possibility of neural tube deficiencies in your developing baby.
Although some of you are afraid to eat peanut products during your pregnancy because you are thinking that your unborn baby will suffer from allergy. That is why consulting your doctor is recommended. But if you are not hypersensitive to peanuts, then enjoy and feel free to eat peanuts during your pregnancy.
#8 Sunflower Seeds
You can include sunflower seed on your pregnancy diets because it is loaded with nutrients like copper, selenium, zinc, calcium, iron, and folate that are essential for pregnant women. The folate found in sunflower seeds transmits oxygen from your lungs and aids in the development of red blood cells. However, lack of folate can trigger developmental conditions in your developing child.
#9 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are safe to intake during your pregnancy, they also hold many essential nutrients for your prenatal development. Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron that is helpful in carrying oxygen and producing red blood cells and B vitamins that is in charge of energy production. Aside from these nutrients these seeds also contain healthy fats and seeds. Both are them are responsible for the development of your baby’s brain.
Preparing and cooking your meals at home is helpful and to make sure that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet. But if you think that cooking is time-consuming or too difficult to do, consider making two dishes and placed it in the freezer. However, fresh foods are healthier for pregnant women like you.
In addition, you should also avoid eating eggs, raw meat and fish from unknown sources during your pregnancy period. These foods may contain mercury, this chemical element can harm your unborn baby. So, try to source this food on reliable sources, remember picking the essential nutrient is crucial for your baby’s development especially in the second trimester of your pregnancy.
Here's an interesting infographic from bestfoodprocessorguide.net