An important aspect to care for during pregnancy is the diet. It can have a telling effect on the health of the baby and also affect the mental and physical well-being of the mother in a number of ways. The diet needs to be created with utmost care, keeping in mind the effects of the food items on the growing baby.
Let us look at some foods which are to be avoided in the third-trimester diet and some food items which can be had safely, during the third trimester, or the eighth month of pregnancy.
What to Expect During the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
1. Gaining Weight
The fetus gains weight quite quickly during the eighth month, which means so will the mother. If you haven’t noticed much weight gain in the previous months, this month more than makes up for the delay.
2. Frequent Urination
As the baby grows larger, there is increased pressure on the bladder, causing you to pee more frequently. This may make many women drink lesser water, as constantly wanting to pee can cause discomfort. However, it is vital to stay hydrated during pregnancy, so be smart about your intake of fluids by eating fruits with a high water content, drinking lesser water at night, etc.
3. Shortness of Breath
The mother’s enlarged uterus pushes against the diaphram, a muscle involved in breathing, causing shortness of breath. It is advised to wear looser clothing to feel more comfortable
4. Heartburn or Acidity
As the uterus grows quite a bit during the third trimester, it puts pressure on the stomach and intestines, increasing the risk of acidity. Eating non-spicy, easier to digest foods relives this issue.
What to Eat during the Eighth Month of Pregnancy?
Below are some foods that can be eaten during this time:
Fish contains a large amount of iron, which is important during the last months of pregnancy. Iron deficiency results in anaemia, which can cause a feeling of general fatigue in the mother. Fish also has other important nutrients like protein and the likes, which makes it a great addition to the 8th-month pregnancy diet chart.
2. Red Meat
Red meat is another great addition to the diet of an expecting mother, as it is also a rich source of iron and protein. Both of these are essential minerals to the mother, as it helps accelerate the growth of the baby. Red meat can improve the general health of the mother too, as it contains minerals which keep you from being tired or sick during pregnancy.
One of the most underrated fruits, bananas have been a great source of essential vitamins and minerals since ancient times. Bananas are rich in potassium, calcium and iron, making it a must-have in any woman’s diet. On top of that, they also promote digestion and relieve constipation, increasing the comfort of the expectant mother in great ways.
4. Dairy Products
There is a reason why dairy products are so heavily promoted among children during their formative years- dairy products, including milk are a non-exhaustive source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, proteins and the likes. Consuming dairy products during the last month of pregnancy can have a telling effect on the growth of the baby.
5. Leafy Vegetables
Fibre enriched foods are important during pregnancy, as they help prevent the feeling of constipation which occurs due to the excess weight and excess hormone secretion during the third trimester. Leafy vegetables contain more than enough fibre, along with other minerals like iron, potassium and calcium to boot, too. They are a great addition to the 8th-month pregnancy diet of the mother.
6. Peanut Butter
Fat is also a necessity for the body during the final trimester, although many people seem to assume otherwise. While high fats are strictly off-limits, vital fatty acids still remain an important addition to the diet of the pregnant mother. Omega-3 is an example of a vital fatty acid, and this contributes greatly to the development of the brain of the foetus. Other sources, like peanut butter, include eggs and fish.
Apart from having large amounts of fibre, oranges also contain a large amount of vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for the body. Vitamin C is important as it is used to soak up the iron intake, so a deficiency can result in anaemia and fatigue for the mother. Other sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, lemons and cabbages.
Foods Not to Include in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy Diet
Here are foods that can cause harm to either you or the foetus:
1. Unpasteurized Milk
Unpasteurized milk directly from the cow or sheep has to be strictly avoided during the third trimester of pregnancy, as the milk is not processed enough to be deemed safe for consumption. Goat milk should also be avoided, as it contains a harmful element called toxoplasmosis.
Caffeinated items are a strict no-no in the last stages of pregnancy, as they have the tendency to make the drinker constipated after consumption. You can instead opt to consume large amounts of water, which is a necessity even during normal times. Coffee is one of the third-trimester drinks to avoid, for any expectant mother.
3. Alcohol and Tobacco
It goes without saying that alcohol and tobacco must be avoided at all times and especially during any stage of pregnancy, even more so in the third trimester. They can cause complications at the time of delivery, and also have an impeding effect on the growth of the foetus inside the mother.
4. Fried Foods
Oil-fried food items are another category that you should avoid during your third trimester of pregnancy, as they add little to your diet in terms of nutritional value. Fried foods can also cause gastrointestinal problems, including improper digestion and heartburn, which can be extremely uncomfortable when you are carrying a child with you.
5. Shark, Marlin and Swordfish
These type of fish items must be avoided during pregnancy, as they have high levels of a detrimental substance called methylmercury. Methylmercury can cause complications in the development of the nervous system of the foetus, so choose fish that have the required nutritional value and are not too fatty for consumption.
6. Liver and Cured Meats
Liver and other cured meats must be avoided in the entirety of the pregnancy, not just in the third trimester. Cured meats like beef salami increase the risk of toxoplasmosis and listeriosis in the unborn child, making it strictly off-limits for any expectant mother during the time of pregnancy.
7. Soft Cheese
Cheese that has been ripened using a mould, like Brie has to be avoided during the time of pregnancy. Also, cheese like the Danish Blue which has blue veins often contain listeria, so they are also harmful to the health of the child during pregnancy. So, if mothers have a craving for cheese during the third trimester, opt for hard cheese like Cheddar and the likes.
Diet Tips for 8 Month Pregnant Women
Consume only food items that add nutritional value to your diet (no more chocolate cake!)
Consume fluids- they are important as they prevent constipation, while also increasing the bloodstream volume which carries vitamins and minerals to the mother and the child. So, make sure to drink water between each meal and snack, and eight swigs every time you see a water bottle.
Do not avoid seafood as a whole- even though they may contain harmful substances like mercury, you can still choose fish that are safe to consume during pregnancy. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which are extremely important for the growth of a foetus.
A pregnancy diet is hard to compile, as it plays an important part in the well-being of the mother and also the growth of the child. Consumption of the necessary food items in ample quantities is a must, and staying away from harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco and drugs are also important for the health of the foetus.