Whether you spent the first three months of your pregnancy glowing or feeling less than spectacular, your second trimester brings new needs for you and your growing baby.

Plan a Daily Menu

Of course, you already know how important a balanced diet is. During your second trimester, you should gain around a half to one pound a week, which means you’ll need to add an extra 300–350 calories above your daily diet. If you plan out your meals for the day in advance, you can be sure you get all the nutrients you need.

Vegetables During Pregnancy

Vegetables provide important second trimester nutrition, especially folate (the natural form of folic acid). Folate nourishes your baby’s developing nervous system. In your second and third trimesters, aim for three cups of vegetables each day. Here’s a guide to how that might measure out.

”One cup” of vegetables:

  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • 2 cups raw kale (for a salad)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots and red peppers (for a snack)
  • 1 cup of vegetable juice

The Importance of Vitamin C & Iron

Vitamin C is important in creating collagen for your baby’s developing tissues—including those cute little cheeks. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, which is the primary transporter of oxygen in red blood cells. Supplemental iron is best absorbed with vitamin C–rich foods like orange juice. Your baby is already storing iron for a rainy day.

Hydration Is Essential

Water helps your body carry nutrients to your cells, remove waste, and help avoid dehydration and fatigue. The general rule is nine cups total beverages per day including water. When you're pregnant, you might need more like 10 cups a day, so drink up! A good second trimester tip, and general health tip, is if your urine is a clear yellow color, you’ve had enough fluids.

Exercise Safely

At this point in your pregnancy, you're probably feeling better and can still move around easily—enjoy your pre-waddling days! Now’s a great time to take advantage of the benefits of exercise. It can help keep you healthy and help you avoid gaining too much weight. Ask your doctor about which exercises are safest for you.

Moving into your second trimester means new and exciting changes. And, only one more trimester before you meet your new baby! Follow our tips on second trimester nutrition along with the guidelines to healthy pregnancy weight gain, and you'll be better prepared to get all the vitamins you need during your pregnancy.