Homestretch! The third trimester lasts from 28 weeks to birth, and is a rapid time of growth for your baby. Here we are touching on some factors that play important roles in ensuring a healthy complete pregnancy and healthy babe.
A baby's weight triples during the third trimester, so there are some nutritional adjustments we recommend to ensure adequate dietary intake of certain important vitamins and minerals. We love looking into the role that nutrition plays in overall health. Important nutritional focuses during the third trimester are:
Protein: very important with the intense growth of babe. Protein is important during this time for a few reasons: it is composed of amino acids, which are the 'building blocks of cells' to help your baby's cells develop effectively, and adequate intake supports stable blood sugar levels to protect against gestational diabetes. Great sources for example are eggs, legumes, chia seeds, and quinoa.
Calcium: with the great growth of your baby comes the development of their bones, and they obtain this calcium oftentimes from the calcium stores in mother's bones so it is important to ensure enough calcium is present during the third trimester. Calcium can be found in sesame seeds, leafy greens, broccoli, almonds, salmon, and canned fish such as sardines.
Zinc: Zinc is important for immunity support and has been all the rage during COVID-19, but it is just as important for a mother and their developing baby! Adequate zinc will keep both healthy by ensuring that the baby's immune system is given the best chance to tackle bacteria in its new world! Dietary zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and hemp seeds!
Probiotics: later in this post we touch on the importance of probiotics, and supplementation is a great way to obtain them! From a nutritional standpoint, there are many foods that you can also incorporate into your diet to help with
During the third trimester there are a few supplementary changes that our ND's recommend to maintain balance and help prepare for a healthy delivery. What we often recommend is
- Continuing to take a Prenatal Vitamin: this is important to continue to provide a growing babe with many nutrients vital to growth and development.
- Continuing with Omega 3 but switching to a High DHA to support sensory, neurological and brain development. A high DHA formula is available at EASTND as sourced by out ND's.
- Iron: with iron we look into blood levels of ferritin throughout the pregnancy, as during this phase the baby's immense growth increases their demand for iron to build a healthy store and this is taken once again from the mother. Maintaining these stores is very important to ensure healthy delivery; low iron levels are associated with low-birth weight, risk of pre-mature delivery, and anemia.
- Probiotics: stabilizing the gut microbiota levels is important both mother and baby. Probiotics promote the balance of vaginal bacteria that is altered during the third trimester, and a healthy microbiome is associated with healthy immune function! We can't forget the benefits of probiotics on intestinal bacteria as keeping this levels balanced will help to control certain digestive symptoms associated with pregnancy as well!
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: can help to tonify the uterus to prepare for effective contractions during labor, and encourage labour by helping promote healthy blood flow.
Acupuncture is such a foundational part of our NDs' treatment plans; it is used throughout pregnancy and the third trimester is no exception! It is indicated in third trimester to prepare for labour and delivery, and it is recommended to start treatments at 36 weeks. Some of the benefits of acupuncture for labour prep are:
We want to ensure you feel comfortable and ready to enter this next stage of life, and provide many resources including:
Our ND's have taken extensive time to be able to provide you with recommendations that will help you have the best chances for a healthy pregnancy.
We explore information surrounding delivery options such as induction and c-section, what your options are if your care provider suggests any options that you do not understand, and how to feel confident in your choices and options! We love offering our holistic approach in conjunction with your primary care provider to ensure a confident and healthy pregnancy and delivery!
If you have any questions, or want to book in to chat with our ND's about how naturopathic medical care can fit into your plans, contact us at:
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