8 Months Pregnant: Symptoms, Body Changes & Baby Development

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At 29 to 32 weeks or 8 months pregnant, you are in the third trimester and only a few weeks away from bringing your baby into the world (1). Now that you have seen your fully developed baby on the monitor during an ultrasound scan, you may be excited about seeing your baby soon. However, since you are close to going into labor, you should take specific precautions to ensure your and the baby’s safety and health.

This post explains the 8th-month pregnancy symptoms, the physical and emotional changes, the baby’s growth, position, and movements, diet to follow, and other measures.

In This Article

Symptoms You Experience In The Eighth Month Of Pregnancy

Here are the symptoms you may experience this month during your third trimester (1), (2), (3):

  • Weight gain: It should increase as per your BMI (4)
Pregnancy monthBMI BMI 25 – 30BMI > 30
8th8-9 kg5-6kg4-5kg
  • Breathlessness: The pressure put by the growing uterus on the diaphragm makes breathing difficult.
  • Tiredness: The body has to work more to meet the demands of the growing fetus, which causes fatigue.
  • Nasal congestion: Nasal membranes expand as the estrogen levels increase and cause more mucus to pass through, resulting in nasal congestion.
  • Heartburn: The growing uterus pushes the stomach upward, causing the gastric acids to go into the esophagus and triggering a burning sensation.
  • Bloating: The process of digestion is slowed down due to an increase in the progesterone levels. It makes the tummy gassier and leaves you bloated.
  • Constipation: As the digestion process slows down, the food tends to stay longer in the intestine, leading to constipation.
  • Braxton Hicks contraction: These are painless contractions felt in the lower abdomen. They are normal after the 34rd week of gestation and prepare the body for labor.
  • Hemorrhoids: The pressure exerted by the growing uterus on the inferior vena cava (largest vein in the body) restricts the blood flow, causing stasisiXStoppage in the normal flow of bodily fluids, including processes such as the blood circulation of the blood in the veins. This results in the expansion of the blood vessels near the anal region, which can be painful and itchy.
  • Varicose veins: The pressure put on the inferior vena cava due to the expanding uterus restricts the backflow of the blood through the veins near the legs. It causes swelling of the blood vessels, also called varicose veins.
  • Edema: The water retention in the body causes swelling of the ankles and feet.
  • Backache: The growing uterus exerts pressure on the lower back, causing pain.
  • Insomnia: Frequent trips to the bathroom and the physical discomforts deprive you of a sound sleep.

Image: IStock

  • Leg cramps: Extra weight, vitamin deficiency, or being too active or inactive are likely to cause leg cramps (5).
  • Increased vaginal discharge: The cervical wall and the vaginal wall soften during pregnancy, causing white discharge. It helps prevent any bacteria from traveling to the uterus through the birthing canal (6).
  • Abdominal pressure: The baby drops down into the pelvis by this month, due to which there will be extra pressure in the lower abdomen.

Physical Changes In The Eighth Month

By now, you may have experienced several physical changes due to the pregnancy. Here are some more 8-month pregnancy symptoms that might become prominent.

  • The 8-month pregnant belly or baby bump is more prominent and leans slightly downward as the baby moves to the head-down position by this time.

Image: Shutterstock

  • Hair fall reduces due to the hormonal changes, which makes your hair look fuller.
  • The breast starts leaking a yellow fluid called colostrum, which is the first milk your baby will feed.
  • The hormonal changes cause pigmentation that results in darker nipples and areola.
  • The growing uterus causes tearing of the skin tissues causing stretch marks.
  • The line between the belly button and the pubic hairline, referred to as the linea nigra, becomes darker due to pigmentation.

protip_icon Quick fact
During this month, some women may suddenly urinate while laughing or sneezing because of the uterus’s pressure on the bladder (3).

Emotional Changes In The Eighth Month

Emotional changes that could take a toll on you this month include:

  • Mood swings and anxiety
  • Stress as you may be worried about the delivery and the upcoming responsibilities

As you experience these changes, the baby continues to develop and get ready to come into the world soon.

Baby Development In The Eighth Month Of Pregnancy

By this time, your baby grows from the size of a butternut squash to a jicamaiXAn edible tuber rich in fiber and water and typically used in Mexican dishes (7).

  • Baby weight (8): 2.54 – 3.75lb (1.153 – 1.702kg)
  • Baby’s CRL (crown-rump length): 15.19 – 16.6in (38.6 – 42cm)

Here is how your baby is developing this month (2), (9), (10), (11):

Body partsDevelopment
LanugoBegins to fall off.
EyesStarts to open and close.
LungsNot fully matured, but breathing practices start.
BonesFully formed but are soft.
SkinLess wrinkled
NailsThey extend till the fingertips and toe tips.
Digestive systemStill developing
EarCan hear sounds, prefers mother’s voice or female voices to other voices
Nervous systemIt is almost developed and starts controlling the body functions.

As you are closer to the delivery date, this is also the ideal time to learn about all the possible positions that your baby can or will attain.

Baby’s Position And Movements In The Eighth Month

Position: By this month, the baby attains a head-down position, which is the ideal position for labor. It helps the baby’s head to fit properly into the pelvis for a smooth movement through the birthing canal during delivery.

Image: IStock

However, the baby might sometimes attain the bottom-down position, which is also called breech presentation. But, there is nothing to worry about because your baby still has enough time to flip the position and get back to the ideal one just in time.

Movement: As the baby has grown bigger, there is not much space left inside the womb for free movements. Therefore, you may feel a decrease in the frequency of movements. Also, the kicks are not as stronger as they used to be earlier.

A healthy pregnancy is possible with a healthy lifestyle and diet. Next, we give you a list of dos and don’ts for this month.

protip_icon Quick fact
Some believe that the baby moves less during the end of pregnancy; however, it’s a myth (19).

Pregnancy Diet For The Eighth Month

Image: IStock

Here is the list of foods that you must add to your prenatal care diet for adequate fetal development (12):

  • Calcium promotes healthy bones and teeth in your baby. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a pregnant woman should take 1000mg of calcium/day. Add a lot of green leafy vegetables, bread, milk, and fortified cerealsiXAdditional vitamins and minerals are added to cereals to enhance their nutrient value to your diet.
  • The ACOG recommends a daily intake of 600mcg folic acid for pregnant women. It is necessary for preventing birth defects of the brain and spine, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, in the baby. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1427 babies are affected by spina bifida and 847 babies are affected by anencephaly, in the US. Leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuceiXA variety of lettuce with long and dark-green colored leaves, popularly used in salads , and kale), kidney beans, lentils, nuts, citrus fruits, and beans are rich sources of folic acid.
  • Iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. The recommended intake is 27 mg/day (including the supplement). Whole grain products, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, beans, lean pork and beef, and sardines are a good source of iron.
  • Orange or yellow vegetables (sweet potatoes or carrots), leafy vegetables, liver, and milk are a rich source of vitamin A. The ACOG-recommended daily intake of this vitamin is 770mcg for promoting bone strength and healthy eyesight.
  • Salmon and milk are a good source of vitamin D that promotes healthy eyesight and strengthens the bones and teeth. According to the ACOG, the recommended intake is 600IU per day.
  • Protein is necessary for muscles and the brain. It can be obtained from lean meat and poultry, eggs, seafood, peas, soy products, beans, milk, and unsalted seeds and nuts.
  • Vitamin C promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones. Add citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli to your diet. The average daily recommended intake is 85mg.

Foods To Avoid During The Eighth Month

Here is the list of foods you need to avoid:

  • Avoid eating raw or uncooked food. It can cause listeriosis, a foodborne disease caused by bacteria (13).
  • Avoid taking too much caffeine, i.e., more than 200-300 mg/day (14).
  • Avoid eating swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark as they contain a high level of mercury.
  • Women with celiac disease should avoid food containing gluteniXA protein found in cereals, known for its elasticity and food-binding quality (15).
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk and cheese.
  • Avoid deeply fried and spicy foods as they can aggravate heartburn, bloating and constipation.

Considering that you’re so close to labor, make sure you do not miss the gynecologist appointment this month.

What To Expect During Your Visit To Ob/Gyn?

Here are some of the obstetric tests that will be performed when you visit the doctor:

Physical examinations:

  • Blood pressure check
  • Weight check
  • Measurement of fundal heightiXA measure (in cms) of distance from the pubis to the top of the uterus, used to assess fetal development during pregnancy

Ultrasound is carried out to

  • Monitor the fetal heart rate and growth of your baby in terms of weight and fetometry.
  • Check the position of the baby and the condition of the placenta.

Pregnancy is a delicate phase when you need to be careful and be aware of things that indicate when something is amiss with your or your baby’s health.

protip_icon Point to consider
Your doctor will also check swelling in ankles or feet, vision changes or abdominal pain, and urine to rule out any concerns (20).

What Do You Need To Know In Your Eighth Month Of Pregnancy?

Here are some symptoms that may warrant a trip to the doctor (16):

Image: IStock

  • Dark-colored urine
  • Painful or reduced urination
  • Vomiting that worsens and lasts for more than 24 hours
  • Dizziness
  • A nosebleed that doesn’t stop
  • Persistent headaches even after taking acetaminophen (Tylenol*)
  • Constant leg cramps

Preterm Labor In The Eighth Month

In case of any of the following symptoms are observed before the due date, get medical assistance immediately (17):

  • Five or more contractions in an hour or one every 10 minutes.
  • Menstrual-like cramps
  • Any vaginal bleeding (pink or bloody in color)
  • A sudden increase in vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal fluid leak
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
  • Pelvic pressure
  • A dull, low backache

If you experience any of the following symptoms, then:

  • Drink a lot of fluids
  • Keep emptying your bladder
  • Lie to your left side for an hour and check the contraction timing

The better you take care of your health, the lesser the risk of any complications.

Precautions For The Eighth Month

Here are some precautionary measures you can follow during this month of pregnancy:

  • Avoid standing for a long time.
  • Make a note of the number of times the baby kicks or moves. If you do not feel any movement for some time, then eat something sweet because sugar rush makes them move (18).
  • Keep your stress at bay.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Give enough rest to your body.
  • Do not lie on your back.
  • Maintain oral hygiene.
  • Have smaller meals at regular intervals.
  • Do not lift heavy objects.
  • Try walking and Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles.

Dr. Brittany Robles, a New York-based physician and physical trainer, says, “Walking is one of the best forms of exercise throughout the pregnancy. It is difficult to give an exact recommendation as every woman is different and has unique tolerances to exercise. Try to walk at least 10 minutes once or twice a day. If you can comfortably do more, you can increase the duration. Never overexert yourself and stay within a comfortable range.”

  • Avoid taking any medicine without the doctors’ advice.
  • Wear comfortable, flat footwear and loose, breathable clothes.
  • Avoid cleaning cat litter as it can cause toxoplasmosisiXA parasitic infection caused by consuming raw, contaminated food or exposure to infected cat feces .
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals

At this time, your partner can also help make your life more comfortable and safe.

Tips For Dad-to-be

  • Help you with household chores
  • Accompany you during the appointments.
  • Plan an outing to make you feel refreshed and relaxed.
  • Give you a good foot massage.
  • Help you in packing the maternity bag.
  • Start shopping for newborn baby essentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of exercises are safe for me to do in the eighth month of pregnancy?

Exercises such as walking, swimming, low-intensity yoga or pilates, and pelvic floor exercises may be safe in the eighth month of pregnancy. However, pregnant women should consult their ob/gyn before practicing exercises (21).

2. What is the best way to relieve back pain in the eighth month of pregnancy?

Support belts meant to be worn under and over the belly can take some weight off the hips and back and relieve back pain. Placing pillows under your hips or sitting on a balance or yoga ball instead of a chair may ease the pain. A warm bath, massage, or a heating pad on your back may help as well. Additionally, you may practice exercises your doctor permits to strengthen your back muscles. Avoid standing for long periods and use comfortable footwear to relieve backache during pregnancy (22) (23).

3. How can I deal with anxiety and stress in the eighth month of pregnancy?

Being physically active, having adequate sleep, getting relaxing massages, practicing yoga and mindfulness techniques, and writing down your worries may help ease anxiety and stress during this time (24).

4. Can I take the stairs in the eighth month of pregnancy?

According to Dr. Robles, “It is perfectly safe to take the stairs at eight months. However, it is important to hold the handrail and take your time to avoid the risk of falling or losing your balance.”

The excitement of childbirth is almost in the air when you are 8 months pregnant. Doctor visits become frequent so they can monitor your baby’s status and position until delivery. This is also the time when there are chances for preterm birth. Hence, you should stay focused and report your abnormal observations to a doctor. It is also the time to prepare your hospital bag and yourself for childbirth since the delivery is a few days away.

Infographic: Physical And Emotional Changes During The Eighth Month

With just a few weeks from holding your baby in your arms, the eighth month of pregnancy is significant for the growing baby. During this month, you’ll also experience several emotional and physical changes. So, the infographic below sheds light on the changes you’ll observe during the eighth month to be prepared for childbirth.

changes to expect in the eight 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 Pointers

  • By the eighth month of pregnancy, the baby is the size of a butternut squash.
  • Common symptoms during this period include tiredness, bloating, and Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Stretch marks become more visible due to the tearing of skin tissues.
  • A diet rich in calcium, folic acid, and vitamins is necessary for the baby’s healthy growth.
  • If you experience vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain, consult a doctor immediately.


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. Pregnancy: Hemorrhoids and Constipation, HealthLinkBC
2. Stages of pregnancy, womenshealth.gov
3. What happens in the eighth month of pregnancy?, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. (2019)
4. Fact Sheet Gestational weight gain, NSW
5. Leg cramps during pregnancy, healthdirect
6. Vaginal discharge in pregnancy, NHS
7. Week by Week Fetus Size Demonstrated by Fruits, EPAOA (2014-2019)
8. Fetal Development, UNSW Embryology (2018)
9. My Baby’s Growth, Sutter Health (2018)
10. Prenatal Form and Function – The Making of an Earth Suit, The Endowment For Human Development, Inc (2001-2019)
11. Fetal development, NIH (2019)
12. Nutrition During Pregnancy, ACOG
13. Listeria Infection (Listeriosis), Organization of Teratology Information Specialists
14. Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs, The Nemours Foundation (1995-2019)
15. How Celiac Disease Affects Pregnancy, Celiac Disease Foundation (1998-2018)
16. When to call us, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc (2018)
17. Premature Labor, Sutter Health (2008)
18. Fetal Movement Counting, Stanford Children’s Health (2019)
19. Baby movements during pregnancy; Pregnancy, baby and birth.
20. Pregnancy: The eighth month; About Kids Health.
21. Best Exercise for Your Third Trimester of Pregnancy; Lamaze
22. 8 third trimester pains and how to deal with them; UT Southwestern Medical Center
23. What Can I Do to Relieve My Pregnancy Backaches?; Nemours Children’s Health
24. How can you manage anxiety during pregnancy? Harvard Medical School
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