This is the month you’ve been waiting for – the golden number nine! Since the first day you discovered that you were pregnant, this is the time that you have been expectantly looking forward to.
Being your last month, you know your due date, but remember, your baby can come out any time now! You may be experiencing a feeling of elation and slight fear of the unknown, but it’ll be something so special to you, soon-to-be-mommy, to have your baby in your arms. Now that you are busy with the final preparations, it is very important to not lose interest in your diet. The baby will be growing at a fast rate during the last 4 weeks and you still need a good balance of quality and variety of food.
I gained almost 12 kg till now, is it too much? You can expect to gain about half a kilo weekly during this month, so if you deliver after 4 weeks, you’ll have gained about 14 kg. And if you are of average build, your weight gain too will still be within average; which is between 11 and 15 kilograms.
Detailed below are the general tips for healthy nutrition during pregnancy:
- Divide your meals into 5-6 instead of 3 large ones which can make you feel uncomfortable. It’s also important to avoid having an empty stomach for long periods.
- Consume foods rich in calcium like low fat milk and dairy products to keep your bones strong and to help you produce milk to breastfeed your newborn a few weeks later.
- Drink plenty of fluids to reduce swelling, which may be at its worse during this month.
- Avoid fried and high-fat foods and sweets to prevent gaining too much unnecessary weight. These are high in calories and low in nutrients, so they will be of little benefit to you or your baby. Additionally, these foods can also cause heartburn.
- Instead eat healthy sources of fat such as nuts and seeds in moderate amounts.
- Have more fresh vegetables and fruits which are rich in essential nutrients and fibre that help prevent constipation.
- Reduce your intake of salt and similar foods such as canned foods, salted nuts, pickles and chips, which can make you retain water.
- Swap white bread with brown or whole-wheat bread, because it is rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy fibres that you need.
- Consume protein regularly, such as meats, milk and dairy products, eggs, and legumes (chickpeas, lentils and beans). Meat, legumes and green leafy vegetables also provide you with iron to prevent iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy.
- Have 2 servings of fatty fish a week such as salmon or mackarel that are rich in omega-3 fats needed for a healthy baby brain development.
- Make sure you take your vitamins and minerals supplements prescribed by your doctor and at the same time aim to eat a variety of food in order to get these minerals and vitamins naturally.
- Avoid raw or half-cooked meat or meat organs, or unpasteurized cheeses – as these may contain harmful bacteria.
I’ve heard that walking is good for me during pregnancy, is that true? Yes, walking will help reduce swelling, constipation, and symptoms of heartburn, and will also prepare you for an easier delivery.You will soon be entering a very special stage of your life and we wish you the best of luck for a healthy and a happy pregnancy, full of nutritious food and light activity. Remember, the phase ahead is very important and requires that you be prepared for delivery and then for the joys of motherhood and breastfeeding. Congratulations mom!