2nd Trimester Diet – Here’s What To You Should Include In Your Meal Plan!

Welcome into your second trimester. As you enter into your 4th month, your diet will also need to be modified, be it in terms of the calorie intake or the nutrients needed. As in the 1st-trimester diet article, we have in this article, mentioned the diet modifications that you should consider in your 2nd trimester.

Calories needed: 300 to 500 calories needed, or lesser! Speak to your dietitian and calculate the normal calorie intake that you need based on your BMI.

Specific mineral requirement:

1.Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important vital amine that helps in:

  • formation of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein that is essential for both the mother and child (more in the baby) in the formation of:
    • bones
    • skin
    • tendons
    • cartilage
  •  tissue repair and wound healing
  •  antioxidant
  •  fighting infection
  •  iron absorption (especially important in vegetarians)
  • Suggestion: it is recommended to have 80 – 90 mg/day of vitamin C while pregnant.
  • Food sources rich in vitamin C: Citrus fruits and organ meat like kidney, liver etc


2. Omega-3 & 6 (DHA):  Omega 3 (&6) is essential for the development of:

  • brain
  • nervous system
  • immune system
  • Suggestion: the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fat lies between the range of 2:1 and 4:1 is optimum
  • Food sources rich in vitamin C:
    • Non-vegetarian sources: seafood (fish, shellfish, lobster, oyster, etc)
    • Vegetarian sources: a variety of seeds (flax-seed, chia seeds), nuts (walnuts), oils, seaweed/algae


3.Magnesium: This micro-nutrient is essential for:

  • reducing cramps in the expectant mother
  • strengthening the growing baby’s bones
  • regulating insulin and blood sugar levels
  • functioning of enzymes
  •  relax muscles and help them to contract
  • prevents the uterus from contracting prematurely


  • Suggestion: expectant mothers require 350 to 400 mg of magnesium
  • Food sources rich in magnesium:
    • Wheat bran, oatmeal
    • Nuts like: almonds, cashews etc
    • Beans and legumes
    • Salmon
    • Banana
    • Avacado
    • Raisins
    • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds


2nd Trimester issue: Constipation

In the second trimester, you are more likely to suffer from constipation. In order to prevent constipation in the 2nd trimester, you can:

  • Increase =daily fluid intake (primarily water)
  • Incorporate 5 portions of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet
  • Limit refined carbohydrates
  • Incorporate wholegrain products
  • Have a high-fiber diet
  • Be physically active and adopt a low-risk exercise


Things to keep in mind while altering your diet:

  • Based on the increased in calorie consumption, based on your doctor/dietitian. You could add good fats in your diet like avocado, salmon, and fish liver oil, nuts, eggs etc in your diet to match the calorie requirement.
  • Pregnant women should avoid certain foods:
    • artificial sweeteners
    • refined sugar
    • caffeine
    • processed and preservatives foods
  • By the sixth month, the growth of the baby is impacted by the diet. Adding a lot of protein-rich food like chicken, eggs, fish,  tofu and the right kind of carbohydrates like food with whole wheat grains, oats, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, seeds & nuts etc helps in providing the mother with all that is required to help in the proper development of her growing baby
  • Include items which have a low-glycemic index
  • Space out meals, as this reduces vomiting and constipation. After having your meals, walking is also advisable
  • Speak to your doctor about any additional nutritional supplementation that is needed and takes it in a timely fashion




Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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