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How to Increase Fetal Weight in Third Trimester – Simple 5 Step Process

How to Increase Fetal Weight in Third Trimester – Simple 5 Step Process

When a mother is expectant, the growing fetus is dependent on her for all his nutritional needs. For this reason, an expectant mother needs to monitor her diet intake to ensure that she supplies enough nutrients and blood to the growing fetus. Studies have found out that there is a big role that good nutrition plays on fetal weight during pregnancy.

The foods that a pregnant woman should eat during the third trimester are the same as those that she should eat during the first trimester. According to research, fetal weight can be increased by avoiding all stimulating foods, minimizing stress, eating a balanced diet and getting enough rest. The weight of the unborn baby cannot be increased by food alone, but eating a balanced diet is one of the ways that a mother can ensure that her unborn baby will have proper growth.

Once a woman finds out that she is pregnant, it is the desire of every woman to give birth to a healthy baby. One of the most important factors that will help you know that your unborn baby is growing well is the fetal weight.

Every baby, just like any human being grows differently. Therefore, there is no ideal weight for that a fetus should have. To ensure that your baby gets the right weight, eat healthy food during your pregnancy. Eating the right kind of food and in the right amount will go a long way to have a healthy pregnancy. In this write-up, you will learn some simple dietary changes that you need to make so that your fetus will increase weight.

During the third trimester, your baby changes rapidly. Besides your baby, your body will also change in order to support the growing fetus. The most significant change that your baby goes through during the third trimester is weight gain. According to studies, at 27 weeks the fetus will weigh 2 pounds, at 32 weeks it will weigh 4 to 41/2 pounds and the final week weight around 6 to 10 pounds.

For this reason, you should not lose weight during the final trimester. It is also crucial that during this trimester, you do not give in to unhealthy food cravings but rather eat health foods. It is in while in your womb that the health of your baby takes shape. Therefore, you need to start taking care of your baby while in the womb.

If your doctor points out that your baby’s weight is low during any week of pregnancy, it is critical to make serious lifestyle changes for the benefit of your baby. Pregnancy is a time of building for your baby, therefore, you should consider what you eat. It is vital to take enough calories, macro, and micronutrients during the pregnancy period.

Tips on How to Increase Baby Weight During Pregnancy

The following are the simple ways on how to increase your baby’s weight during pregnancy:

  • Drink lots of water – during pregnancy, ensure that you avoid dehydration. Drink large amounts of fluids such as water, vegetable juices, fruit juices, milk, and buttermilk. Becoming dehydrated during pregnancy can lead to very serious complications.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet – diet plays a vital role in the health of the developing child. Make sure that in your diet you include foods such as fresh fruits, poultry, meat, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables. These foods will help your fetus to add weight.
  • Get enough rest – a pregnant woman should get adequate rest daily. Engaging in excessive work or too much pressure can have a negative effect on the development of the baby in the womb. It is recommended that an expectant mother get a minimum of 8 hours of bed rest each day.
  • Use of prenatal vitamins – during the prenatal visits to the hospital, you will be provided with prenatal vitamins. These vitamins are formulated specially to help your baby to gain weight. It is recommended that you use these vitamins as prescribed to help your fetus to add optimum weight.
  • Have a positive mentality – it is not only the physical health that affects the development of the baby but the mental health as well. Having too much stress or being anxious can affect your baby as well. When your mind s not well balanced, you are likely to make wrong food choices or eat too much of one food, all these will translate to negative health to your child.
  • Dry nuts and fruits are critical – fruits and nuts play a big role in the diet. Some of the recommended fruits that you should eat include almonds, figs, apricots among other dry fruits. They are rich in unsaturated fats which are essential for weight gain. However, you should not eat too much of them especially the almonds because they contain lots of fats.
  • Doctor’s advice – during pregnancy, regular visits to the doctor are paramount. Your doctor can be able to know whether your child is gaining the required weight and if not he will be able to advise you accordingly. You might be required to use some supplements which can help in weight increment for your child. 

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How to Calculate Fetal Weight During Pregnancy 

During the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, the weight of the fetus cannot be measured. This is because the fetus is too small in size. After the 8th week, the weight of the fetus can be measured with the help of the ultrasound.

The baby can be measured from the head to the bottom of the legs while it is curled till the 20th week. After the 20th week, the baby can be measured from head to toe. The radiologist can measure the weight of the baby during the scan by using the following parameters:

  • Head circumference (HC)
  • Abdominal circumference (AC) – this measurement will go a long way to determine any intrauterine growth retardation
  • Biparietal diameter (BPD) – this is the measurement of the baby’s head side to side
  • Humerus length (HL) – this is the measurement of the arm bone length. The forelimb is measured from the shoulder to the elbow
  • Femur length – this is the measurement of the thigh length
  • Occipitofrontal diameter (OFD – this is the measurement of the length from the frontal bone’s most prominent point to the root of the nose.

After all these measurements have been taken, with the help of a formula the weight of the fetus can be calculated. It is crucial to point here that the formula is very complicated to understand it and therefore the accurate weight of the fetus cannot be arrived at. For this reason, any calculated figure is given a margin of +/-10.

There are different kinds of methods that are used to measure the weight of the fetus. Some of the very common methods used include the following:

  • Fundal height – this method is used to measure the weight of the baby from the 24th month of pregnancy
  • Ultrasound estimation – this method is used together with weight tables to estimate the weight of the fetus
  • Gestational age and fetal weight calculator – the calculator uses Hadlock equations to estimate the gestational age and the Shepard and Hadlock equations to estimate the weight of the fetus.

Fetal Weight Gain Foods

The following foods are essential in increasing the weight of the fetus during the third trimester:

1.    Proteins 

Proteins are the major food components that support growth. According to studies, during pregnancy, you should consume 90 to 10 grams of protein per day. The proteins play a significant role in the growth and development of the baby. It helps in the development of vital body organs such as the brain.

There are numerous sources of protein which include the following:

  • Almonds
  • Lean beef 
  • Poultry 
  • Dairy products 
  • Fish 
  • Cheese 
  • Peanuts
  • Flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts

2.    Folic acid 

This is the crucial prenatal vitamin that is recommended by most doctors. Folic acid is crucial because it helps to reduce the chances of the baby being born with an open tube defect.

According to studies, 70% of all the open tube defects can be prevented by the proper intake of folic acid in the diet. The foods that are rich in folic acid include the following:

  • Nuts 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Kidney beans 
  • Green leafy vegetables 
  • Lentils 

3.    Fats 

During pregnancy, ensure that you avoid foods that have high levels of saturated fats. Instead, natural unsaturated fats should be eaten. Food that is good for unsaturated fats includes olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Unsaturated fats help the fetus to increase weight.

It is recommended that you take 2 to 3 servings of good fats per day. Eating 2 to 3 servings of good fat per day will go a long way to help your unborn baby add weight. You can also use whole cow ghee which will help to increase weight without increasing blood pressure. Besides that, you can also use whole milk which contains not only healthy fats but also calcium.

4.    Leafy green vegetables 

Green leafy vegetables are rich in nutrients and antioxidants which helps not only in weight gain but also in other developments. They contain essential nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and folate. They also have minerals such as iron and magnesium.

Some of the green leafy vegetables that you should eat include:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach 

Vitamin A is essential for eyesight, bone development, and skin growth.

All these play a role in weight increment and also help prevent other birth defects. Green leafy vegetables work to help not only the developing baby but also the mother. You can get the daily requirements of fiber, folate, potassium, and calcium from eating green vegetables.

All these play a role in weight increment and also help prevent other birth defects. Green leafy vegetables work to help not only the developing baby but also the mother. You can get the daily requirements of fiber, folate, potassium, and calcium from eating green vegetables.

You can eat the green vegetables either cooked, raw or baked in order for you to get the maximum nutrients from them.

5.    Carbohydrates 

You should avoid foods that contain empty calories. This is because they can make you add weight which might bring pregnancy complications. Instead, you should take foods rich in calories which will help your baby to add weight.

Some of the foods that are rich in calories include:

  • Legumes 
  • Dried apricots 
  • Cereals 
  • Potato 
  • Peas 
  • Corn 

On a daily basis, it is recommended that you take 5 to 6 servings of calorie-rich foods. These servings will help your body to process enough calories that are needed by your baby for weight gaining.

How to increase baby weight during 7th month of pregnancy 

The 7th month marks the beginning of the third trimester. It is crucial that from this month onwards, you take extra care for your unborn baby.

During this month, your major concern should be on the diet of the baby that is to be born soon. For your baby to grow properly, you need a minimum of 450 calories per day for your unborn baby to grow well.

However, this is not the time to eat anything in order to get much-needed calories. During this time, the uterus will enlarge taking much space in the abdomen. During the 7th month, your diet should comprise largely of the following foods:

  • Calcium
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Fiber 
  • Magnesium 
  • Folic acid

At the same time, you should avoid foods that are high in fats, sugar, and salt because they provide empty calories which are not ideal during this time.

How to increase Baby Weight During the 8th Month of Pregnancy 

During the 8th month, this is when the baby will add most of the flesh and skin in preparation for birth. During this month, your uterus will be bigger leaving small space for the stomach. Therefore, eating large portions at one meal might not be possible. Hence eating small portions over a given time interval is recommended.

To avoid excessive blood loss during delivery, it is recommended that you eat foods that are high in calcium, iron, minerals, and vitamins. Besides that, take enough proteins, fats, fiber, and carbohydrates.

It is paramount that during the 8th month you avoid raw eggs, caffeine, fatty foods and any food that is not healthy. This is because this is a delicate time of pregnancy and only healthy and highly nutritious foods should be eaten. These foods will not only nourish your baby but also they will help him to add weight.

It is crucial also that you do some proper exercise to help you not to add a lot of weight which might not be good for your health.

How to Increase Baby Weight During the 9th Month of Pregnancy 

As already mentioned, the developing baby increases weight rapidly during the final trimester. During the final month of pregnancy, your diet should comprise only of those foods that will help your baby to put on extra weight. You should also avoid those foods that might cause you indigestion. 

Your food serving during this month should increase. The following foods are essential during the 9th month:

  • Fiber 
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A and C
  • Fruits 

The 9th month might be troublesome to you because you are heavy and you do not want to move. Doing simple exercises will help you remain in good shape. Ensure that the foods you eat do not give you heartburns or cause constipation. Therefore, eat only healthy and nutritious foods

It is paramount during the 9th month that you avoid fried foods, caffeine, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, sugars, and poultry.


While trying to increase your child’s weight during pregnancy, take the following precautions:

(i)    Avoid all forms of alcoholic beverages, drugs, smoking, caffeine and soft drinks and juices that contain artificial sugars. This is due to the fact that they contain empty calories and they do not help in the growth and development of the fetus. Besides that, they have negative effects on the general health of the fetus.

(ii)    Avoid eating deep-fried and oily foods during pregnancy. If you must eat such kind of foods, they should be in minimal amounts. A lot of oils are not good for the general health of the body since they lead to an increase in cholesterol in the body. Also, a lot of fats, especially during pregnancy, can lead to the development of hypertension during pregnancy and even after.