8th Month Pregnancy Diet: Which Foods To Eat And Avoid?

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In the 8th month of your pregnancy, your body undergoes some more changes as it prepares to deliver your baby soon. Hence, you may experience frequent bouts of fatigue and get tired easily. To cope with these physical and hormonal changes, ensure you follow a nutritious 8th-month pregnancy diet.

Read this article to learn more about the physical changes you can expect in the 8th month, what foods you should include in your diet, and what you should avoid at this time. In addition, this post offers information on the food items that will help you get the necessary nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber, from the food you consume.

In This Article

Changes In The 8th Month

As you enter the 8th month of your pregnancy, your uterus gets enlarged and creates a lot of pressure on your stomach. This results in some of the common discomforts you may face during this stage, such as refluxes and heartburns. Eating small meals throughout the day, eating without rushing and not gaining too much weight can help in decreasing these symptoms (1). A healthy diet and lifestyle is important during this stage to prevent body aches and pains as well as fatigue. It will also help you immensely in giving birth to a strong and healthy baby.

What Foods Should You Include In Your 8 Month Pregnancy Diet?

During the third trimester of your pregnancy, you gain the maximum amount of weight and your body gets heavier. This is exactly why you should eat a healthy diet and combine it with light exercise, such as walking. Here are some foods that you can include in your 8th month of pregnancy diet.

1. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals

During the last months of pregnancy, eat foods rich in iron and calcium

Image: Shutterstock

During the last months of your pregnancy, it is important for you to eat foods that are rich in folate, zinc, iron, and calcium. Blood loss is a part of delivery and you need to make sure that you include enough iron in your diet (2). Calcium will keep your and baby’s bones strong so include that too. You should have:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Apricots
  • Dried fruit and dates
  • Egg yolk
  • Lean meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy products
  • Fruit such as bananas and pomegranate
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes

2. Foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats

Put a “Do not eat” chart on your fridge. That way it will be easier for you to know what you require to eat at which time of the day.

For protein

  • Beans
  • Lean meat
  • Egg whites
  • Tofu
  • Fish
  • Chicken breast
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Soy milk

For carbohydrates

  • Potatoes
  • Whole grains
  • Cereals
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Watermelons

For Fats and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

3. Foods rich in fiber

Foods rich in fiber are important during this stage of your pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

High-fiber foods are important during this stage of your pregnancy. These foods have a high nutritive value. They also contain the right amount of fiber that you need in the last months of your pregnancy. You should have:

  • Corn
  • White beans
  • Black beans
  • Avocados
  • Whole wheat pastas
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat breads
  • Cauliflowers
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Celery
protip_icon Point to consider
Protein helps in the growth and development of fetal, uterine, and breast tissue. It also helps increase blood supply in the body (6).

What Does A Sample Diet Plan For The 8th Month Of Pregnancy Look Like?

The following table depicts a sample diet chart that pregnant women can follow in the 8th month of pregnancy. While recommended foods are generally healthy, your doctor is the best person to approve your choices based on your maternal health.

MEALSAMPLE MENU
Breakfast:
A well-balanced breakfast can help deliver crucial nutrients like folate, iron, and calcium that are pivotal for averting neural tube defects.
  • 1 cup 100% whole-grain unsweetened cereal, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 medium apple, 2 large hard-boiled eggs

OR

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats with 1/2 cup low-fat milk, two unsweetened dates chopped, 2tbsps chopped almonds, 3tbsps chia seeds
Morning Snack:
Wholesome mid-morning snack helps avoid consuming junk.
  • 7 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of blueberries, 1tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

OR

  • 1 cup mixed berries, 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
Lunch:
Lunch assumes a crucial role in furnishing an array of nutrients essential for fetal growth and maternal well-being.
  • 4 ounces roasted pork loin, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 cup roasted fingerling potatoes, 1 cup roasted cauliflower

OR

  • 4 ounces broiled salmon with farro salad
Evening Snack:
A strategically timed evening snack proves beneficial for expectant mothers, addressing evening hunger pangs and regulating blood sugar levels effectively.
  • Eight 100% whole-grain crackers, 1 ounce of Swiss cheese, 1/2 cup grapes

OR

  • 1/4 cup unsalted mixed nuts, 1/4 cup unsweetened dried mixed fruit
Dinner: 
A balanced and filling dinner can help fulfill all nutritional requirements and will ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Turkey burger, 1 medium sweet potato cut, 1 cup steamed broccoli

OR

  • 4 ounces roasted pork loin, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 cup roasted fingerling potatoes, 1 cup roasted cauliflower

What Foods To Avoid During The 8th Month Of Your Pregnancy?

During this stage of your pregnancy, there are certain foods that you should avoid to prevent excess weight gain and the discomfort of some of the symptoms that you go through. Eating nutritious foods is always important throughout your pregnancy to benefit you and your child. Here are some of the foods that you should omit from your daily diet during 8th month of pregnancy (3):

1. Coffee

Coffee may worsen constipation at 8 months of pregnancy

Image: IStock

As your due date approaches, you will find yourself constipated which can be really uncomfortable. One way to reduce this symptom is to significantly lower your daily intake of this beverage. You should also lower your intake of caffeinated beverages such as aerated soft drinks, etc.

protip_icon Be watchful
Do not increase your daily caffeine intake beyond 150 to 200mg, as its excess is linked with fetal growth issues (7).

2. Unpasteurized milk

You should avoid unpasteurized goat, cow and sheep milk. Goat’s milk is very risky during pregnancy as it comes with a high risk of toxoplasmosisiParasitic infection often caused by consumption of contaminated raw meat or exposure to cat feces .

3. Shark, marlin, and swordfish

These types of fish have high levels of methylmercuryiToxic form of mercury found in fish, which, when consumed in large amounts, may cause severe health issues during pregnancy which can be detrimental to your unborn baby’s nervous system. If you are going to eat fish, pick the ones that are not too fatty and provide you and your baby the required prenatal nutrition.

4. Soft cheese

Soft cheese should be avoided at 8 months of pregnancy

Image: IStock

Cheese that have been ripened with mould, such as Brie, as well as cheese that has blue veins, such as Danish Blue, can often contain listeria which is why they should be avoided during pregnancy. According to the US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), expectant mothers are ten times more susceptible to Listeria infection than the general population. So, if you crave cheese during pregnancy, opt for hard ones like cheddar.

5. Pate

It is best to avoid pates of all types. They could contain listeria which causes listeriosisiFood-borne bacterial infection in pregnant women characterized by diarrhea and fatigue, and flu-like symptoms . Although listeriosis causes symptoms that are flu-like in mothers, they can be fatal for unborn babies. It can cause still-birth, miscarriage and serious illnesses when a baby is born.

6. Raw or undercooked eggs

Eggs that have been lightly cooked or raw should be avoided during pregnancy. There is a high risk of them containing salmonella bacteria which is known to cause food poisoning.

7. Raw shellfish

You should avoid raw shellfish as well as raw fish dishes such as sushi during pregnancy. This is due to the high risk of food poisoning that these foods can cause.

8. Liver and cured meats

It is best to avoid liver during this stage of your pregnancy. In fact, experts say that you should avoid liver throughout your pregnancy. Cured meats like salami and ham should also be avoided as they increase the risk of toxoplasmosis and listeriosis.

protip_icon Quick tip
Avoid liver and liver products during pregnancy, as they are rich in vitamin A. Excess vitamin A has adverse effects on the fetus (8).

9. Alcohol and tobacco

Avoid smoking and drinking at 8 months pregnant

Image: Shutterstock

These should be avoided for reasons well-known to us all. Their consumption can delay the growth of the baby, cause various structural abnormalities, and lead to pregnancy complications such as preeclampsiaiA pregnancy disorder characterized by high blood pressure, water retention, and protein content in urine and preterm pain. Moreover, the baby could also be born with health complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which fruit gives color to the baby during pregnancy?

Certain fruits, such as jackfruits and pomelo, are often avoided during pregnancy since it is believed they may affect a baby’s complexion. However, it is not proven through research and hence cannot be confirmed (4).

2. What foods make labor easier?

Foods such as dates and raspberry leaf tea may induce and ease labor by helping dilate the cervix and toning the womb, respectively. However, you must first consult your Ob/Gyn to check their efficacy and safety to prevent complications (5).

3. What is the optimum amount of calories that should be consumed during pregnancy?

Pregnant women have different calorific requirements in each trimester. Generally, in the first trimester, they need around 1800 calories per day, in the second, they need 2200 calories per day, and in the third, they need 2400 calories (9).

4. How much water should an 8th-month pregnant woman drink every day?

Irrespective of the month, a pregnant woman during pregnancy should consume about 8-12 cups of water every day (10).

5. Is it safe to consume seafood during the 8th month of pregnancy?

The FDA recommends 2-3 servings of fish or seafood with low mercury content. However, do not consume more than the recommended amount as high mercury content could be harmful to the brain and nervous system (11).

6. Can an 8th-month pregnancy diet help prevent gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes usually occurs in the 24th week of pregnancy. Therefore, a healthy diet since the start of the pregnancy is considered ideal for the prevention of gestational diabetes. Nevertheless, you should pay more attention to the food you eat if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes already (12).

7. Is it necessary to take supplements during the 8th month of pregnancy?

Mothers with food allergies, pregnant women who do not eat nutritious meals, or ones who are vegetarians, might need to take supplements throughout their pregnancy to give the necessary nutrition to the fetus. Therefore, consult with your doctor to know about the necessary supplements (13).

Ensure to include safe and healthy foods in your 8th-month pregnancy diet and consume the right quantity and quality of food as it will directly impact your fetus. It would be best to eat a diet with a good balance of healthy fats, protein, carbs, folate, fiber, and vitamins to facilitate proper fetal development. In addition, during the 8th month, it is ideal to avoid spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and undercooked eggs or meat, as these foods might cause heartburniA common discomfort caused due to reflux of stomach contents to the food pipe, marked by a burning sensation in the chest and increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Hence, be mindful in picking the healthiest nutritious foods to keep yourself and the baby healthy and safe.

Infographic: Foods To Include And Avoid In Your 8th-Month Pregnancy Diet

As you enter the 8th month of pregnancy and get closer to your due date, ensure to eat all the essential nutrients to support your baby and prepare your body for labor. The infographic below includes a list of safe and unsafe foods for the 8th month of pregnancy to help you stay nourished.

safe and unsafe foods for the 8th month of pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Foods rich in micro and macronutrients are essential for healthy fetal growth and development during the 8th month of pregnancy.
  • It is recommended to consume foods such as leafy vegetables, nuts, egg yolk, dairy products, and dry fruits that contain high amounts of iron and calcium.
  • Foods such as cereals, whole grains, lean meat, and fresh fruits and vegetables help provide ample protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
  • It is best to limit the consumption of oily and spicy food to avoid digestive problems such as heartburn and reflux during this month.
  • It is advised to avoid high-fat dairy products, fish with high mercury content, caffeine, and undercooked meat or poultry.
  • A healthy diet and sufficient hydration help the expecting mother combat fatigue and body aches.
8 month pregnancy diet_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. 8 Third trimester pains and how to deal with them.
    https://utswmed.org/medblog/third-trimester-discomfort/
  2. Iron and iron deficiency anemia.
    https://nutrition.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk426/files/content/infosheets/fact-consumer-ironandanemia.pdf
  3. Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/
  4. Lakshmi G (2013); Food Preferences And Taboos During Ante-Natal Period Among The Tribal Women Of North Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
    https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.650.9370&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  5. Can anything bring labor on?
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/giving-birth/labour-and-birth-faqs/can-anything-bring-labour
  6. Pregnancy Nutrition.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/pregnancy-nutrition/
  7. Can I Still Drink Coffee While I’m Pregnant?
    https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/preg-caffeine.html#:~:text=Studies%20show%20that%20getting%20more,a%20baby’s%20growth%20and%20development
  8. Foods to avoid in pregnancy.
    https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/foods-to-avoid/
  9. Eating right during pregnancy.
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm
  10. How much water should I drink during pregnancy?
    https://www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/ask-acog/how-much-water-should-i-drink-during-pregnancy#:~:text=During%20pregnancy%20you%20should%20drinkamniotic%20fluid%20around%20the%20fetus.
  11. Eating Seafood During Pregnancy
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/eating-seafood-during-pregnancy/
  12. About Gestational Diabetes.
    https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/about/gestational-diabetes.html?CDC_AAref_Val=https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/gestational.html
  13. Vitamins and other nutrients during pregnancy
    https://www.marchofdimes.org/find-support/topics/pregnancy/vitamins-and-other-nutrients-during-pregnancy
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Dr Neha Singh has over eight years of experience as a gynaecologist and more than four years experience as an IVF specialist and endoscopic surgeon. She won an award for her paper on ‘Maternal & Child Health' in UPCOG 2016.

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Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has two years of experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor.

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Swati Patwal
Swati PatwalM.Sc. (Food & Nutrition), MBA
Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with more than a decade of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children.

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Dr. Joyani Das
Dr. Joyani DasM.Pharm, PhD
Dr. Joyani Das did her post-graduation from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and PhD in Pharmacology. Previously, she worked as an associate professor, faculty of Pharmacology, for two years. With her research background in preclinical studies and a zeal for scientific writing, she joined MomJunction as a health writer.

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