Diet in pregnancy - third trimester

Published on 19 August 2011

Good nutrition is essential throughout pregnancy and in the third trimester there is a window of opportunity when pregnant mums can prepare their body for giving birth, and also fuel crucial brain growth in their baby.

Diet in pregnancy - third trimester

How much to eat

The advised calorie intake is 2,200 per day during the last trimester and should include essential fatty acids, which boost the baby’s brain development.

How it helps your baby and your birth

Eating certin foods can have a really positive effect on your baby, your pregnancy and the birth!

Pregnancy and Fertility Expert Zita West says, “there is evidence that omega-3 may help prevent pregnancy-induced hypertension, and reduce the risk of premature birth, increases a baby’s birth weight, improves its IQ and visual and cognitive brain function and also helps prevent against heart disease.”

What to eat

What to avoid

-Fatty Acids: There are two types: linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3).

-Slow-releasing carbohydrates: wholemeal bread, pasta, cereals, bananas


Expert opinion

Midwife Nikki Khan, says “Pregnant women should opt for slow-releasing carbohydrates, wholemeal bread, pasta, cereals, bananas, rather than sweet processed food. In the last few weeks of pregnancy make sure your main meal of the day has good energy food.

"Going into labour, women will need snacks every hour. I always tell ladies to pack a tube of Dextrose tablets. You might not feel like eating, but a suck on a tablet and a squirt of water on the face can be very refreshing between contractions.

"Avoid sugary fizzy drinks - they can make you feel sick. And avoid fruit juice that is too acidic such as grapefruit. Grape juice is good as it’s non-acidic and high in sugar for a quick fix. Isotonic drinks can also be useful - preparing for labour is a bit like a running a marathon.”

More info:

Nikki Khan


Words by Naomi Majid

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