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Get Rid of the Junk from Your Third Trimester Diet

The third trimester for many women feels like the home stretch. However, thereís still important development happening for your baby Ė most especially brain development. At the end of your third trimester, your baby gains additional weight and size so that sheíll be healthier at birth. Youíll also need reserves of strength to carry you through the arduous process that is labor, and the days to come when youíll be recovering and caring for your baby. Unfortunately, the third trimester can also present eating challenges, as the increasing size of your baby and uterus can press against your stomach, making it harder for you to eat.

During your third trimester, you need to consume about 300 more calories each day. This is when youíll gain the most weight, but thatís to be expected. Donít attempt to diet during your last trimester, but do make sure that the weight you gain is from eating healthy foods, and not junk food.

Junk food is especially tempting during the third trimester. You may be tired and not feel like cooking, and itís all too easy to grab something from the store. You may also be anxious about the upcoming birth, and wind up choosing junk food as a form of self-comforting. Both of these behaviors will actually make things worse Ė junk food wonít give you the nutrients you need to create the energy you need and itís ultimately not comforting because it makes you feel worse for having eaten it.

When you need to grab something quick, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Add some cheese or another protein source, and your snack will have staying power. If youíre anxious, try talking with your partner, health care provider or a trusted friend who has also had children instead of reaching for cookies or chips. Itís normal to feel anxious about childbirth, but itís better to deal with your anxiety by doing something constructive, like taking a childbirth class, than by eating.

Youíll also feel better if you eat several small meals throughout the day rather than eating fewer, large meals. Your stomach will be a bit cramped toward the end of your pregnancy until your baby drops and smaller meals will be easier to tolerate.

One food you need to be sure to include in your third trimester diet is healthy fat. The last weeks before birth are when your baby's brain does most of its developing. You especially need essential fatty acids, including Omega 3s like DHA, which you can get from servings of fish and some nuts. You may also want to take a supplement if these foods donít appeal to you. To make this easier, you can now find essential fatty acid supplements made especially for pregnant and nursing women.

Keep eating the same healthy foods that you have during your entire pregnancy. You still need the lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats that youíve been eating during the first two trimesters. And remember to drink plenty of water Ė staying hydrated will help you to finish your pregnancy strong.

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