8 Month Pregnancy: Changes, Diet and Precautions to Know

Months of anticipation were finally coming to an end as first-time mother-to-be  Supriya Basu entered her 8 month pregnancy.

Supriya was fortunate to have a healthy pregnancy and she intended to keep it that way so that she could have a normal delivery.

“My husband and I wanted to know everything there is to know about the 8th month of pregnancy and what we should expect during this time,” said Supriya.

The couple came to Dr. Payal Chaudhary, Consultant Obstetrician at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital prepared with a list of questions that you should also go through if you are 8 months pregnant.

Dr. Payal remarked, “It is a common misconception that 8th month of pregnancy is very crucial and you have to take extra care during this time. “

“You don’t require special attention but it depends entirely on how your pregnancy is progressing. “

Physical changes in the Mother-to-Be in 8 month pregnancy

You may notice certain changes such as:

Difficulty in breathing: Your uterus expands further to make space for your growing baby. This puts pressure on your lungs making it difficult to breathe at times.

Leaking breasts: Your body may prepare for breastfeeding by producing yellow coloured milk, called colostrum, closer to your due date. You may notice this as slightly leaking breasts.

Constant back pain: The growing weight of your baby makes your abdomen heavier and puts pressure on your back. This could lead to episodes of back pain.

“You can lessen the pain by sitting straight and avoiding standing or sitting for too long without proper back support,” says Dr Payal.

“Proper exercises to strengthen back muscles also help.”

Supriya wondered whether the tightening sensation she had experienced a few days ago was related to the back pain and raised her query.

False contractions: Upon further questioning, Dr Payal realized Supriya was referring to false contractions.

Dr. Payal explained, “This type of pain is referred to as Braxton Hicks contractions, which resemble real contractions that you experience in labour.”

“This is just a way for your uterus to prepare for actual labour and is nothing to worry about.”

“Remember, if these contractions last for longer than a day then you must see your doctor.”

Physical Changes in Baby during the 8th month of pregnancy

Increase in weight: Your baby will weigh more than 2.1 kilos during this time. Most of its organs will have developed.

Increase in movements: During the 8th month of pregnancy, your baby will change position and move down your pelvis with its head facing downward.

Important tests during 8 month pregnancy

It is essential to test:

  • your weight and blood pressure
  • your urine for traces of sugar and protein
  • your baby’s pulse
  • your baby’s size and position

Supriya and her husband wanted to make sure they don’t miss any of these tests so they talked to their doctor and worked out a schedule.

8 month Pregnancy Precautions

“We always reiterate that pregnancy is not a disease and should not be treated as such.”

“There are no precautions we advocate but it may differ depending on any medical condition you have,” explained Dr Payal.

Supriya was keen to know whether there was any special diet she should follow at this time.

Pregnancy Diet at 8 months

“There is no special diet that you should follow” reassured Dr Payal.“ You should eat small frequent meals. Make sure you avoid oily, and spicy, food, especially junk food.“

“Continue eating fresh fruits, vegetables and fibres to prevent constipation, which is common in pregnancy. Drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated at all times.”

Prepare for Labour and Delivery

Many couples find it helpful to attend a Labour and Delivery Class to understand what to expect in labour and learn techniques to manage labour pain.  

Learn how to Breastfeed

You can attend classes that teach you how to breastfeed and hold your baby.  You can also use the classes as a forum to ask a pediatrician and a Child Health Educator any concerns about breastfeeding.

Supriya and Arun jumped at the opportunity of enrolling in the ‘Preparing for the New Arrival’ class. They wanted to be as informed as possible about how to take care of their newborn.

Pack Your Hospital Bag

You should also start packing things you will need during your delivery so that you don’t have to search for necessities at the last minute.

Don’t know what to pack for the hospital? Check out our list!

Supriya and her husband listened to all the healthcare tips given by their doctor carefully.

Five weeks later, Supriya went into labour and had a successful vaginal delivery. The couple welcomed their son Danish into the world.