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Eating for Two in the Third Trimester

Nutritional needs for the final months of pregnancy.

Eating for Two in the Third Trimester

Congratulations mama--only a few more months until you get to meet your little bundle! You’re in the final stretch and are probably starting to feel a new wave of anxiousness and excitement as D-Day approaches. Hopefully you’ve been feeling well and took advantage of the extra energy and mobility that the second trimester brings. Now that the third trimester is here, let the nesting begin! (if it hasn’t already!)

At this stage, baby is going through his final phase of development and his internal systems are functioning and maturing. He is starting to prepare for life outside the womb by practicing his movement (i.e. kicking you in the ribs), his breathing (yes, those are hiccups!) and his exit strategy - those Braxton-Hicks contractions are getting your body ready for the real thing. So with about three months to go, what are the best ways to fuel up for the final push?

Here’s what you need:

1. Smaller meals. You may find you get full quickly these days and that is no surprise, considering your stomach has been forced into a much smaller space to make room for the growing baby. Switching to smaller, more frequent meals (if you haven’t already) will help with digestion and manage that pesky heartburn, which is one of the most common ailments at this point (you know, aside from just general discomfort). Avoiding spicy and fried foods can also help keep that fire at bay.

2. Healthy fats. Over the course of the next few weeks, baby will go through a final growth spurt and fat will begin to accumulate on his body. The healthy fat omega-3 is critical for baby’s rapid brain development happening at this stage, and the best sources are wild salmon, sardines and fish oil (which includes a type of omega-3 called DHA). If you can’t stomach fish, flax seeds and other plant-based sources such as walnuts are the next best thing.

3. Vitamins B, C and D. As baby starts to get himself ready to live in the outside world, he is storing up key nutrients, and he’s not afraid to pull them from you if he needs to. You should make sure to get plenty B, C and D vitamins to supplement your needs as well as baby’s. Fill your plate with leafy greens next to that piece of salmon and you’ve got yourself a meal packed with essential vitamins and nutrients for a healthy, growing, mom and baby.

4. Protein. For baby to continue gaining weight appropriately, mom should continue to pack her diet with protein in addition to healthy fats. The extra 25 grams will go a long way at this stage. With baby’s final growth spurt comes another increase in your hunger, so keep consuming those extra calories. You may need to stick to the higher end of the 300-500 range to feel satisfied.

5. Fiber. At this point in your pregnancy, your digestive system may feel out of whack and constipation can be an unfortunate result. Your intestines are working in less than ideal conditions, as they’ve been displaced to make room for the baby and space becomes more and more limited every day. Complex carbs such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain a healthy dose of fiber to keep things moving - and lest we forget they are body’s primary source of energy which you will need as the fatigue settles back in.

6. Rest. This one goes without saying, but now is the most important time to listen to your body. Make sure to stay active if your doctor gives you the okay, but as you put the finishing touches on the nursery and read “What to Expect” one final time, don’t forget to take the time to put your feet up and enjoy the quiet moments while they last.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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