From 73 normal pregnancies of gestational age between 17 and 41 weeks of gestation (WG), the concentrations of glucose, pyruvate and lactate, free fatty acids, ketone bodies (aceto-acetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate) and cholesterol were assessed on maternal venous blood (MVB) and umbilical venous blood (UVB), sampled by cordocentesis. The objective of this work was to study feto-maternal metabolism, as well as nutritional exchange between maternal blood and fetal blood during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Maternal and fetal glycemias, as well as maternal-fetal glucose concentration gradient, were found stable during the studied gestational period; maternal glucose is always higher than fetal glucose, with a mean concentration delta of 0.69+/-0.34 mmol/L. Maternal lactate level (1.26+/-0.38 mmol/L) is lower than fetal lactate level (1.48+/-0.46 mmol/L), whereas maternal blood pyruvate concentration (0.042+/-0.020 mmol/L) is higher than fetal blood pyruvate concentration (0.025+/-0.010 mmol/L). Consequently, mean lactate / pyruvate ratio is found twice lower in maternal blood (31.77+/-9.89) than in fetal blood (64.10+/-17.12). Free fatty acids concentration is approximately three times higher in maternal blood than in fetal blood (respectively 0.435+/-0.247 mmol/L and 0.125+/-0.046 mmol/L). Maternal venous aceto-acetate (0.051+/-0.042 mmol/L) and beta-hydroxybutyrate (0.232+/-0.270 mmol/L) concentrations are significantly lower than those in UVB (respectively 0.111+/-0.058 and 0.324+/-0.246 mmol/L) and the beta-hydroxybutyrate/aceto-acetate ratio is on average 1.7 times higher in MVB (4.75+/-2.5) than in UVB (2.82+/-1.18). Cholesterol concentration is significantly higher in maternal blood (6.26+/-1.40 mmol/L) than in fetal blood (1.66+/-0.34 mmol/L). Our results show the characteristics of oxidative metabolism of the fetus compared with that of the adult. Blood concentration in energy substrates, measured with glucose and free fatty acids levels, is low in UVB and suggests increased energy needs of the growing fetus. Mean high concentrations in aceto-acetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate in UVB, indicate probably fetal ketogenesis. UVB low cholesterolemia suggests high cholesterol consumption in the fetal compartment for cellular membrane synthesis and steroid biosynthesis.