What is the best diet during the 2nd and the 3rd trimester?

What is the best diet during the 2nd and the 3rd trimester?

A balanced nutritious diet is necessary for a healthy mother and baby. A healthy diet ensures that the baby gets enough nutrients to develop correctly. Eating well will also prevent pregnancy complications, which include pre-term birth, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia.

At the time of pregnancy, women should ensure that they are getting enough vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to have a healthy growth of the baby. But, the body needs slightly more calories in the 2nd trimester.

Let’s see, what is the most important food to eat during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.

During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, women should not stop to eat a balanced diet. The following are the nutrients that a pregnant woman should follow.

Iron:  Iron will help in carrying the oxygen around the body. During pregnancy, iron supplies oxygen to the developing baby. If there is no iron in your diet, that could cause anemia. This will increase the risk of premature birth and postpartum depression. 27 milligrams of iron is recommended every day during pregnancy. This include:

lean meat


Cooked seafood

Beans and lentils

Leafy green vegetables

Fortified breakfast cereals

Whole-grain foods including bread and oatmeal.

The human body absorbs iron from animal meat products compared to plant-based sources. So, people who cannot consume meat can consume those foods which are rich in vitamin C. Sources of vitamin c include tomatoes, orange or orange juice, strawberries, etc.

Whole-grain foods including bread and oatmeal

Protein: While you are pregnant, people should eat at least 75 to 100 grams of protein each day which will help in the growth of the baby’s brain and other tissue. Protein will also be necessary for the growth of the mother’s uterus and breast. This includes:-

Lean meat

Tofu and tempeh




Peas, beans, and lentils.

Calcium: pregnant women should consume at least 1000 mg of calcium. If you are less than 18 years old,  it is recommended to consume at least 1300 mg of calcium daily.

Calcium will help in the growth of the baby’s bones and teeth and plays a vital role in the good functioning of muscles, nerves, and circulatory system.

This includes:-

Dairy (pasteurized cheese, milk, yogurt)




Sardines and salmon (with bones)

White beans

Greens, such as kale, turnip greens, and broccoli

Breakfast cereals and calcium-fortified fruit juice.

Folate: This is vitamin B. it is also known as folic acid. Folate is important during pregnancy as it helps in the prevention of neural tube defects, which includes spina bifida and will reduce the risk of premature labour.

A study suggests that folic acid decreases the risk of congenital heart disease. Before and during pregnancy women should consume 400 to 800 micrograms of folate or folic acid every day.

This includes:-

Fortified cereals

Black-eyed peas and other legumes


Whole grains, like rice

Dark green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, collard greens.

It will be a better option if folic acid supplements are taken before or throughout the pregnancy, as there is no guarantee that a person will get enough folate from the food sources.

Vitamin D: This will help in the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. It is recommended to take 15 mg per day. The human body can get vitamin D from the sun which will be necessary to meet some of the requirements. Studies show that more than 40% of people are suffering from vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sun exposure. This is not present in many of the natural food sources, but fortified food such as cereals, milk, contain vitamin D

This includes:-

Fatty fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel

Beef liver


Fish liver oils

Egg yolks

UV- exposed mushrooms

Fortified juices

Fortified juices or any other drinks:

Vitamin D supplements are also available in this and this is very important to those people who don’t have the exposure to sun or sunny climate.

Apart from these we also have

Omega 3 fatty acids which include fish oil, flax seeds, chia seeds

Fluids: You need more water to stay hydrated. Pregnant women should drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration and its compilations.

• The foods rich in Iron, proteins, calcium, whole-grain foods, folate, vitamin D, fortified juices and fluids are a must during pregnancy.
• Stress free and being cheerful is also very important.

During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, women should not stop to eat a balanced diet.


Whole-grain foods including bread and oatmeal



Cooked seafood

Beans and lentils


Malathi A Ganesh is a B. Com Graduate, NTT, M.A (Lit), PGDEA (PG in Education Administration), PGDCA (PG Diploma in Computer Application), DTE (Diploma in Teaching English), ICEPT (International Certificate in Education Preschool Teaching) from Singapore and B. Ed. She has been in the field of education for the past 20 years and has an experience of running her own pre-school She is the Founder & Director Academics of Smartkidz Educare India Pvt Ltd with 275+ play schools Pan India. She is an Educationist and a Child Psychologists by profession who wants to fulfill her dream of giving Quality Education to children in their earlier years. She is also into conducting positive parenting workshops, which talks about effective child rearing. She has conducted numerous parenting workshops in all her pre schools, schools and MNC’s.

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