The start of the third trimester marks the last phase of your pregnancy, where your body and baby undergo the final set of changes. Therefore, it is important to include the right food in your 7th month of pregnancy diet to ensure you meet the nutritional requirements of your growing baby. Though the hunger pangs may increase by this time, you should try to keep away from junk food. Instead, choosing the right foods for a balanced intake of carbs, proteins, good fats, vitamins, and minerals is the best way to ensure the proper development of your baby and keep you strong and healthy as you get ready for childbirth. Keep reading this post to know which food to take during the 7th month of pregnancy and which ones to avoid.
7th Month of Pregnancy Diet
During the third trimester of your pregnancy, the diet that you consume should be focused on the health of your baby who is to arrive soon. You should consume foods that provide you with approximately 450 extra calories on a daily basis (1).
The key is – in moderation! Instead of eating a large meal at once, have small portions throughout the day to give your baby the nutrition she needs to grow. Here are foods that you should eat during this stage of your pregnancy:
1. Iron and protein-rich foods
During your third trimester, extra iron is important to avoid anemia, hemorrhage during delivery. You need around 27mg of iron daily (2). Get your required dose of iron and protein from foods like red meat, beans, poultry, seeds and rice. The amino acids that you get from protein you consume will aid in the rapid growth of your little one.
2. Calcium-rich foods
Calcium is important throughout your pregnancy; however, it is especially crucial during the third trimester, since calcium arrangement in your baby’s skeleton takes place. Experts recommend a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium as the daily intake, which is the sum total of dietary intake and calcium supplements by way of tablets (3). Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and foods like oatmeal and salmon are rich sources of calcium.
3. Magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium will help in absorbing the calcium that you consume and also provides relief from leg cramps, helps in relaxing your muscles and prevents premature labor. You should take in about 400 mg of magnesium every day (4). Almonds, oat bran, black beans, barley, artichoke, pumpkin seeds, etc., are rich sources of magnesium.
4. Foods with DHA
DHA is a fatty acid that helps your baby’s brain in developing properly. Experts recommend about 200 mg on a daily basis (5). You can find DHA in foods such as milk, eggs and juices.
5. Folic acid
Consumption of folic acids is a must to every pregnant mother, before and during pregnancy. During the first trimester, folic acid helps decrease the risk of defects of your baby’s neural tube. You can find folic acid in foods that include grains like oatmeal, collards or dark leafy vegetables and fruits like strawberries and oranges. You should get about 400-800 mcg every day (6).
6. Fiber-rich foods
To prevent constipation, which is one of the common symptoms of the first trimester and may also be seen later in pregnancy, you should consume plenty of fiber-rich foods. You should include vegetables, fruits (fresh and dried), legumes and whole grains in your diet. Do not forget that the water in your digestive tract is rapidly absorbed by fiber, so drink plenty of water and other fluids to replenish your body.
7. Vitamin C-rich foods
To make sure that the iron you take in is properly absorbed in your body, you should eat foods that are rich in vitamin C. Rich sources of this vitamin include citrus fruits such as melons, lemons, and oranges as well as green pepper and broccoli.
What Not To Eat During The 7th Month?
Heartburn, swelling of hands and feet, and constipation are some of the symptoms that you may go through during the third trimester of your pregnancy (7).
To avoid these symptoms, eliminate certain foods from your 7th month of pregnancy diet. This will help in relieving any discomfort and provide your baby with the proper nutrition. Here are foods that you should avoid during 7th month of pregnancy:
1. High-Fat And Spicy Foods:
To make sure that you do not have to go through the discomfort of heartburn, you should stay away from fried foods that are high in fat content. You should also avoid spicy foods as they too contribute to heartburn. Experts recommend eating a light meal for dinner.
2. Sodium-Packed Foods:
Bloating and swelling can be prevented by drinking plenty of fluids. You should always drink plenty of water. Reducing your intake of sodium is also important so keep away from foods high in salt content such as chips, ketchup, canned foods, pickles and sauces, to name a few.
3. Caffeine, Alcohol And Tobacco:
Needless to say, these foods should be avoided at all costs throughout your pregnancy. Caffeinated beverages can cause constipation and make you feel uncomfortable, so it is best to keep them off your daily diet. Alcohol and tobacco are of course very harmful for your baby so quit while you can!
4. Junk Foods:
A small portion of junk food when you have cravings is perfectly alright. However, it is important to remember not to overdo it. Processed foods do not have nutritive value. It is best to make healthy homemade snacks like carrot sticks, sandwiches with whole-grain breads, etc. This way, you fill your stomach and give your baby the nutrition to grow healthily.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is an important part of pregnancy, as it not only gives you strength and nutrition, but also benefits your baby. Apart from a healthy diet, it is also important for you to do light or moderate exercises every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I eat to increase my baby’s weight in the 7th month of pregnancy?
Avoiding too much junk and eating healthy is paramount to any pregnancy diet. However, if you want to improve your baby’s weight, ensure that you include nutrition-packed foods, such as cereals, lean meat, multigrain bread, dairy, and fish, in your diet in the 7th month of pregnancy (8).
2. Is there any scan in the 7th month of pregnancy?
Your doctor may suggest you have a third-trimester growth scan (usually done between 28-32 weeks of pregnancy) at or at the end of the 7th month. Further, if you fall under the high-risk category, you may be advised additional scans during the 28th week to assess your pregnancy health and fetal well-being (9).
The 7th month of pregnancy diet aims at fulfilling the nutritional demands of both the mother and the growing baby. Foods rich in minerals such as calcium and magnesium help relax muscles and ease cramps in the mother, besides supporting the skeletal growth of the fetus. In this advanced stage of pregnancy, essential fatty acids are required for the baby’s brain development. Iron, folic acid, and protein-rich foods are other vital inclusions. Avoid oily, spicy, or salty junk foods and beverages containing caffeine or alcohol. A healthy balanced diet with light exercise is the perfect combination for both mother and the baby.
- Eating for two– a quick guide to nutrition during pregnancy.
- Dietary iron intake during early pregnancy and birth outcomes in a cohort of British women.
- Nutrition During Pregnancy.
- Healthy Eating During Pregnancy.
- Folic acid.
- The third trimester.
- Weight gain in pregnancy
- 3rd Trimester Obstetric Ultrasound Scans Fetal Growth Assessment