Diet for second trimester of pregnancy

Diet for second trimester of pregnancy

It must be stressful and overwhelming during this coronavirus outbreak and lockdown waiting for your baby to arrive and if you’ve just noticed pregnancy symptoms, we assure you this article won’t add on to your stress. Before you start looking for baby girl names, or even for boys for that matter, you need to know a bit about your 9-month long pregnancy period especially now that you are in the second trimester of pregnancy and most importantly your pregnancy diet chart because health comes first mommies. You might already have a lot of questions like :

What are the vitamins that you need to consume?

What are the iron-rich foods?

Can egg be considered as a protein-rich food during pregnancy?

What are the carbohydrates, minerals, iron and calcium-rich foods?

Is meat allowed?

How much water should I drink?

Is coca-cola allowed? Am I allowed to booze?

Okay, let’s not get carried away. So we have a complete guide of foods you need to include in your diet for the second trimester of pregnancy.

Iron during the second trimester

Iron-rich foods

Iron helps in carrying oxygen around the body. During pregnancy, iron supplies oxygen to the developing baby.

A diet deficient in iron could cause anemia, which surges the risk of pregnancy complications, such as postpartum depression and premature birth.

The recommended amount of daily intake of iron during pregnancy is 27 milligrams .

Sources of iron are as follows:

  • cooked seafood
  • lean meat
  • nuts
  • leafy greens
  • beans and lentils
  • breakfast cereals
  • whole grains, including bread and oatmeal

 Iron is absorbed more efficiently from animal products than from plant-based sources.

So, vegetarians can boost absorption by eating foods that contain vitamin C as it compensates.

Some of the sources of vitamin C are oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Women should try to avoid eating iron-rich foods along with calcium-rich foods and supplements together as Calcium decreases iron absorption.

Protein during the second trimester of pregnancy

protein-rich foods

Women should goal to eat around 1.52 grams/kilogram of body weight every day to help the baby’s brain and other tissues to grow. For example, a woman who weighs 80 kg should try for an intake of 122 g of protein daily.

Protein is also essential for the development of the woman’s uterus and breasts.

Sources of protein are as follows:

  • lean meats
  • nuts
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • cooked fish
  • eggs
  • peas, beans, and lentils

Calcium during the second trimester of pregnancy

The pregnancy diet chart allows an intake of 1,000 mg calcium during pregnancy. In the case of adolescent pregnancy, one should try to consume 1,300 mg of calcium on a daily basis.

Calcium aids the baby’s bones and teeth, and also plays a role in the smooth functioning of the nerves, muscles,  and circulatory system.

Calcium-rich foods are:

  • Milk, yoghurt and pasteurized cheese
  • almonds
  • Eggs
  • white beans
  • tofu
  • sardines
  • salmon
  • greens, such as broccoli, kale, and turnip greens
  • calcium-fortified fruit juices
  • breakfast cereals

Folate during the second trimester of pregnancy

Foods that contain folate are whole grains, oranges, and leafy greens.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and it is a B vitamin.

Folate is important during pregnancy as it helps in preventing neural tube defects and decreases the risk of premature labor.

Some studies also suggest that folic acid significantly decreases the risk of congenital heart defects.

An ideal intake for pregnant women should be 400 to 800 micrograms (mcg) of folate or folic acid on a daily basis.

The best sources of folate include:

  • oranges
  • fortified cereals
  • black-eyed peas and other legumes
  • dark green leafy vegetables
  • whole grains

Folic acid supplement or prenatal vitamin can be taken to meet the daily requirements of folate.

Vitamin D during the second trimester of pregnancy

Vitamin D helps in building a growing baby’s bones and teeth. The recommended intake of vitamin D during pregnancy is 600 International Units/day.

Some of the daily needs can be met by sun exposure.

Vitamin D is absent in a lot of natural foods, but fortified foods, such as cereal and milk, comprise vitamin D.

Best food sources of vitamin D are:

  • fatty fish, such as fresh tuna, salmon, and mackerel
  • fish liver oils
  • egg yolks
  • beef liver
  • UV-exposed mushrooms
  • cheese
  • fortified juices and other drinks

Vitamin D supplements can come handy for people who don’t live in tropical areas.

Omega-3 fatty acids

omega-3 fats contain vital fatty acids that support the heart, eyes, brain, immune system and central nervous system of both mother and the baby. It may avert early delivery, lesser the risk of developing preeclampsia and reduce the prospect of postpartum depression.

An recommended daily intake of omega-3 fats through diet during pregnancy is 1.4 grams.

Omega-3 fatty sources are:

  • oily fish, including salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines
  • fish oil
  • chia seeds
  • flaxseeds

A form of Omega 3 fatty acid is present in seeds that the body needs to change before it can utilize it.

Vegetarians might have to take algae-based supplements to meet the omega-3 requirements during the second trimester of pregnancy.


Pregnant women need more water than normal people to stay hydrated. Water helps in forming the placenta and the amniotic sac. Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to complications, such as neural tube defects and reduced breast milk production.

It is recommended to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration and its related pregnancy complications.

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Foods to avoid during the second trimester of pregnancy

A person should avoid the following foods throughout the second trimester of pregnancy:

  • raw meat, fish and eggs
  • fish with high mercury levels, including swordfish, tilefish, shark, and king mackerel
  • unpasteurized dairies
  • soft cheese (Brie, blue cheese, and feta)
  • processed meats and seafood

Women should dodge alcohol throughout pregnancy as it is not safe. All types of alcohol can be harmful and may cause miscarriage, stillbirth and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (conditions causing physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities).

Caffeine can be consumed in limited amounts. It is safe to consume 150 to 300 mg/day, although it is suggested that pregnant women avoid caffeine as much as possible.

An 8-ounce cup of coffee comprises around 95-165 mg of caffeine, and a 6-oz portion of black tea comprises almost 45 mg of caffeine. Cola drinks, green tea, chocolate, and some medications also encompass caffeine.

So plan out your pregnancy diet chart including all these nutritious foods this quarantine. Happy second trimester of pregnancy! Stay home, stay safe!

Comments (2)

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