A Guide To Good Eating During Pregnancy - Second Trimester
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A Guide To Good Eating During Pregnancy - Second Trimester

Hopefully, by the second trimester you are starting to feel a lot better. Chances are your appetite has returned and for many mums the second trimester is the most physically comfortable. While the phrase “eating for two” is a little extreme at this stage you will require an additional 200 to 300 calories each day to support the growth of your baby – this equates to an extra small meal or snack. Light, nutrient rich snacks which contain roughly 200 to 300 calories include a tub of Greek yoghurt, a slice of wholegrain bread with avocado or some cheese and crackers. Excessive weight gain in pregnancy is associated with adverse outcomes for both mum and baby. Keep on top of your weight gain and check in with your midwife and obstetrician regularly to ensure you are gaining the right amounts at the right times during your pregnancy.


Generally speaking, the key nutrients required in pregnancy remain the same during this trimester as the first – with a focus on iron and calcium. If you eat red meat aim to consume a small 100g serve of lean meat at least every second day – and if you are feeling particularly tired, have your iron levels checked for deficiencies. For vegetarians – who are used to absorbing their iron from sources other than red meat – there is less concern about low iron levels. Remember that eggs, legumes such as baked beans and lentils, and wholegrain breads and breakfast cereals are relatively good sources of iron for vegetarians.


While you do not need extra calcium at this time – as the body becomes even better at absorbing it during pregnancy – be sure you are enjoying at least three serves of calcium rich foods each day. Milk, yoghurt and cheese are good sources and soy milk is perfect for non-milk drinkers. If you are a fan of the relatively new range of nut milks, keep in mind they contain far less calcium than dairy milk. As such you may need to ensure you are getting the 1000mg you require each day from other sources.

Omega 3

Trimester two presents a great opportunity to increase your consumptions of omega 3 fats. A high intake of omega 3 during pregnancy has been shown to help support brain development – improving cognitive development and increased fine motor skills of children. There is also early evidence to suggest a high intake of omega 3 fats is linked to a reduced risk of developing allergies. Foods rich in omega 3 fats include salmon, sardines and fresh fish. While it is important to be aware of not eating too much tinned tuna and large ocean fish – such as swordfish – tinned salmon and white fish can be consumed two to three times each week. Walnuts, soy and linseed bread, and enriched eggs are other good sources of omega 3 along with a pregnancy supplements containing fish oil.