Diet In 9th Month Of Pregnancy For Normal Delivery

Diet In 9th Month Of Pregnancy For Normal Delivery

Pregnancy is one of the most crucial times for any woman. Women tend to take extra precautions during pregnancy to ensure the safety of their unborn baby, especially during the last trimester. This is because every woman aspires to have a healthy pregnancy to give her baby the best health possible.

Some of the most commonly asked questions are regarding exercise and diet in the ninth month of pregnancy for normal delivery. For all those mothers who are seeking advice regarding the same, this article will give you an insight into how and why diet and exercise are important for a normal delivery to happen.

It’ll Be Worthwhile To Go Through What Changes Happen in a Woman’s Body During The Last Trimester of Pregnancy

  • Last trimester of pregnancy lasts between 29-40 weeks.
  • As it is obvious, there is amenorrhoea (cessation of menses) during pregnancy
  • Skin pigmentation and striae over the abdomen become prominent.
  • Fetal movements become pronounced and fetal heart sound can be heard more distinctly.
  • There is an increased frequency of urination due to the pressure of the gravid uterus
  • Palpation of fetal parts becomes easier. It is easy to determine the lie, presentation and position of the fetus during the last month of pregnancy.

The outcome of pregnancy is influenced by plenty of genetic and environmental factors. Similarly, nutrition and exercise are equally important for normal delivery. The human body requires energy for metabolism, to build and replace tissues, to compensate for excretory loss and for daily physical and mental activity. During pregnancy, the demand for energy-rich food increases because of structural and physiological changes. Diet during the 9th month of pregnancy needs to be planned to keep in view the growth and energy requirement, protein demand and vitamin and mineral requirements of a pregnant woman.

Requirements For Pregnant Women

Energy Requirement

  • The total energy required during pregnancy is estimated to be about 80,000 kcal.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a pregnant woman to have an additional energy intake of at least 350 kcal during the second and last trimester of pregnancy and about 150 kcal during the first trimester.
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends an additional intake of 300 kcal/day energy during the first half of pregnancy and 700 kcal/day during the second half of pregnancy.
  • To furnish 20% of total energy, the diet of pregnant and lactating mothers should have at least 30 grams of visible fats.

Protein Requirement

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a total daily intake of protein of 1gram/kg since an average Indian vegetarian diet has a Net Protein Utilization (NPU) of only 65% in comparison to women who consume meat and eggs.
  • For a pregnant woman, daily allowance should be 6 grams of milk or egg protein per day.
  • A high protein diet is recommended during pregnancy.

  • Mineral Supplement

  • The demand for iron increases in pregnant women owing to the growth of the fetus, placenta and red cell mass during pregnancy.
  • The net requirement for iron is 500-600 mg during pregnancy. Yet, maximum Indian women have negligible iron stores
  • 60-70% Indian pregnant women develop iron deficiency anemia during the last trimester of pregnancy.
  • An average Indian diet provides about 20-22 mg of iron, out of which, only 3-5% of it is absorbed. This is mainly due to phytate content present in cereals which prevents adequate iron absorption.
  • The daily requirement of calcium is about 30 grams, out of which nearly 27 grams are fetal share and rest is taken up by the placenta, maternal tissues and fluids.

  • Best Diet in 9th Month of Pregnancy for Normal Delivery


    Daily allowance

    Plant sources


    Animal sources


    78 g/dL

    Soya bean, nuts, pulses

    Meat, eggs and fish

    Visible fats

    30 g/dL

    Seeds like groundnut, mustard and sesame, coconut and flaxseeds.

    Animal fats like ghee, butter, cheese, eggs, meat and fish


    1200 mg/dL

    Green leafy vegetables, cereals and millets.

    Milk and milk products, eggs and fish.


    35 mg/dL

    Cereals, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, oilseeds, jaggery and dried fruits.

    >Liver, meat, poultry and fish.


    12 mg/dL

    Low quantities in vegetable sources.

    Meat, milk and fish.

    Vitamin A (Retinol)

    800 microgram/dL

    Carrots, butter, margarine, spinach, amaranth, green leafy vegetables, ripe mangoes, papaya, tomatoes and orange.

    Cod liver oil, cheese, eggs.

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

    >0.2 mg/d

    Bengal gram, whole wheat, groundnut, almonds, raw rice.

    Cow’s milk, eggs and mutton.

    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

    >03 mg/d

    Whole cereals, pulses and leafy vegetables.

    Cow’s milk, eggs, meat

    Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

    >2 mg/d

    Legumes, groundnuts and cereals.

    Liver, kidney, meat, poultry, fish

    Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

    2.5 mg/d

    Whole grain cereals, legumes and vegetables.

    Milk, liver, meat, egg yolk, fish

    Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

    60 mg/d

    Amla (gooseberry), guava, lemon, orange, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, eggplant, potatoes and raddish.


    Dietary folate

    500 microgram/d

    Fruits, cereals and leafy vegetables.

    Liver, meat, dairy products, eggs, milk

    Vitamin B12

    1.2 microgram/d

    Low quantities in green leafy vegetables

    Liver, kidney, meat, eggs, milk and fish

    Vitamin D

    10 mcg/d


    Cod liver oil, fish fat, eggs, whole milk, butter

    Exercise During Pregnancy

    Exercising during pregnancy has been increasingly encouraged to avoid the risk of developing gestational diabetes and also a means to relax the mind and body in order to have a good state of health for normal delivery.

    • Light household work is advised.
    • Avoid heavy physical labor especially during the 9th month of pregnancy.
    • Avoid dehydration and over-straining while exercising
    • Researches suggest that exercise should be recommended for all pregnant women who do not have any known contra-indications such as

    Absolute Contraindications
    Relative Contraindications
    Warning Signs to Stop Exercise and Seek Consultation

    Significant Heart Disease

    Restrictive Lung Disease

    Incompetent Cervix

    Persistent 2nd or 3rd Trimester Bleeding

    Placenta Previa During 2nd Trimester

    Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension

    Ruptured Membranes

    Severe Anemia

    Unevaluated Cardiac Arrhythmia

    Chronic Bronchitis

    Poorly Controlled Type-I Diabetes, Hypertension, Seizure Disorder or Hyperthyroidism

    Underweight or Morbidly Obese

    History of Sedentary Lifestyle

    Intra-Uterine Growth Retardation in Current Pregnancy

    Heavy Smoking

    Breathlessness Prior to Exertion



    Chest Pain

    Muscle Weakness

    Calf Pain or Swelling

    Preterm Labor

    Decreased Fetal Movements

    Leakage of Amniotic Fluid

    Other Guidelines to Follow For A Normal Delivery

    • Sleep: 8 hours of sleep per day is advised along with at least 2 hours of rest after mid-day meals.
    • Constipation: Regular intake of green leafy vegetables, fruits and extra fluids are advised to avoid constipation. Do not consume castor oil for relieving constipation.
    • Smoking: Smoking should be cut down. Nicotine has a vasoconstrictor effect which may cause placental insufficiency. It also affects the growth rate of the fetus. Mortality of unborn babies of smoking mothers is 10-40% higher than those of non-smokers.
    • Alcohol: Research works say that babies of alcoholic mothers have a high risk of developing physical and mental abnormalities. Even moderate amount of alcohol during the 9th month of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for abortion.
    • Sexual Intercourse – Should be avoided during the last trimester or 9th month of pregnancy.
    • Drugs and Medications: Drugs and medications should be taken only after prior consultation with your obstetrician. Many drugs have deleterious effects on the fetus.
    • Screening: Screen routinely for pregnancy-related infections. Women during pregnancy, especially during the last trimester, are highly susceptible to developing infections. These in return affect the growth of fetus.

    These days it is quite easy to even find exercise instructors and nutritionists, especially during pregnancy. This is because pregnancy-related complications are common and are certainly on a steady rise with the kind of lifestyle changes that have taken place recently.

    Hopefully, this article has given you a gist about how you can take care of yourself and your baby by following very simple steps on a daily basis. These guidelines can be used right throughout the pregnancy also rather than only in the 9th month of pregnancy for normal delivery.


    Dr. Himanshi Purohit

    Dr. Himanshi is a Homeopathic consultant currently working as a lecturer in Post-graduate faculty of Homeopathy, Parul University, Vadodara.