Third Trimester Trials & Tribulations!

I’m in my third trimester now and noticing some significant changes – baby is much more active (which is a magical feeling!) and my bump is getting noticeably bigger every week.  I’m also a bit more uncomfortable at night.  I tend to wake up around 4am and have trouble getting back to sleep.  I bought a maternity pillow recently and it has really helped so I would highly recommend one to anyone having trouble getting comfortable at night!  They are designed to support your back, bump and knees without you having to take over the bed with pillows, so your partner will thank you for it too!


I’m attending a weekly pre-natal pilates class which I really enjoy.  The instructor is fantastic and she’s always reminding us of the importance of doing our pelvic floor exercises so I’m trying to remember to do them 3 times a day but I have to confess this doesn’t always happen!  Maeve Whelan has some useful tips on pelvic floor exercises – click here for more.


Baby is growing at a rapid rate now so I do need a little more energy than previous weeks.  The Food Safety Authority of Ireland recommends 500 extra calories per day in the third trimester so I’m adding in more snacks to my daily food intake.


I love to have some brown soda bread with banana mid-morning or with some cheese in the afternoon.  If you’ve never made bread, soda bread is a good place to start as it’s so easy.  There’s no yeast or kneading involved and you’ll be so proud of the end result, you’ll want to make it all the time!  It’s a good idea to keep the packs of dry ingredients (e.g. flour, seeds) together in a big plastic container or basket so you have them to hand.  Then you just need to weigh them, and add an egg and some buttermilk.  You’ll find buttermilk in the milk section of any supermarket – usually in a yellow carton.  Despite the name, it’s actually low in fat!


This bread is a source of fibre which is important for helping to prevent constipation in pregnancy.


Try it and let me know how you get on!


Step-by-step brown soda bread


Makes about 10 slices


  • 225g wholemeal flour
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 3 tablespoons mixed seeds, such as sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower, or linseed (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 375–400ml buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. In a large bowl, sieve together the flours, salt, and baking soda and mix in the seeds (if using). Make a well in the centre.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk and pour most of the liquid into the flour mixture. Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding more of the buttermilk mixture, if necessary. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
  4. Gently bring the dough together into a round about 1 ½ inches (4cm) thick. Cut a deep cross on top and place on a baking sheet. Alternatively you can place the dough in a greased loaf tin.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200°C and bake for a further 25-30 minutes. When done, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.

Nutrition information per slice: 163 calories, 3.2g fat, 0.6g saturates, 28.8g carbohydrate, 2.3g sugar, 6.6g protein, 2.5g fibre, 0.7g salt.

Kellie, Nutritionist

I'm a Registered Nutritionist with an honours degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster in Coleraine. Originally from Armagh, I now live in Wicklow with my husband. We live on a big sheep farm so there is never a dull moment! Mum to 1 year old- Ellen. I love trying out new recipes so my pregnancy is giving me a whole new opportunity to experiment with recipes and make them even healthier. I hope you enjoy trying some of my recipes!

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