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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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Third trimester: Having a healthy pregnancy

Eat well

It is important to eat well. Make every calorie count by eating nutrient-rich foods. During this trimester you need to be sure you are getting the protein and calcium both you and your baby need. For suggestions about getting these nutrients, see Weight gain and nutrition.

If you are gaining more than the recommended one-half to one pound each week, try cutting out "empty calories."

  • Replace soda with a little fruit juice added to sparkling water.
  • Snack on fruit, nuts, and vegetables dipped in yogurt.
  • Broil or bake meats rather than fry them.
  • Choose low-fat versions of dairy products.

Exercise

It is important to keep exercising. The additional weight you are carrying means you will need to adapt your routine. Use a slower pace. You should be able to talk while you are exercising. Be sure to warm up and cool down. Drink water throughout your exercise time.

Your growing baby and belly have changed your center of gravity and affected your balance. Consider riding a stationary bike rather than your regular bike. Walking and swimming are good exercises. They help reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles as well as improve your circulation.

Be sure to do pelvic tilt or rocking exercises each day. In addition, help reduce lower backache by wearing comfortable low-heel shoes. If you need to stand for a length of time, move around a bit every few minutes. Or, put one foot on a low stool or box to help keep a pelvic tilt. Switch feet every few minutes.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 08/22/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts