Your morning sickness has probably subsided by now, and you have entered the best period of your pregnancy, the second trimester, where there are very little restrictions and a lot of pampering. However, this is a very crucial phase as the baby grows the most in this phase, and how he will grow will depend upon the nutrients that you intake. Hence the 4th-month pregnancy diet should contain all the nutrients that are crucial for the baby’s growth and development.
In planning the 4th-month pregnancy food, your focus should be on what to eat and how much to eat. It is important to note that excessive eating will only add up to your weight but will never contribute to making your baby grow faster. Hence it is crucial that you strictly adhere to a balanced diet which includes sufficient quantity of fibre, calcium, iron and folic acid so that baby can get all the nutrition required for its healthy growth and development.
4th-Month Pregnancy Diet Chart:
It is crucial to plan your diet in the second trimester. The following are the list of nutrients that should be a part of your 4th-month pregnancy diet food.
- Iron-rich food – The blood volume increases in the 4th month. Increasing the quantum of iron in food is crucial to meet the increased iron requirements in the blood. Foods that are rich in iron include tofu, soybeans, fish, meat, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seed, dry fruits and eggs.
- Fibre-rich food – During the 4th month of pregnancy, the progesterone hormone slows down the digestion process while the uterus begins to grow to accommodate the growing baby who ends up in constipation. Eating fibre-rich food will ensure that you have a smooth bowel movement. Foods that are rich in fiber includes cereals such as oatmeal, barley, bran, seeds such as flax seeds, chia seeds, dry fruits such as almonds, pecans, pistachios and vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, sweet corn, Brussels sprouts, green peas and fruits such as raspberries, figs, strawberries, bananas, apples and pears.
- Calcium-rich foods – For strong bones in the baby, it is important that the body is supplied with a sufficient amount of calcium. Foods from which you can get calcium are milk, almonds, cheese, yoghurt, broccoli, and okra.
- Proteins and carbohydrates – Proteins act as the building blocks of tissues and muscles and carbohydrates provides energy to the body. Protein-rich foods include legumes, nuts, lentils, meat, chicken, etc. while carbohydrates can be reaped from dals, whole wheat roti, and starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta.
See More: Diet During 5Th Month Of Pregnancy
4th Month of Pregnancy Diet What To Eat?
Calcium is an essential nutrient for the proper growth and development of the baby. Milk is one of the nutrients providing maximum amount of calcium. You should incorporate good amount of dairy products on a regular basis. Food items like milk, curd, low fat cottage cheese are good supplements of calcium. You should check the amount of fat before consuming them.
Consumption of meat is only possible in absence of nausea. Include meat in the daily diet in 4th month of pregnancy after it is gone. It is very important to consume meat which is cooked very properly under hygienic conditions. Meats which are undercooked can carry various bacteria at times. The most important nutrient supplied by meat is iron. Intake of iron is very beneficial for the baby’s growth.
It is very important to add optimum amount of fiber in your daily diet. Food items like whole grains, wheat bread and oats contain good amount of fiber. You can include fiber in your diet during 4th month of pregnancy’s it is very advantageous. It is recommended to have fibereach day of at least 25 grams. It helps in reducing constipation and also lowers blood pressure.
They are all high in their content of vitamins and important minerals. There are instances of acidity or heartburn during this month. Hence it is most advisable to consume fresh fruits of all kinds. Fruits like cantaloupe, strawberries, apricots, grapes etc provide the baby with optimum vitamins and minerals. It helps in keeping your baby healthy. Fruits also induce development of your baby.
Food Items Rich In Iron:
Iron facilitates growth of your foetus and this month demands increased amount of this nutrient. Iron also helps in the production of blood in your body. It is very important for your body to produce extra 3-6 litres of blood during pregnancy. Thus consume meat, green leafy vegetables, whole grain in large number to facilitate blood production.
Along with the above mentioned food items, you should also have food items having fatty acids like olive oil, nuts and fresh fish. This is one of the most important 4month pregnancy food which is highly important for reducing pregnancy risks. Risks related to premature labor, low weight during birth are reduced due to the intake of these acids. Risks associated with any kind of cognitive and mental retardation is also reduced.
We get amino acids from protein and this is the main constituent in the development of body cells. Optimum quantity of food items containing protein like chicken, beans and eggs should be eaten regularly. This will ensure optimum supplement of amino acids to your body. Thus include protein in your regular diet.
Whole grains are responsible for supplying energy to the body. You also get fiber, B Vitamins and iron from whole grains. Include it in the diet of 4th month of pregnancy food for your well being. They are real sources of energy for your baby and also help in building the placenta. You should try having whole grains of at least 48 grams each day.
Consumption of vegetables during pregnancy leads to a number of long term benefits. It should be included in the 4th month of pregnancy diet because of its health benefits. It also helps in reducing any risks associated with health complications or any kind of diseases. Vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, spinach, broccoli, turnip etc are great for pregnancy period.
Beans and Lentils:
Beans and lentils are well known for their nutritional value. They contain folic acid, iron, protein and fibre in large numbers. It helps in preventing birth defects. A common problem during pregnancy is constipation and this can be tackled by lentils as they have fiber. It also reduces migraine pain and stress during the period of pregnancy.
See More: 3 Month Pregnancy Food
4th Month of Pregnancy Diet What Not To Eat?
One of the most important food items that should be avoided in pregnancy is soft cheese. As they are made from milk which is unpasteurized, they might contain bacteria. As they have water content low, thus there are less chances of any disease caused by microorganisms. You can have foods which contains hard cheese.
Junk Food/ Street Food:
Having junk food or street food is one of our bad habits and while pregnancy it is the worst. The hygiene factor is low and contains excess amount of fat. Controlling your weight during pregnancy and post pregnancy is very important. Consumption of street food can also induce food poisoning and also other diseases.
You should avoid consuming sea fish during this period because it contains methyl mercury. This is a compound which often causes mental retardation. Thus sea fish should be avoided to prevent any kind of birth related risks. Fishes like white tuna should be avoided completely as they have high level of mercury.
This often crosses the placenta and has adverse effects on the heart rate of the baby. It majorly gets injurious to the health when you have more than 200 mg of caffeine in a day. Though moderate amount of caffeine does notaffect your health but prolonged consumption in large numbers is harmful.
Alcohol affects your baby much more than it does to you. Consumption of alcohol gives rise to disorders like fetal alcohol spectrum. It can cause various birth defects and thus should be avoided at all costs. The alcohol enters in the blood of your baby and thus causes adverse effects on your child.
Indian Diet Plan for 4th-Month Pregnancy:
The following is a sample Indian diet plan for 4th-month pregnancy. You can do additions and alterations as per your requirement. The diet here is divided into 6 smaller meals, and a variety of products have been incorporated:
Any of the following is equally nutritious, and a must have as a pre-breakfast.
- A glass of A2 cow milk.
- Almond milk.
- Dry fruits.
- Apple juice.
- Tomato juice.
- A healthy breakfast for 8th-month pregnancy could be.
- A bowl of fresh fruits.
- Vegetable Daliya.
- Oats porridge.
- Whole wheat butter toast with omlete.
- Stuffed paratha with curd.
- Vegetable sandwich.
- Bambino Upma.
- Mid-morning snack.
- Any type of soup such as:
Carrot, beet and drumsticks soup.
Lunch should be any one or a combination of the following:
- Roti with a bowl of vegetables, dal and rice.
- Paratha with a bowl of vegetables, dal and rice.
- Stuffed paratha with a bowl of curd.
- Dal tadka and jeera rice.
- Chicken soup with rice.
- Curd rice.
- Corn cheese sandwich.
- Stuffed idli.
- Vegetable Cutlet.
- Cheese or vegetable sandwich.
- Peanut chat.
- Vegetable uttapam.
- Vegetable upma.
- Dal, rice and green salad.
- Roti, Dal, khichdi.
- Vegetable khichdi.
- Stuffed paratha and a bowl of curd.
See More: Diet During First Month Of Pregnancy
Supplements during 4th-month pregnancy diet:
Your doctor will guide you towards what supplement you should be taking looking at your condition. The following are the supplements that one needs to take during pregnancy.
- Iron Supplement – This is one supplement that the doctor recommends to every pregnant lady. The iron supplement will assure that the body gets sufficient blood and you don’t feel low on energy.
- Folic Acid – This supplement is a must for every pregnant lady to avoid any type of , especially in the neural tube. This supplement, however, will be prescribed only after you have completed 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Any other supplements, if required, will be prescribed by the doctor depending upon your medical condition such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, anaemia, etc.
Weight gain during 4th-month pregnancy:
During the pregnancy, one needs to gain a total of 25-30 pounds, which can be divided as 2-4 pounds during the first trimester and after that 1 pound per week. So during the 4th month, one needs to ideally put on 1 pound per week that is 4 pounds in total. However, if you are overweight, then your doctor might advise you to put on a little less.
Some additional tips for 4th-month pregnancy diet:
Staying alert and aware while consuming any food during pregnancy is very important to have an uncomplicated pregnancy. These tips will help you manage your eating habits during pregnancy:
- Consult your doctor before starting with any new food during pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different, and so will be the eating pattern. The food that might suit one may not be the right choice for the other.
- If after eating any food you feel uncomfortable or get some allergic reaction such as rashes then avoid eating such food again until you check with your gynaecologist.
- Do not give up on ghee with the fear of gaining weight. Some amount of fat is required for the development of your baby, and hence you should consume a little portion each day.
- Do not forget dry fruits in your daily diet.
- Eat at home and try avoiding outside food for hygiene purpose.
- While eating out a check on the ingredients used in preparation before ordering.
- Do not stay hungry. Eat smaller portions but eat at least 6 times a day.
In a nutshell, 4th-month pregnancy diet is very crucial as the baby’s growth and health will depend upon what foods you eat during this trimester. Remain alert, eat healthily, avoid junk and street food and rest assured you and your baby are going to be fine and healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:
Q1. What a pregnant woman should not eat?
Ans: The following are the foods that a pregnant woman should avoid during pregnancy:
- Liquorice – It could end up in a lower IQ in your child.
- Refined flour – A lot of refined flour in the diet will lead to constipation.
- Ocean fish – They contain a high level of mercury, which can damage the brain cells of the fetus.
- Raw eggs or undercooked meat – Raw eggs or undercooked meat may contain a type of bacteria called Salmonella which may lead to food poisoning.
- Chinese food – Chinese food contains MSG, which is a big no for a pregnant woman.
Q2. What should I do during the 4th month of pregnancy?
Ans: The 2nd trimester is the best as well as the most crucial period of the pregnancy as the baby grows maximum in this period. The following things done in the 4th month of pregnancy will aid you to stay fit:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a lot of seafood
- Eat small portions of food frequently
- Enjoy sex
- Get a flu shot to prevent catching any disease
Q3. What changes occur during the 4th month of pregnancy?
Ans: During the 4ht month of pregnancy, the breast size increases due to the hormonal changes. There can be an increase in constipation and bloating due to excess production of a hormone called progesterone in some. Some women can also experience heartburn.