Jumpstart your pregnancy nutrition in your 2nd trimester

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Eating well during your pregnancy helps ensure you and your growing baby obtain sufficient nutrients. It’s time to eat your way through a healthy pregnancy journey!

Now that you are in your second trimester and your appetite has returned, eating well at this stage of your pregnancy helps promote your baby’s growth and supports your health, mummy-to-be. With a much-improved appetite, you might find yourself hungry at odd hours and having specific cravings. So, what should you eat to meet your daily nutritional needs as a pregnant mum? We’ve got you covered to make second-trimester nutrition easy!

second-trimester nutrition

Eating a variety of food helps ensure your baby and your body enjoy the nutritional goodness from the different food groups to support your pregnancy.

#1: Load up on foods rich in essential nutrients for second-trimester nutrition

Contrary to old wives’ tales, pregnant mums should not be eating for two. A pregnant mum only needs an extra 200 to 300 calories per day during the first six months of her pregnancy, and that could be a bowl of soup or a muffin.

The key idea for second-trimester nutrition is to have a balanced diet by eating across the food groups to ensure that you obtain various vitamins and minerals needed to support your growing baby’s development.

At this stage, your baby requires specific nutrients like folate, calcium, iron, zinc and fibre to facilitate their physical and mental developments. Boost your intake of these nutrients by eating a variety of food to obtain goodness from different food sources.

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, asparagus, kale and collard greens are packed with folic acid. Load up on low-fat yogurt, reduced-fat milk, reduced-fat cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, tofu, almonds and broccoli for calcium. Consider mixing it up with colourful vegetables and fruits like purple cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, beetroot, broccoli, winter squash, blueberries and tomatoes which are rich in antioxidants and packed with vitamins A and C.

Lean beef is a great source of protein, iron and zinc. To spice up your variety of protein, you can opt for tofu, turkey, chicken, beans and dairy products.  Whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, eggs and nuts are also great sources of iron and zinc. Constipation during pregnancy is common; increase your fibre intake and remember to drink plenty of water to manage it. Pregnant mums can consume dark green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits such as dried figs and apricots (naturally dried), papaya, guava and prunes.

#2: Have a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Some food sources are essential for the baby’s development and also beneficial to the mother’s state of mind. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can help lower the risk of pre-term labour and post-natal depression. DHA is also important for baby’s brain and eye development, and nervous system while EPA benefits the heart and immune system. For pregnant mums, avocado, salmon, sardines and flaxseeds are some healthy foods that offers your daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.

second-trimester nutrition

Besides food, pregnant mums can drink milk, juices and soups for their dose of second-trimester nutrition.

#3: Drink your milk

Pregnant mums can opt for low-fat milk, UHT milk, organic soy milk as well as maternal milks that are formulated specially for pregnant mothers. Maternal milk can help pregnant mums meet their daily nutritional needs as they are high in iron and calcium to support the baby’s development of bones and teeth, while supplementing the mother’s own bone density to carry the baby to term. They are also fortified with folic acid, DHA and Gangliosides to help prevent abnormalities. Order your maternal milk from 1010 and have it conveniently delivered to your home. POSB Smiley CDA customers enjoy special discounts too!

#4: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) during pregnancy

Some pregnant mums turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat ailments like dizziness, tiredness and indigestion. For example, herbs like Wen Dan Tang regulate the function of the stomach and gallbladder and treat other symptoms like insomnia, dizziness or anxiety. Fu Ling or Poria is a Yin tonic that can be used to alleviate edema or swelling during pregnancy by preventing water retention and strengthening the kidneys, spleen and bladder.

However, not all TCM herbs are suitable during pregnancy, or if you have any underlying health concerns. Pregnant mums, seek medical advice from your gynaecologist or TCM practitioner before trying any new herbs or medication.

second-trimester nutrition

Before sipping on herbal soups, it’s best to check if they are safe for pregnant women as some herbs are not suitable for consumption during pregnancy.

#5: Foods to avoid

Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, and choose cheese made from pasteurized milk. Stay clear of fish and shellfish that might contain dangerous levels of mercury. Avoid raw food or undercooked poultry and meats as bacterial food poisoning during pregnancy can lead to serious complications. To stay on the safe side, always ensure hygiene during food preparation, and be sure to cook your food thoroughly before eating.

Follow these tips to keep on track with second-trimester nutrition!

second-trimester nutrition

The article is written in collaboration with POSB Smiley Child Development Account (CDA) to support parents in raising children in Singapore. The POSB Smiley CDA is a special savings account for your newborn with dollar-for-dollar matching from the government. With this account, you’ll be able to enjoy 2% per annum interest on your account, and  also enjoy exciting deals at over 40 selected merchants for families in Singapore.

Mums, what have you been eating as part of a healthy pregnancy diet? Do share with us!!

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