8th Month Pregnancy – Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips And Body Changes

Written by Manickarasi Mathavan
Last Updated on

Does your baby kick like a pro-boxer? Well, that’s what makes the eight-month special! Want to know about the other changes that your baby and you undergo in the 8th month of pregnancy? Read further:

Symptoms Of 8th Month Pregnancy:

The growing baby now causes a few new symptoms-some of which will stay until delivery. For example, you’ll always be short of breath and feel tired. Some common 8 months pregnant symptoms include:

  • Shortness of Breath:

Your uterus continues to expand to accommodate a growing fetus. Given the space constraint, other vital organs like the lungs compress and make it difficult for you to breathe. But, just because you feel uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean that the baby feels the same. She is well protected within the womb thanks to the oxygen supply from the placenta. Sometimes a low iron count also leaves pregnant women breathless-seek your doctor’s opinion about anemia. And if the breathlessness makes the lips and fingertips bluish, consult the doctor immediately. Ideally, there’s nothing you can do about the problem except maintaining a proper posture. The posture gives your lungs enough room to breathe. Eating too much and too soon also leaves you short of breath. You may feel better in a few weeks from now when the baby drops to its birthing position. Until then, you’ll have to grin and bear it and remind yourself to take it easy.

[ Read: Symptoms of Anemia in Pregnancy ]

  • Backaches:

A backache is an annoying symptom of pregnancy, and one that you can do little to fix. The growing uterus forces the lower back to move forward and downward leaving you with an uncomfortable backache. It also shifts the center of gravity forward thereby increasing the lumbar curve. Thanks to increased fetal movements, the lower rib cage expands and contributes to the problem. Although, there’s little you can do to get rid of the soreness, a few simple tips can alleviate the pain. For example, watch your posture when you sit or stand because improper posture puts more pressure on an already strained back. Keep your feet up whenever possible and remember to avoid crossing your legs when sitting. Gaining too much weight too soon also contributes to the problem. Sleeping on a firm surface helps as well.

  • Leaky Breasts:

Somewhere around the third trimester, you may find your breasts leaking yellowish fluid or colostrum. It is one of the many ways your body prepares you for motherhood and is perfectly normal. While the milk itself is full of proteins and nutrients, it can be quite embarrassing to find your blouse soaked wet in a public place. The easiest way to avoid staining your clothes is to wear breast pads. Not all women leak breast milk before delivery, and neither does it indicate preterm labor. But your breasts are likely to leak after sex or after nipple stimulation.

[ Read: Ways To Prevent Preterm Labour ]

  • Braxton Hicks:

Braxton Hicks contractions are nature’s way of preparing your body for the road ahead. From the 7th-8th month, uterine muscles begin to tighten causing labor-like symptoms. Unlike real labor, they’re irregular, (often) painless and less intense. They last for around 30 seconds to around a minute. Nobody knows for sure what triggers these contractions, but dehydration contributes to the problem. The next time you experience these spasms, ensure you drink plenty of water. Changing positions (while sleeping or standing) during a contraction also helps. These contractions are normal and no reason for worry. But, contact the doctor immediately if your experience four or more spasms within an hour or if the contractions are extremely painful. You may also need to inform the doctor if they accompany vaginal bleeding. These could be a warning for premature labor.

[ Read: Difference Between False And True Labor ]

  • Hemorrhoids:

Constipation and hemorrhoids occur during the later stages of your pregnancy. As your uterus expands, they put other internal organs around the pelvic area under tremendous pressure. And to contribute to the problem, an increase in blood flow causes veins around the rectum to swell and itch. Sometimes, you may notice bleeding- especially after straining during a bowel movement. Hemorrhoids are painful, but luckily they’re treatable. Speak to your doctor who may prescribe you a stool softener or a laxative. She may also ask you to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables or a fiber-rich diet. Isabgol or psyllium husk is a known laxative that’s safe to use during pregnancy. Women who have to sit for long periods of time are prone to the problem, and must take a brisk walk regularly. Practice your Kegel exercises to improve blood circulation in the area.

[ Read: Remedies For Treating Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy ]

Body Changes In 8th Month Of Pregnancy:

Babies tend to grow rapidly this month. As a result, you’ll continue to gain around half a kilo every week. As the uterus moves further up, you may feel uncomfortable and bloated at all times. It also increases your urge to pee. The growing uterus also causes stretch marks in the lower abdomen and the thighs. Besides the symptoms that we mention above, you may also feel sleep-deprived and fatigued. Having to wake up to empty your bladder makes it worse.

Common Concerns:

Thoughts about the health of your baby are likely to occupy your mind throughout the pregnancy. This eight month of pregnancy as well things aren’t going to be different. Some of the common concerns affecting babies and 8 months pregnant moms include:

  • Premature Labor:

Although babies born around eight months have a fairly high chance of survival (depending on the week of your pregnancy), they need extra 8th month pregnancy care in a neonatal intensive care unit or NICU. That’s because they’re lungs are not mature enough to breathe without support. If yours is a high-risk pregnancy, the doctor may advise complete bed rest. Babies born in this month are premature while those born after 36 weeks are term babies. There are several factors that could trigger premature birth. Some common reasons include preeclampsia, placenta previa, and placenta abruption. Sometimes, the baby assumes birth position early and even moves into the cervical area.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy ]

  • High Blood Pressure:

It is natural for your blood pressure to be a little higher than normal at eight months. But some women suffer from an unusually high blood pressure. Women who suffer from high blood pressure before pregnancy suffer from chronic hypertension, while those who suffer from the condition during pregnancy have gestational hypertension. Some women have preeclampsia, a condition where the pregnant woman has high blood pressure and high levels of protein in her urine. Preeclampsia is a serious complication, one that can put your life in danger because it decreases blood flow to the baby and even causes placental abruptions. The doctor may suggest a low-sodium diet and prescribe blood pressure medications.

[ Read: Exercises For Back Pain During Pregnancy ]

The Baby During 8th Month Of Pregnancy:

Your baby is in the middle of a growth spurt this month. She weighs around 2.5 kilos and is 19 inches from head to toe. By the end of the month, all her organs except for the brain and lungs would have matured. Fat continues to accumulate in her body, especially around the forearms. Your baby’s fingernails have developed; she also has plenty of hair on her head. Since her eyes and eyelids have developed, she’s practicing closing and opening them. As your eight month comes to an end, you may notice that the baby isn’t as active as she was earlier. That’s because there’s little room for her to move around inside the belly.


Understanding what the body needs is the key to eating a balanced diet during pregnancy. For example, Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for boosting the baby’s brain development. It also helps develop the baby’s nervous system. Walnuts, fatty fish (red snapper, shrimps, mackerel, sardines, etc.) are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Iron is another important nutrient that helps fetal development. Leafy vegetables, tomatoes, and beetroots are excellent vegetarian sources of iron. You should consume folic acid to prevent birth defects. Papaya, mushroom, and cauliflower and eggplants are rich in folic acid. A typical lunch should include generous portions or vegetables, lentils, yogurt (for the calcium), and whole wheat bread or rice (for the carbohydrates). Fruits serve as excellent desserts.

[ Read: 8th Month Pregnancy Diet ]

On Your Mind:

As your pregnancy progresses, thoughts about the impending labor will keep you awake-especially if you are a first-time mom. Does it happen like in the movies? Will I scream my lungs out? What if the water breaks in a public place? Rather than worrying, why don’t you join a prenatal class? You’ll be better informed and get over anxiety. The instructor will also teach you about pelvic exercises to ease lower back pain and other discomforts associated with pregnancy. If you are a working woman, consider joining a prenatal class that’s close to your workplace to cut down on travel time.

It is a time to get busy and set up the baby’s nursery. If space is a constraint, consider allocating a separate area to keep your baby’s accessories. You may also have to register for all the stuff that you are likely to need for the baby. Remember to include the seemingly obvious and essential things like diapers, wipes, bottles, towels, etc. But not all of things are important. For example, why would you spend hundreds of dollars on designer baby clothes when she’s going to outgrow them in a few months (or even a few weeks)! As for burp clothes, don’t clean towels serve the purpose?

Tips For Dads-To-Be:

The prenatal instructor’s advice about ‘taking a deep breath’ applies to you as much as it does to your partner. Her hormone-induced mood swings coupled with fears about your mortality are enough to overwhelm a first-time dad. But remind yourself that there’s little that you can do about the future. Here’s how you can help your partner and yourself cope with pregnancy:

  • Plan For The Baby’s Future:

While you can’t plan things to the minutest detail, it makes sense to secure your unborn child’s future financially. Speak to your finance planning consultant to look for saving options, trust funds, etc. You may also want to begin saving for her college fund.

  • Assure Your Partner About Coping Labor:

As the due date inches close, your partner would be worried about coping labor. All those stories about labor would now come to haunt her. Your job is to reassure her that she can manage labor and that it is alright to opt for other birthing options if the prospect of natural birth scares the daylights out of her.

  • Help Her With The Household Work:

So what if you don’t know how to cook, you can help her with the housework. Cleaning, tidying up, getting the elder kid ready for school or activity class are some of the things that you could do.

[ Read: Things To Do Before Baby Arrives ]

  • Be Patient:

I know it needs a lot of patience to explain to your partner that she’s not ‘fat’ and looks fabulous. But that’s what you will have to do. Maybe, you could even prove that actions speak louder than words by giving her a relaxing backrub or fetching a warm glass of milk for her before bedtime.

To Do List:

You’ll be busy getting things set for the baby’s nursery. Among other things, you’ll have to make sure that the baby register is ready. It is the right time to look for child care options if you are planning to return to full-time work after delivery. Working moms will have to sort out paperwork related to their maternity leave.

[ Read: 8th Month Pregnancy Care ]

At The Doctor’s Office:

You’ll be visiting the doctor once every two weeks to make sure that your pregnancy is progressing well. As usual, urine and blood samples will be tested to look for signs of an infection and to monitor for glucose levels. The doctor will also check for visible signs of edema and monitor blood pressure and fetal heartbeat. She’ll also measure the size and shape of the uterus. By the end of this month, the doctor will look for signs that the baby has dropped and assumed the birthing position.

These are some of the common symptoms experienced by 8 month pregnant woman. Was yours different? Share your stories with us.

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