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PKU & Pregnancy – 3rd Trimester

When you reach your third trimester (after 26 weeks) you are now in the final countdown. With only 3 months to go, you will notice significant changes in your body and PKU diet. For some, your permitted protein intake may increase. Continue to be in close contact with your metabolic clinic.

If you are not in your 3rd trimester and wish to learn more about the other stages of pregnancy, here are links in our series on PKU & Pregnancy:

PKU & Pregnancy – Preconception

PKU & Pregnancy – 1st Trimester

PKU & Pregnancy – 2nd Trimester

In the 3rd trimester, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight, you will have gained roughly 11-40 pounds by the end of your pregnancy.  From now until birth, your baby will grow from the size of a large butternut squash to a small watermelon. Continue to work closely with your metabolic clinic as only your clinic can provide the best guidance for you and your baby.

Now you are getting closer to the exciting day.  As your baby grows you may experience some discomfort such as reflux, heartburn or feeling full quickly when eating.

If heartburn strikes, here are some tips to help:

  • Avoid foods that may increase risk of heartburn, such as caffeine, peppermint, spearmint, soda, spicy or acidic foods
  • Avoid eating large meals; try small frequent meals spread throughout the day
  • Limit meals close to bed time
  • Sleep with you head at an elevated angle
  • Consider a ginger candy or herbal tea

If you have difficulty consuming your formula, here are some tips to help:

  • Divide your current PKU formula into small frequent portions throughout the day
  • Ask your metabolic dietitian if a lower volume PKU formula is appropriate for you
  • Drink your formula before or between meals to be sure you are consuming your full recommended amount

You are almost there – Stay on Diet!

You have been working hard on maintaining your PKU diet.  It is important to stay on diet once you baby arrives, but it may be difficult with the demands of a newborn.   Now is the time to begin discussing a plan with your metabolic clinic and family to remain in control of your phenylalanine (PHE) levels once they baby arrives.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Teach your significant other, family or friends how to prepare your formula (the way you like it) so they can help in the first few weeks.
  • Share your favorite low-PHE recipes with family and friends so they can prepare some meals for you.
  • As you begin preparing for the baby cook some low-PHE meals and freeze for easy reheating once the baby arrives.
  • Write shopping lists for friends and family so they know what fruits, vegetables and other items to pick-up for you.

REMINDER –  Keep Sending in Blood Spots!

Request a Nutricia Maternal PKU Starter Kit for more helpful tips and tools to help get you ready for this special time in life.

All products shown are medical foods are for the dietary management of Phenylketonuria (PKU) and must be used under medical supervision.  Please consult your metabolic healthcare professional prior to making any changes to your PKU diet.

©2020 – Nutricia North America

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