Diet During Mid- and Late Terms of Pregnancy: Common Queries and Answers

It is quite common for women in their mid- and late terms of pregnancy to experience elevated level of blood sugar, high blood pressure and constipation, all resulting from hormonal changes and fetal growth. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers you may find useful:

1. How to relieve constipation during pregnancy?

Generally speaking, one should eat two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day. On top of that it is recommendable for pregnant women to drink more water and eat more fiber-rich food. Having oatmeal or whole-wheat bread as breakfast and blending red or brown rice into plain rice in your regular cooking are two convenient options. Consuming a suitable amount of unsaturated fatty acid can lubricate intestines and help with excretion.  Good sources include avocado, nuts, chia seeds and flaxseed powder. These foods also contain omega-3 fatty acid, which can enhance the development of the baby’s brain and visual and nervous systems.


2. High blood pressure has emerged during my mid- to late-term of pregnancy. Is there anything in my diet I should pay attention to?

In this case you should control your sodium intake. Avoid marinated food such as meat balls, sausages, deli meats and Parma ham. You may also use ginger, spring onion, garlic, onion, lemon juice, fruit peels or herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf as substitutes to commonly used high-sodium seasonings in cooking.


3. Should I quit starchy foods if I have high blood sugar during my mid- or late term of pregnancy?

Since both the mother-to-be and her baby need sufficient nutrients, we do not recommend pregnant women to completely avoid starch. Instead, they may consider eating more meals per day with lesser amount each time. Fiber-rich starchy foods such as oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa are good alternatives to processed grain products such as plain rice, plain bread and plain congee. They can be complemented with suitable amounts of meat and vegetables to decelerate the rise in blood sugar levels after meals.


4. Apart from milk and dairy products, are there other sources from which pregnant women can absorb more calcium?

Soy milk with added calcium, hard bean curd, edamame, almond, spinach, broccoli and dried figs are all rich in calcium. Pregnant women should avoid consuming too much animal proteins. Excessively salty foods such as preserved plums, preserved vegetables, sausages, ham, canned soup and canned meat will increase in urinary excretion of calcium and should also be avoided.