How timely is it that I get into the car the other morning and Europe's "The Final Countdown" is playing on my radio? Here it is, the third trimester of pregnancy and I am wondering where all of the time went. I never thought this time would come while in the throws of morning, noon, and night time sickness of the first trimester.
We are in the final countdown of what I'm 97% sure is the last time I will carry a child in my lifetime. It's bittersweet. Yes, I will be done with the heartburn, trouble sleeping, hormonal changes, back aches and general uncomfortableness...but I will miss the excitement of that first ultrasound, the fluttering kicks of this little life inside me, and the anticipation of meeting this new person that my husband and I created.
The third trimester brings about the biggest growth spurt for baby and some new considerations for you as your body changes to accommodate all of that growth and get ready for labor. So, what are some things that a gluten free mommy-to-be needs to be on the lookout and be sure to do during the third trimester?
Glucose Tolerance Test: Somewhere between 24 and 28 weeks, your doctor will have you take a glucose tolerance test to determine whether or not you have gestational diabetes. This requires drinking a test beverage and fasting briefly before blood is drawn. Make sure to check that your test beverage is gluten free! There are a few common brands used for testing purposes, one of which is Fisherbrand test beverage (also known as Trutol 50). I contacted the manufacturer Fisher Healthcare in Houston, TX and they confirmed that all flavors of their test beverage are gluten free. My delicious concoction was fruit punch flavored, and I am happy to say, I passed with flying colors. I was getting a bit concerned, given that I have succumbed to my sweet tooth this pregnancy with a healthy, daily dose of Ghirardelli dark chocolate :)
Fiber: Space is quickly getting occupied, making it difficult for things to locomote through your body. Constipation and heartburn are two of the most common complaints of women in pregnancy, especially the third trimester. It is already a bit of a challenge to get enough fiber in a gluten free diet, so look to Udi's gluten free Ancient Grains breads, Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed meal sprinkled in cereals and baked goods, as well as fresh fruits and veggies for a fiber boost. Dried figs are also a sweet treat packed with a bit of fiber.
Protein: I have stopped paying too much attention to the numbers on the scale, since it is really out of my control at this point. This baby is big and just keeps getting bigger! While I certainly have a healthy appetite, I am trying to pay attention to quality of food. Protein is especially important for baby's growth. Good sources of protein include chicken and lean meats, beans, and nuts/nut butters.
Calcium: The baby is using up your calcium stores as its bones strengthen throughout this trimester. If you are dairy free like me, getting enough calcium can be a bit of a challenge. So, what are some good dairy free options that can help boost calcium? To start, many non-dairy beverage options are fortified with calcium (almond, soy, coconut milks), so check labels. Various fruits and veggies also can be surprising sources of calcium, such as below:
- Collard greens, kale, chinese cabbage
- Black-eyed peas
- Black beans
- Fortified orange juice
- Blackstrap molasses
Ok, so you can keep that pregnancy glow by nourishing your insides, but how can you keep comfortable and fashionable on the outside? I don't know about you pregnant ladies, but I find the third trimester the most challenging as far as fashion goes. The "cute" stage of the second trimester baby bump gets replaced with puffiness and swelling. What fit over the burgeoning baby bump last week now seems to look like a crop-top. I've gathered a few tips from some recently pregnant celebs, to help us stay comfortable and look great as the weeks go by without breaking the bank. Here are a few great pieces that you can wear throughout pregnancy:
Leggings, Long Sweaters: Not only is this look trendy, but oh so comfortable. Leggings can be worn in any trimester and with a longer collared sweater or tunic, looks great.
Knee length boots are a comfortable footwear option that can hide swelling ankles and give you a sleek line from hip to toe. I've worn mine with skinny jeans, leggings, or tights and comfy maternity dresses.
Maxi dress, Cardigans: It doesn't hurt that Jessica Alba is gorgeous to begin with, but the maxi dress provides a chic option for all over coverage during pregnancy. I wore mine early in the first trimester and am now topping it with a warm sweater and wearing it as a full-length skirt. As Spring approaches, pair your maxi dress with a cardigan.
You can wear your cardigans throughout pregnancy as well. As I get bigger, I leave mine unbuttoned and pair with either a crisp, white maternity button down shirt or any variety of tank tops. Old Navy has some great, cheap tanks in a variety of bright colors and stripes.
Scarves, Ballet flats: I like Jennifer Garner's easy, athletic style. Her clothing choices are always simple but still stylish. When in doubt, add a scarf. A pop of color around your neckline can give you that added boost after a not-so-restful night of sleep in the third trimester. Patterned or plain, scarves are still a hot trend.
Ballet flats are a stylish option for aching feet from pregnancy. Target and Payless have tons of cute and cheap options to choose from, from patent leather to cheetah print.
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