8th Month of Pregnancy – Symptoms, Bodily Changes and Baby Development
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- Video: 8 Months Pregnant – Symptoms, Belly, Baby Size, Do’s and Don’ts
- How Many Weeks Is Eight Months Pregnant?
- 8 Months Pregnant – Symptoms
- Physical Changes in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
- Emotional Changes in 8th Month
- Common Problems That Arise in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
- How Will Your Baby Develop During the Eighth Month of Your Pregnancy?
- Position and Movements of Baby in 8th Month of Pregnancy
- Do’s and Don’ts
- Tests and Vaccination Recommended in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
- Tips for Father-to-be
- When to Consult the Doctor?
If you have reached the eight-month mark of your pregnancy, you are almost there! The feeling of being fully pregnant is most likely to hit you this month. You must have started shopping for your baby already but it is around eight months of pregnancy that you will consider making your house ready for the arrival of your baby. You are in the third trimester of your pregnancy and you must have realised that it is not easy. Your little one will gain more weight during this time and will prepare himself to come out and see the world. If you are curious to find out what is going on with your body (and your baby) right now, read this article!
Video: 8 Months Pregnant – Symptoms, Belly, Baby Size, Do’s and Don’ts
How Many Weeks Is Eight Months Pregnant?
Eight months pregnant is approximately 32-35 weeks along, as a full-term pregnancy typically lasts around 40 weeks. This is a general estimation, and individual pregnancies may vary.
8 Months Pregnant – Symptoms
The eighth month of pregnancy is not easy. There will be significant changes in a pregnant woman’s body during this time as well. Some typical 8 month pregnancy symptoms that mark the beginning phase of the third trimester are as follows.
1. Shortness of Breath
The growing baby and the consequently growing baby bump will add up a few extra kgs to your body. Internally, the expansion of the uterus starts putting pressure on the lungs and compresses it. These bodily changes can cause breathlessness. This condition improves when the baby positions himself in the cephalic position during this month.
2. False Contractions
You are likely to experience false contractions during this month. False contractions are also known as Braxton Hicks contractions, that resemble the real labour time contractions. They usually last for a few seconds only. This is a natural step the body takes towards preparing the uterine muscles for delivery. However, less water intake during this time can trigger false contractions even more.
Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy and it can start as early as the first month of pregnancy. But constipation will trouble you even more in the third trimester of your pregnancy. As the growing uterus constricts the space available for the bowels and other internal organs in the pelvic region, you may likely experience difficulty in bowel movement during this month. If you put excess pressure while passing stools, you may also notice some blood in the stool. This condition is easily treatable with a laxative, so, consult your doctor if you experience constipation.
4. Leakage of Breast Milk
As a preparatory step for breastfeeding, the mother’s body prepares the colostrum much in advance. During this month, you may notice that small amounts of this colostrum or yellow milk leaking from the breasts. Not all women will face this issue though. If your breasts leak, you can wear breast pads to prevent your bra and other clothes from getting spoiled.
5. Back Pain
The increasing baby weight and tummy will put pressure on the lumbar region of the back. It may also change the centre of gravity. Consequently, many women, during this phase experience back pain, especially after long hours of sitting or standing. If you experience back pain, you can correct your posture by practising some simple pregnancy-safe exercises or by using a pregnancy pillow.
Increased weight and hormonal changes can lead to feeling tired and needing more rest during the day.
7. Swelling (Edema)
Increased bodily fluids and pressure on blood vessels can lead to swelling, particularly in the legs and feet.
8. Heartburn (Acid Reflux)
The growing uterus can push stomach acids into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.
9. Frequent Urination
The expanding uterus puts pressure on the bladder, causing a need to urinate more often.
10. Pelvic Pressure
The baby’s head puts pressure on the pelvis, causing discomfort and a feeling of heaviness.
11. Stretch Marks
Skin stretches to accommodate the growing belly, resulting in pinkish or purplish streaks.
12. Leg Cramps
Increased pressure on blood vessels can lead to painful cramps in the legs.
13. Difficulty Sleeping
Discomfort, frequent urination, and anxiety about the impending labour can make it harder to get a good night’s rest.
14. Increased Appetite
The growing baby’s demands for nutrients may lead to a noticeable increase in appetite.
15. Blurry Vision
Fluid retention can affect the shape of the eyeball, leading to temporary changes in vision.
16. Itchy Skin
Stretching skin and hormonal changes can lead to itchiness, particularly around the belly area.
Physical Changes in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
The eight month of pregnancy is the time when your baby will gain significant weight and grow quite rapidly. This will directly bring about a number of changes in your body. You may start noticing some of the following changes during this time.
- Your baby bump will obviously grow bigger.
- Around this time, urinary incontinence may kick in. A small amount of urine leakage may happen every time you sneeze, cough, or even laugh. It can be quite embarrassing and annoying. Consult your doctor if it interferes too much with your day to day life. Also, practice Kegel exercise to tighten the bladder muscles.
- Heartburn, especially during the night can give you sleepless nights. Try home remedies or consult your doctor for simple and safe medication for heartburn.
- Water retention and swelling of extremities are common during the third trimester.
- Leakage of the amniotic fluid may happen from the vagina for some women. It can be differentiated from urine based on the stronger smell and texture of the fluid. However, if the amniotic fluid leaks, you must consult with your doctor immediately.
- Breathlessness and dizziness can occur due to the growing baby bump.
- Watch out for false contractions, also called the Braxton-Hicks contractions that occur during the third trimester. These are not the real contractions that occur during the delivery but may feel similar. Braxton-Hicks contractions may last for about 30 seconds to a few minutes. However, you should consult your doctor if they last longer or you experience pain.
- Your breasts may also start leaking around this time. The first breast milk which is called colostrum may leak from your breasts.
- Hot flashes occur for some women during the third trimester.
- You may get anxious, irritable, and impatient during the eighth month of your pregnancy as the due date would seem near yet it will be far.
Emotional Changes in 8th Month
The following are the emotional changes you may experience during the 8th month of pregnancy!
- Mood swings: They arise from shifts in hormones.
- Stress: Concerns about parenthood and pregnancy-induced anxiety can lead to heightened stress levels.
- Pregnancy brain: Hormonal changes often cause forgetfulness during this period.
Common Problems That Arise in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
Each trimester of pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges. Typically during the 8th month, these are some of the problems affecting the mother and the health of the baby.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Women tend to have high blood pressure during this time. It is termed as gestational hypertension and can occur due to stress or other health conditions. If this hypertension is coupled with high protein in the urine, it is termed as preeclampsia. Undetected or untreated preeclampsia can be quite harmful to the foetus as it decreases the blood flow to the baby. This concern should be addressed as early as possible.
2. Preterm birth
Preterm labour is a risk factor in the eighth month as some babies are in the cephalic position and get ready for birth sooner than the full term. Other health conditions like preeclampsia and placental abnormalities can result in the emergency birth of the baby. Babies born in the 8th month have a good chance of survival but require intensive care for many days.
How Will Your Baby Develop During the Eighth Month of Your Pregnancy?
As soon as the third trimester starts, the last leg of development in the foetus starts too. Here are some of the important changes in the baby that happens at eight months.
|Skin||The skin is shielded by vernix caseosa, a protective, oily substance.|
|Hair||Hair initiation begins on the head.|
|Lanugo||Fine body hair starts to cover the skin.|
|Eyes||Eyebrows, eyelashes, and eyelids begin to form.|
|Heart||Its rate follows circadian rhythms.|
|Vocal Cords||They undergo maturation.|
|Ears||The cochlea is fully developed, allowing the fetus to hear.|
|Genitals||In females, around 7 million oogonia develop, giving rise to primary oocytes.|
|Nerves||They are being enveloped by a protective tissue called myelin.|
|Fingers||Fingerprints begin to take shape.|
Position and Movements of Baby in 8th Month of Pregnancy
1. Position of Baby
A baby’s position changes from breech to cephalic during the eighth month of pregnancy. It means that the baby moves around and fixes its head inside the cavity formed between the pelvic bones. This is a very important step in the preparation of the baby for vaginal delivery. Once the head is fixed, the baby stops moving around in the amniotic fluid and stays put in the cephalic position until delivery.
2. Movements of Baby
Around this time, fetal movements may be subtly felt, resembling a gentle fluttering in the abdomen, known as quickening. First-time mothers might mistake it for gas due to unfamiliarity.
Do’s and Don’ts
It’s your 8th month of pregnancy and you are almost there. You should be careful during this time. Here are some do’s and don’ts that you should follow as part of the 8th-month pregnancy care and precautions.
- Eat Healthy Food: You are in the eighth month of your pregnancy and you must be eating healthy foods already. But this is just a reminder to encourage you to keep going. Have a balanced diet and have small meals but frequently. Choose from a list of healthy snack options to satisfy your mid-meal hunger pangs.
- Exercise: Practise Kegel exercises regularly to counter the problem of urinary incontinence. It will also help in strengthening your pelvic muscles after delivery. If you are not into exercises, you can simply walk or practise yoga. Walking or some kind of simple workout every day can increase the flexibility of your pelvic area.
- Stay Hydrated: Remind yourself to drink lots of water regularly to keep your body hydrated. Drinking water will keep you energized. It will also prevent cramps during this time.
- Get Enough Vitamin D: Vitamin D is very important for the bone health of your baby and for you as well. So bask in the sun in the morning hours or in the evening.
- Learn About Breastfeeding: Equip yourself with the knowledge of breastfeeding and other baby care techniques. Join classes or online forums that will give you an idea of basic techniques. These techniques will come in handy once your baby is born.
- Prepare Your Hospital Bag: Make a checklist of things that you will need to carry to the hospital. Also shop for things that you will require after the delivery like soft cotton sanitary pads, feeding gowns, breast pads, feeding pillows, etc. Plan your travel arrangements for reaching the hospital in case you get your labour pain. Also, purchase the basic gender-neutral essentials for your little one. You will be left with very less time once the baby arrives.
- Don’t eat processed food or junk food. Eating junk food can lead to indigestion and even heartburn.
- Don’t forget to take your vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Avoid practising yoga poses or exercises without consulting a doctor or a trained instructor.
- Don’t stress yourself with the thought of delivery and labour. You can cross the bridge once you reach there. Worrying much ahead of time will affect your health unnecessarily.
- Don’t drink or smoke during this period and avoid aerated drinks and caffeine too.
- Avoid stressing because it won’t make things better for you. Slowly take a back seat from any stressful works as it is likely to affect your baby’s health.
As with every month of pregnancy, even the 8th month of pregnancy diet needs to be balanced. Include fibrous foods in your diet to overcome the problem of constipation that is likely to hit you this month again. Eating foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids or supplements at this stage is also necessary as it will aid your baby’s brain development. It is better to avoid raw, uncooked food, raw shellfish, processed food, coffee and unpasteurised milk at this stage to prevent food poisoning or allergic reaction.
Tests and Vaccination Recommended in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
Here are some recommended vaccines for the 8th month of pregnancy:
It protects both the mother and the newborn from tetanus infection.
2. Diphtheria Vaccine
Receiving the diphtheria vaccine provides immunity and shields against this bacterial infection.
3. Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine
Administering the Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine safeguards both mother and newborn from whooping cough.
4. B Vaccine
Safeguards against hepatitis B transmission to the newborn.
5. Influenza Vaccine
Receiving the influenza vaccine helps protect both the mother and baby from flu-related complications.
Tips for Father-to-be
As equal partners in the parenting journey, fathers also have a very important role to play both before and after the birth of the baby. Here are some things that soon to become dads have to keep in mind.
1. Reassurance is the Key
Through the entire journey of pregnancy, the mother goes through a lot of uncertainties about her health, her baby’s health, her looks, her future, etc. As a spouse, the best thing that you can do is to keep reassuring your wife. Catering to her emotional well-being is also very important at this stage.
2. Lend a Helping Hand
With the growing weight and physical challenges, household chores that require a lot of hard work can become very difficult for the expecting mother. Helping her around with tasks at home can give her some time to relax and pamper herself.
3. Pamper Her
Give your spouse’s legs a good massage or even better, book her a spa appointment and pamper her. Time and self-care are going to come to a screeching halt as soon as the baby comes out. Make sure you give her the well-deserved pampering before she takes on the daunting task of childcare.
4. Plan Your Finances
Childbirth and neonatal care can be expensive so plan your finances to support all the hospital bills. Talk to your insurance company and understand how the claim procedure works.
When to Consult the Doctor?
Seek doctors advice in the following cases:
- Blurry vision or seeing spots
- Decrease in fetal movements
- Cramps or stomach pain
- Dull backache
- Bleeding from your vagina
- Excessive fluid from your vagina
- Stronger and more frequent contractions
1. Is It Safe to Have Delivery at Eighth Month?
The eighth month of pregnancy is critical because the fetus is rapidly developing, gaining weight, and preparing for birth. Preterm birth risks decrease, but monitoring for complications like preeclampsia is crucial.
2. Why Is Eighth Month of Pregnancy Critical?
The eighth month of pregnancy is critical as the fetus undergoes rapid development, gaining crucial weight and lung maturity. Preterm birth risks decrease, but monitoring for complications like preeclampsia is crucial.
3. Is It Safe to Travel During the Eighth Month of Pregnancy?
Travel during the eighth month of pregnancy should be approached with caution. It’s generally safer to stay closer to home as the risk of preterm labour increases. Consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.
4. How Can You Deal With Anxiety and Stress in 8th Month of Pregnancy?
To manage anxiety and stress in the eighth month of pregnancy, practice deep breathing, exercise gently, seek support, use relaxation techniques, manage time, maintain proper nutrition and hydration, limit stimulants, prioritize sleep, educate yourself, and consider prenatal classes. Avoid triggers, explore relaxing therapies, connect with other expectant parents, and consult a professional if needed.
5. Is It Safe to Use the Stairs During the Eighth Month of Pregnancy?
Using stairs is generally safe, but caution is advised for 8 month pregnant woman. Take your time, hold onto railings, and be mindful of balance. If feeling unsteady, consider alternative routes or elevators when available. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Eight months is the perfect time to celebrate your pregnancy, so enjoy it as much as possible. As you inch towards your big day, your body will change to suit your growing baby. Take the time off to get pampered and feel special, as you are left with very few days to meet your bundle of joy!
1. Get a Whooping Cough Vaccine During Each Pregnancy; CDC; https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant/mom/get-vaccinated.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Ffeatures%2Ftdap-in-pregnancy%2Findex.html
2. Immunisation and pregnancy; betterhealth.vic.gov.au; https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/immunisation-and-pregnancy
3. Vaccinations Needed During Pregnancy; immunize.org; https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4040.pdf
4. Kegel Exercises; my.clevelandclinic.org; https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14611-kegel-exercises
5. 8 Things To Expect When You’re 8 Months Pregnant; lifehack.org; https://www.lifehack.org/301505/8-things-expect-when-youre-8-months-pregnant
6. Everything you need to know about the third trimester (weeks 29 to 40); tommys.org; https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/pregnancy-calendar/third-trimester-weeks-29-40
7. What happens in the eighth month of pregnancy?; plannedparenthood.org; https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/pregnancy/pregnancy-month-by-month/what-happens-eighth-month-pregnancy
8. Pregnancy and Bladder Control; my.clevelandclinic.org; https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16094-pregnancy-and-bladder-control
9. Preeclampsia; marchofdimes.org; https://www.marchofdimes.org/find-support/topics/pregnancy/preeclampsia
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