As you move into your 6th month of pregnancy, you will notice that your developing baby grows more used to a routine of activity and rest. Meanwhile, you yourself will experience a host of bodily symptoms from hands and feet swelling to lower back pain, gastric issues, increased vaginal discharge and even bleeding gums.
Foods to Include in 6th Month of Pregnancy Diet
You will have begun experiencing hunger like you haven’t felt it before – both frequently and intensely. Here is a list of what to eat in 6th month of pregnancy
1. Vitamin C
Due to the high volume of blood in your body at this stage of pregnancy, you may begin experiencing bleeding from your gums. If the condition worsens, it could lead to gingivitis. Consume a high amount of Vitamin C during this month as it is essential in repairing and maintaining connective tissue all over the body including tissue that binds teeth to the gums and the jaw bone.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and tangerines are rich in Vitamin C. Other sources are strawberries, grapes, cabbage and sweet potato.
The further your pregnancy progresses, the more you are vulnerable to constipation and indigestion. In certain studies, it has been seen that about 85% of women could experience haemorrhoids during the course of pregnancy. Fibre, found in vegetables is always an essential part of 6th month of pregnancy food chart as it provides roughage which aids regular, healthy bowel movements.
Along with providing good amounts of fibre, different vegetables are rich in various types of vitamins and minerals.
Remember that as a pregnant mommy, you are not just eating for two but also drinking for two. Staying hydrated requires a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. In addition, you should also get some smoothies and juices into the mix for your overall wellness. Staying hydrated is one of the underrated elements discussed when talking about food for 6-month pregnant woman. Fighting constipation is essential, so drink up!
4. Folic Acid
Folic Acid is a complex vitamin. It is necessary for the building of new cells. It is especially important to incorporate sources of folic acid into foods to eat during the second trimester as your foetus’ brain undergoes rapid development towards the end of 24 weeks.
Foods rich in folic acid are whole grain bread and cereals, green vegetables (broccoli, spinach and lettuce), flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds. It is also found in certain fruits and vegetables such as okra, peas, grapes and bananas.
Being the building blocks of cells, protein is always welcome. Also, unlike carbohydrates proteins do not readily convert into fats to be stored for later use.
Foods rich in protein are dairy products, eggs and lean, white meat. Other sources of protein that are very healthy are legumes and pulses.
Like proteins, carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for daily life. Carbohydrates are burnt by the body for energy. Excess carbohydrates are converted to fat and stored in cells.
Refined carbohydrates like polished rice (without the husk) and white bread quickly break down into sugars, leading to spikes in blood glucose level. Hence it is wise to stick to whole grain bread and brown rice. Wheat, oatmeal and cereals are also good sources of carbohydrates.
Fruits provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and essential roughage to help digestion. Also, since water is a major constituent of most fruits, it helps you stay hydrated.
Consuming a large variety of fruits can help ensure you are getting all the micronutrients you require. For example, Pears contain phosphate, vitamin C, potassium and copper; Apples contain antioxidants, B-complex, iron and phytonutrients; Bananas contain potassium, B-6 vitamin and vitamin C, etc
Foods to Avoid during Sixth Month of Pregnancy
There are foods that are part of the course normally, that could have adverse effects on your and your baby’s health during pregnancy!
Craving for raw seafood, such as sushi, has been reported by pregnant moms. Most seafood contains trace amounts of mercury as compounds containing mercury (methylmercury) are not easily decomposed in saltwater but are broken down by the action of vegetative matter in freshwater. While adult bodies may not be affected adversely by small amounts of mercury, it is best to avoid contact during pregnancy as your baby’s brain is still in its early stages of development.
High caffeine intake has been linked to restlessness and sleeplessness in newborns. Caffeine intake by the mother will increase the foetus’ heart rate and increase its chance of developing a dependency. Also, since a foetus has no developed system to detoxify, the caffeine stays in its system for longer than it may for a grown up.
Phytoestrogens are compounds found in Soy and certain herbs used to boost fertility. Phytoestrogens take on the role of natural estrogen and bind with estrogen receptors. This makes it a useful ad for women attempting to conceive. However, if you are already pregnant, these false hormones can adversely affect the development of your baby’s brain, sexual organs and immune system.
4. Fast Food
Lots of pregnant women report getting a sudden craving for greasy fast food. Indeed, lots of people in general, male or female, pregnant or not, get sudden cravings for fast food! The high amount of calories in fast food can cause your blood glucose levels to spike and later, drop. These extremes can cause irritability, tiredness, and in the long term, impairment of vital organs.
Fast food can contribute to “gestational diabetes”, which is a condition where pregnant women develop a high blood sugar level. If left unchecked this could lead to permanent health issues in their children.
5. Undercooked Meat
Always make sure, when eating chicken or other meats, to consume only well-cooked food. If undercooked, bacteria is Listeria Bacterium, found in meat could be transferred into your body, causing Listeriosis. Listeriosis is food poisoning that can result from eating contaminated vegetables, undercooked meat and unpasteurised dairy products. In pregnant women, it can lead to miscarriage.
6. Spicy Food
Spicy foods are not unsafe for your growing baby. However, during the later stages of pregnancy, it can cause heartburn, indigestion and general discomfort; all of which, pregnant women are prone to.
7. Alcohol and Tobacco
It is well known that tobacco and alcohol should be avoided at all times and need to be completely avoided during pregnancy. In fact, avoiding these drugs is recommended even when trying for conception! These drugs can severely retard the development of your foetus.
Diet Tips for 6 Months Pregnant Woman
- Avoid taking any over-the-counter medications.
- If there are regular medications that you take, it is of the utmost importance that you consult with your doctor on their use during pregnancy.
- Cravings are a natural part of pregnancy! Create a habit of indulging in healthy cravings like fruit and vegetables!
- Craving for greasy fast food is normal during pregnancy and otherwise. Only indulge these cravings once or twice a week and try to keep it down to small portions.
- Satisfying a craving is hard work. After finishing a small portion of fast food or other oil and grease heavy food, do not refill your plate immediately. Sitting down and waiting for 4 minutes or more can curb your desire to get a refill, as it takes some time for your stomach to signal to your brain that it is full and doesn’t need refreshment.
A balanced diet leads to a healthy mommy, and a healthy mommy creates a healthy baby!