9th Month Pregnancy Diet - Which Foods To Eat And Avoid?

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 maternal 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.

In This Article

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 give in to your cravings and indulge in some guilty pleasures at this stage, it is important for you to remember to be cautious about what you eat and prioritize food safety. Your digestive system can be affected due to rapid weight gain, which is why you should continue healthy eating with the balanced and nutritious diet you followed in the early months. Incorporating low-fat dairy, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, and lean protein in moderation may help maintain a healthy diet during this stage. 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 intake every day


protip_icon Quick tip
Eat small meals multiple times daily rather than two or three large ones to help prevent heartburn during pregnancy (1).

Foods To Eat During This Stage Of Your Pregnancy

When you eat healthy and nutritious foods, you not only pave the way for a smooth pregnancy but also lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and pre-eclampsia. A well-balanced diet and meal planning can prevent discomforts such as constipation and heartburn, and ensure proper fetal development and growth while reducing the risk of pregnancy-related complications. Do include the following in your diet:

  • Fiber-Rich Foods: Such as vegetables, fruits, whole-grain bread, cereals, dates, etc.

Image: Shutterstock

  • 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.

Image: IStock

  • 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.
protip_icon Did you know?
The letters RDA (recommended daily allowance) on food labels tell you the recommended nutrient intake for daily diet. During pregnancy, the RDAs for most nutrients are higher (12).

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.

Image: Shutterstock

  • 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. Based on a population-based study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Listeria ranks as the third leading cause of foodborne illness-related mortalities in the US. Approximately 1,600 individuals fall ill from Listeria annually, with approximately 260 fatalities.
  • 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.

Image: IStock

  • 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.

Sample Diet Plan For The 9th Month Of Pregnancy

Here’s a sample diet plan that you can customize based on your preference and liking to eat healthily in the last month of pregnancy. Consult with your nutritionist to determine a plan that works best based on your overall health.

MEALSAMPLE MENU
Breakfast:
Start your day with a nutrient-packed breakfast, especially during pregnancy. It delivers vital elements like folate, iron, and calcium, crucial for fetal development and preventing neural tube defects.
  • Breakfast burrito with one medium orange

OR

  • Spinach and cheese omelet, one 100% whole-wheat English muffin with 1 tablespoon almond butter
Morning Snack:

For pregnant women, a nutritious morning snack is indispensable to combat mid-morning hunger pangs and maintain stable blood sugar levels.

  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1 medium banana, 4 walnut halves chopped

OR

  • 1 medium apple, 1 ounce of cheddar cheese
Lunch:
A balanced meal for lunch offers a diverse array of nutrients crucial for both fetal development and maternal well-being.
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich, 1/2 cup carrot sticks, 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers

OR

  • Tofu stir fry, 1 cup brown rice, 1 medium apple
Evening Snack:
Timing matters! An aptly timed evening snack aids expectant mothers in managing their blood sugar levels.
  • 1 medium pear, 1/4 cup unsalted mixed nuts

OR

  • Five walnut halves chopped, 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
Dinner:
Cap off the day with a nutritious dinner to fulfill your daily nutritional requirements.
  • Four ounces of grilled chicken breast, 1 cup of roasted red potatoes, 1 cup of roasted Brussels sprouts

OR

  • 4 ounces of grilled sirloin steak, 1 cup of grilled vegetables, 1 medium baked potato topped with 2 tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt

Supplements That Can Be Taken During Pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

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

3. How many calories should I consume during my 9th month of pregnancy?

During the third trimester, around 2,400 calories per day are appropriate for most average-weight expectant mothers (12). Calorie intake may vary on several factors, such as physical activity and health problems. Therefore, speak to a healthcare provider to determine your recommended calorie intake.

4. Can I eat red meat during my 9th month of pregnancy?

You may eat red meat as part of a balanced diet since meat provides essential nutrients such as protein, zinc, and iron. Do keep the intake in moderation to avoid eating too much saturated fat. You may consider healthier alternatives such as vegetable protein, fish, or poultry (13).

5. Should I avoid processed or fast food during my 9th month of pregnancy?

Consider having a very less intake of processed or fast foods during the 9th month. Choose low-sugar, low-fat options, and check labels for any additives. Avoid canned foods with syrup or salted water, undercooked meat, and soft cheese in sandwiches or burgers (14).

6. Can I eat ice cream during my 9th month of pregnancy?

Ice cream is safe for pregnant women unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Choose ice cream made with pasteurized milk, and avoid those containing raw eggs.

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 should continue to eat a balanced diet and take supplements during the earlier months to ensure good prenatal care. 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.

what not to consume in the last month of pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Takeaways

  • Following a balanced diet is essential during pregnancy for good health and proper growth and development of the baby.
  • Include healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein-rich foods in adequate amounts to meet the nutritional requirement and prevent excessive weight gain during the 9th month of pregnancy.
  • Include foods that are rich in fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and folic acid.
  • Refrain from using caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, saccharine, soft cheeses, and raw seafood during pregnancy to avoid adverse outcomes.
  • In addition to a balanced diet, supplements containing multivitamins, calcium, iron, and folic acid are necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
9th month pregnancy diet_illustration_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Heartburn during pregnancy.
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12011-heartburn-during-pregnancy
  2. Diet During Pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/diet-during-pregnancy/
  3. Iron rich foods for pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/iron-rich-foods-for-your-pregnancy/
  4. Foods to avoid when pregnant.
    https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/foods-to-avoid-when-pregnant
  5. Nutrition during pregnancy.
    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/nutrition-during-pregnancy
  6. Pregnancy and lactation.
    https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/life-stages/pregnancy-lactation#iron
  7. The truth about “natural” ways to induce labor.
    https://utswmed.org/medblog/truth-natural-labor/
  8. Meera Sumanth and Ugendra K; (2013); Effect of unripe Carica papaya on uterus.
    https://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/1012_pdf.pdf
  9. Marit L. Bovbjerg et al.; (2014); What Started Your Labor? Responses From Mothers in the Third Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4210668/
  10. Does spicy food induce labor?
    https://podcasts.ufhealth.org/does-spicy-food-induce-labor/
  11. Healthy eating for two.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/eating-for-two/
  12. Eating right during pregnancy.
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm
  13. Should Women Eat Red Meat During Pregnancy?
    https://www.pbmchealth.org/news-events/blog/should-women-eat-red-meat-during-pregnancy
  14. Is it safe to consume junk food in pregnancy?
    https://www.ifwip.org/junk-food-pregnancy-fast-food/
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