Your baby’s development is towards completion as you progress to the ninth month. The expanding uterus may compress internal organs, making you feel heavy and uncomfortable. Therefore, you need to identify which foods to include in your ninth month of pregnancy diet to ease problems such as constipation and heartburn (1). A balanced diet is always the key to good health and adequate nourishment for your growing baby. Keep reading this post that suggests which foods and dietary supplements are beneficial during this phase of pregnancy and what to avoid.
What Should Be Included In Your 9th Month of Pregnancy Diet
At this stage, your baby’s development is almost complete. Their weight will increase rapidly and they will fill up almost all the space in your womb. While you can still indulge in some guilty pleasures at this stage, it is important for you to remember to be cautious about what you eat. Your digestive system can be affected due to rapid weight gain, which is why you should continue with the balanced and nutritious diet you followed in the early months. Here is a list of foods that should be included in your ninth month of pregnancy diet (2):
- Grains And whole-grain bread: 6 to 11 servings per day
- Fruits: 2 to 4 servings per day
- Vegetables: more than 4 servings per day
- Dairy products: 4 servings per day
- Foods rich in protein: 3 servings per day
- Hydration: Minimum 2 liters of pure water every day
Foods To Eat During This Stage Of Your Pregnancy
When you eat healthy and nutritious foods, you pave the way for a smooth pregnancy. Discomforts like constipation and heartburn can be avoided by eating a balanced diet. This in turn helps your baby’s development and growth. Do include the following in your diet:
- Fiber-Rich Foods: Such as vegetables, fruits, whole-grain bread, cereals, dates, etc.
- Iron-Rich Foods: Such as fish, chicken, egg yolk, broccoli, lentils, peas, spinach, berries, soybeans, and dried fruits like prunes, raisins, etc (3). Do consume a minimum of 3 servings of iron-rich foods on a daily basis.
- Calcium-Rich Foods: Calcium retention peaks during this stage of your pregnancy which is why it is important for you to eat plenty of calcium-rich foods. Such foods include collard greens, dairy products, oatmeal, almonds and sesame seeds.
- Vitamin C-Rich Foods: Foods rich in vitamin C are also important during your 9th month of pregnancy. Eat plenty of citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower.
- Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Green leafy vegetables and legumes like lima beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas should be a part of your daily diet.
Foods To Avoid During The 9th Month Of Your Pregnancy
The foods that you have avoided in pregnancy are the same as what you should omit from your diet during your ninth month of pregnancy. Here are the foods that you should definitely stay away from during this time (4):
- Caffeine: Should be avoided. However, if you do drink it in any form, do not exceed 200 mg daily. Chocolate also contains caffeine, so limit your intake of it as well.
- Alcohol: It is widely known to be dangerous during pregnancy. To prevent mental retardation, premature delivery as well as a wide range of birth defects, it is important that you abstain from it completely throughout your pregnancy.
- Saccharine: It is a sweetener that should be completely removed from your diet during your pregnancy. Indulge in your sweet tooth by opting for organic fruits and homemade candies.
- Soft Cheeses: These are still a no-no. This type of cheese is normally not pasteurized and could lead to an infection, so stay away from it.
- Raw Seafood: It is also important to remember to avoid sushi (most of which is prepared with raw fish as the main ingredient). Also other seafood that is served raw, such as oysters.
- Tobacco: It is dangerous during pregnancy. If you are a smoker or if you chew tobacco, it is important that you give it up not only in the ninth-month pregnancy diet but throughout your pregnancy. Your child’s development and growth can be adversely affected if you take tobacco.
Supplements That Can Be Taken During Pregnancy
Your nutritional requirements will be met when you eat a healthy and balanced diet. If you are not getting enough nutrients, your doctor will prescribe the following supplements to meet your needs:
- Calcium Supplement: If you are not getting enough calcium from your daily diet, this supplement will be prescribed to you. It is also given to those who suffer from lactose intolerance.
- Multi-Vitamin And Multi-Mineral Supplement: This supplement will help in providing you with all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs during this stage of your pregnancy.
- Folic Acid Supplement: Folic acid is important to produce healthy red blood cells and also to prevent birth defects (5). If you are not getting enough of it from the foods you eat, your doctor will prescribe this supplement for you.
- Iron Supplement: Experts recommend an iron supplement that contains 27 mg of iron for all pregnant women (6) when they are at the second and third trimesters of their pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I eat for normal delivery?
Some foods have anecdotal evidence of facilitating cervical ripening and inducing labor. Such foods include:
- Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain that may help prepare the uterus for labor (lacks scientific evidence) (7)
- Papaya may have uterine stimulant activity (8)
- Raspberry leaf tea (7)
- Black and blue cohosh may have an association with fetal heart problems (7)
- Balsamic vinegar (9)
- Cumin (10)
- Spicy foods (7)
2. How can I increase my weight during the 9th month of pregnancy?
Consult a doctor to know whether or not you need to gain more weight in the third trimester. If yes, then you may try the following measures (11):
- Avoid skipping breakfast. Add peanut butter or cheese on toast for extra proteins.
- Include foods that have good fats, such as nuts, olive oil, fish, and avocados
- Have healthy snacks such as yogurt and dried fruits in between meals
- Include more fresh fruit juices
It is essential to plan a 9th-month pregnancy diet since digestive functions can be affected by a fully grown uterus. Constipation and heartburn can be expected towards the end of pregnancy, and eating the right food could help prevent them. Avoiding risky foods such as uncooked or undercooked seafood and unpasteurized milk and dairy products may prevent foodborne illness. You may continue to eat a balanced diet and take supplements in earlier months to maintain good health. Avoid any harmful substances such as alcohol since they may negatively affect the baby and pregnancy. Never hesitate to discuss with your health care provider to plan a 9th-month pregnancy diet to have a smooth journey until delivery.
Infographic: Foods To Avoid During The 9th Month Of Your Pregnancy
You should be well aware of what you eat during all stages of pregnancy, especially during your ninth month. Scroll through the infographic below to know the foods you must limit or avoid altogether to ensure your health and safe delivery.
- Heartburn during pregnancy.
- Diet During Pregnancy.
- Iron rich foods for pregnancy.
- Foods to avoid when pregnant.
- Nutrition during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy and lactation.
- The truth about “natural” ways to induce labor.
- Meera Sumanth and Ugendra K; (2013); Effect of unripe Carica papaya on uterus.
- Marit L. Bovbjerg et al.; (2014); What Started Your Labor? Responses From Mothers in the Third Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study.
- Does spicy food induce labor?
- Healthy eating for two.