The second trimester is a key development stage. During your second trimester, your baby’s organs begin to enlarge and mature. Your baby’s heartbeat is now audible and their fingers and toes are well defined. In your second trimester your baby’s bones, which were previously soft cartilage, begin to harden. Also, in this stage, you will be able to tell your baby’s gender on an ultrasound. As your baby is developing muscles; you will feel your baby begin to move like a light tapping or fluttering sensation. Their first movement is called quickening. By the end of your second trimester, your baby will be about 12 inches long and approximately 2 pounds. There are a few key nutrients that you need to include for the healthy development of your baby during the second trimester.
1. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for proper absorption of iron from plant foods. Vitamin C is known to boost immunity and aid in building strong bones. It is also needed for healthy red blood cells.
2. Bone Broth
Bone broth is a superfood as it’s full of essential nutrients. Such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that are needed for building strong, healthy bones. The gelatin in bone broth contains collagen that is important for connective tissue, fingernail and hair growth seen in the second trimester. Additionally, it provides amino acids such as glycine that is important for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and other proteins.
Broccoli is an excellent source of calcium. The calcium in broccoli has a higher bioavailability than dairy products; meaning your body can absorb the calcium from broccoli more easily. Calcium is mainly known to help create strong, healthy bones but it is also important in muscle and nerve cell function. If you are not consuming adequate calcium during pregnancy your baby will draw calcium from your bones leaving you with a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a saturated fat made of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). MCT oil is immediately converted into energy in your liver and may help you combat fatigue during pregnancy. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid which is known to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Therefore, it can support a healthy immune system to help keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy.
5. Grass-Fed Butter
Grass-fed butter contains fat-soluble vitamins (D, E, K2) that are often deficient in our diets. Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium to ensure strong healthy bones of your baby. Vitamin E is known to help your baby’s body form and use red blood cells. Vitamin K2 is needed for proper development of facial tissues and nervous system. Additionally, as your brain is 60% fat and the majority is saturated fat. The fat and cholesterol in butter play an important roll in the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens provide folate that is still an essential nutrient in the second trimester. Folate is required as your baby’s nervous system continues to develop. One study demonstrated that folate in the second trimester can reduce the risk of preeclampsia; a condition women can develop in pregnancy that is marked by high blood pressure and is often accompanied by a decline in liver and kidney function resulting in toxemia.
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Baby Center. http://www.babycenter.com/
Fallon Morell, Sally and Cowan, Thomas. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care. New Trends; Washington. 2013.
Fallon, Sally and Enig, Mary G. Why Butter is Better. http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/why-butter-is-better/
Georgieff, M.K. Nutrition and the developing brain: nutrient priorities and measurement. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2007; 85(2): 6145-6205.
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Simkin, Penny. Et al. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn. Revised Edition. Meadowbrook Press: New York. 2016.
Wen, S.W., Chen, X.K., Rodger, M., et al. Folic acid supplementation in early second trimester and the risk of preeclampsia. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2008; 198(1):45.e1-7.