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Diet Food in the Seventh Month of Pregnancy

author image Sarah Collins
Sarah Collins has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park and formal education in fitness and nutrition. Collins is an experienced blogger, editor and designer, who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weddings, food and parenting topics. She has been published in Arizona Weddings, Virginia Bride and on Gin & Pork and
Diet Food in the Seventh Month of Pregnancy
7 months pregnant. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

It's been a long road, but you're nearly there. At seven months of pregnancy, or between 28 and 31 weeks, you've reached the third trimester and are eagerly anticipating your bundle of joy. At the same time, you're gaining more weight than you have previously, and it's tempting to try to temper your weight gain. Rather than trying to diet during pregnancy, however, structure your diet around the needs of your growing, soon-to-arrive baby.

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Manage Your Caloric Intake

Babies are still growing rapidly at 7 months.
Babies are still growing rapidly at 7 months. Photo Credit: Ma-Ke/iStock/Getty Images

Your baby is growing fast, so don’t be surprised if your stomach rumbles more often during the seventh month of pregnancy. At this point in your pregnancy, you should gain 1 pound a week, according to “FitPregnancy” magazine. But you don’t need to go overboard with eating -- you should consume about 450 extra calories daily during the third trimester, says the BabyCenter website, as long as you’re at a normal, healthy weight. Avoid the temptation to limit the number of calories you eat to curb weight gain -- the baby needs these extra calories for proper growth.

Eat Plenty of Iron and Protein

Continue to eat iron which is plentiful in red meat.
Continue to eat iron which is plentiful in red meat. Photo Credit: Kesu01/iStock/Getty Images

During the third trimester, your body carries more blood, according to registered dietitian Paola Mora in “Portland Family” magazine, so you need extra iron to the tune of 27 milligrams a day. Failure to consume enough could lead to anemia, premature delivery or hemorrhage during delivery. Iron is plentiful in red meat, poultry, enriched rice, seeds and beans. When you eat these, you’ll also be getting a dose of protein -- at this point in your pregnancy, the amino acids in the protein help your baby grow rapidly. The American Pregnancy Association recommends eating 75 to 100 grams of protein a day.

Don't Neglect Calcium and Magnesium

Black beans contain calcium.
Black beans contain calcium. Photo Credit: fotogal/iStock/Getty Images

Although calcium is important through the entire pregnancy, the third trimester is when the calcium in your baby’s skeleton is arranged, according to Dr. Michael Hobaugh in “Portland Family.” The American Pregnancy Association recommends at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day; find it in dairy foods such as yogurt, milk and cheese, as well as salmon, oatmeal and fortified orange juice. Add magnesium, which not only helps your body absorb the calcium but also might help relax your muscles, relieve leg cramps and prevent preterm labor. You need about 350 to 400 milligrams a day, and it’s found in black beans, artichokes, barley, pumpkin seeds, oat bran and almonds.

Learn About DHA and Folic Acid

Strawberries contain folic acid.
Strawberries contain folic acid. Photo Credit: Valentyn Volkov/iStock/Getty Images

If you, like most parents, want your baby to have a strong, smart brain, eat plenty of DHA, an essential fatty acid, during the third trimester -- according to dietitian Gina Hill in “Portland Family,” this compound is linked to better cognition in infants. You’ll want to get about 200 milligrams a day through sources such as fortified foods like eggs, milk and juice. Folic acid is also vital during your entire pregnancy because it reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Eat 600 to 800 micrograms a day; sources include dark green leafy vegetables, fruits such as oranges and strawberries and grains including oatmeal.

Continue Healthy Habits

Prenatal yoga.
Prenatal yoga. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

The finish line is nearly in sight, so there's no need to change the strategies that have been helping you win the race. As you have through your entire pregnancy, focus on eating fresh, whole foods -- rather than processed or junk foods -- that provide a wide variety of nutrients. It might be uncomfortable to exercise in the third trimester in the same way that you did prepregnancy, but don't stop moving entirely. Gentle exercise such as swimming, walking or prenatal yoga can help slow down rapid weight gain and keep you in tip-top shape for delivery.

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