8th Month Pregnancy Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

8th Month Pregnancy Diet (29-32 Weeks)

Medically Reviewed By
Trishita Nalvath (Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian)
View more Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian Our Panel of Experts

An important aspect to care for during pregnancy is your diet, as it can affect the health of the baby, as well as your mental and physical well-being in a number of ways. Your pregnancy diet should be created with the utmost care, keeping in mind the effects of the food items on the growing baby. At eight months, you’re almost at the last leg of your pregnancy journey. Your baby has been well taken care of all these months, and it’s important to continue the same. A good 8-month diet in pregnancy ensures that the little one is getting enough nutrients and stays healthy.

Let us look at some foods that should be avoided and some food items which can be had safely during the eighth month of pregnancy.

What to Expect During the Eighth Month of Pregnancy?

1. Gaining Weight

The foetus gains weight quite quickly during the eighth month, which means so will the mother. If you haven’t noticed much weight gain in the previous months, this month more than makes up for the delay.

2. Frequent Urination

As the baby grows larger, there is increased pressure on the bladder, causing you to pee more frequently. This may make many women drink lesser water, as constantly wanting to pee can cause discomfort. However, it is vital to stay hydrated during pregnancy, so be smart about your intake of fluids by eating fruits with high water content, drinking lesser water at night, etc.

3. Shortness of Breath

The mother’s enlarged uterus pushes against the diaphragm, a muscle involved in breathing, causing shortness of breath. It is advised to wear loose clothing to feel more comfortable

4. Heartburn or Acidity

As the uterus grows quite a bit during the third trimester, it puts pressure on the stomach and intestines, increasing the risk of acidity. Eating non-spicy, easier to digest foods relives this issue.

What Are The Changes In the Nutritional Needs During the 8th Month Of Pregnancy?

During the eighth month, the foetus begins to store fat and glycogen under the skin and in the liver, making it important to consume enough carbohydrates, to avoid a protein deficiency. Weight gain should be restricted to 350 grams per week, so you will need to adjust your diet accordingly and consume a range 0f millets, oatmeal, wheat, and more. This is also a peak period for foetal brain growth, so eat foods rich in fatty acids such as linoleic acid. Your body is slowly preparing for childbirth, so adding enough iron- and calcium-rich food will give you the nutrients and strength needed.

Food to Eat During the Eighth Month of Pregnancy

A pregnant woman with a bowl of food in her handBelow are some foods that can be eaten during the eighth month of pregnancy:

1. Fish

Fish contains a large amount of iron, which is important during pregnancy. Iron deficiency results in anaemia, which can cause a feeling of general fatigue in the mother. Fish also has other important nutrients like protein, which makes it a great addition to the 8th-month pregnancy diet chart.

2. Red Meat

Red meat is another great addition to the diet of an expecting mother, as it is also a rich source of iron and protein. Both of these are essential minerals to the mother, as they help accelerate the growth of the baby. Red meat can improve the general health of the mother, too, as it contains minerals that keep you from being tired or sick during pregnancy.

3. Bananas

One of the most underrated fruits, bananas have been a great source of essential vitamins and minerals since ancient times. Bananas are rich in potassium, calcium, and iron, making it a must-have in any woman’s diet. On top of that, they also promote digestion and relieve constipation, increasing the comfort of the expectant mother in great ways, as they are a rich source of soluble fibre.

4. Dairy Products

There is a reason why dairy products are so heavily promoted among children during their formative years. Dairy products, including milk, are a non-exhaustive source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, proteins, and the likes. Consuming dairy products during the last month of pregnancy can have a telling effect on the growth of the baby.

5. Leafy Vegetables

Fibre-enriched foods are important during pregnancy, as they help prevent the feeling of constipation that occurs due to excess weight and excess hormone secretion during the third trimester. Leafy vegetables contain more than enough fibre, along with other minerals like iron, potassium, and calcium. They are a great addition to the 8th-month pregnancy Indian diet of an expecting mother.

6. Peanut Butter

Fat is a necessity for the body during the final trimester, though many people seem to assume otherwise. While foods high in fats are strictly off-limits, vital fatty acids still remain an important part of the diet of a pregnant woman. Omega-3 is an example of a vital fatty acid that contributes greatly to the development of the brain of the foetus. Other sources of good fats like peanut butter are eggs and fish.

7. Oranges

Apart from having large amounts of fibre, orange also contains a large amount of Vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for the body. Vitamin C is important, as helps in absorption of iron. Other sources of Vitamin C include tomatoes, lemons, and cabbages.

8. Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich in fibre, folic acid, vitamins, and minerals, all of which provide the mother with energy while also ensuring proper development in the baby. You can eat plenty of  barley, quinoa, and oatmeal, among others. Also, pick brown bread or brown rice over white bread or rice, as it contains more fibre and breaks down slowly, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients better. These are one of the best foods for 8-month pregnancy.

Foods Not to Include in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy Diet

Here are some foods that can cause harm to either you or the foetus:

1. Unpasteurised Milk

In many Indian households, drinking unpasteurised milk is the norm. This has to be strictly avoided during the third trimester of pregnancy, as the milk is not processed enough to be deemed safe for consumption. Goat milk should be avoided, anyway, as if consumed unpasteurised, it may cause a fatal condition called toxoplasmosis.

2. Coffee

Caffeinated items are a strict no-no in the last stages of pregnancy, as they can cause constipation and gastric problems. You can, instead, opt to consume large amounts of water, which is a necessity, even during normal times. Coffee is one of the third-trimester foods to avoid for any expectant mother.

3. Alcohol and Tobacco

This goes without saying, but alcohol and tobacco must be avoided at any stage of the pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. They can cause complications at the time of delivery and also have an impeding effect on the development of the fetus.

4. Fried Foods

Fried food items should be avoided during your third trimester of pregnancy, as they add little to your diet in terms of nutritional value. Fried foods can also cause gastrointestinal problems, including improper digestion and heartburn, which can be extremely uncomfortable when you are carrying a child.

5. Shark, Marlin, and Swordfish

These type of fish items must be avoided during pregnancy, as they have high levels of a detrimental substance called methylmercury. Methylmercury can cause complications in the development of the nervous system of the fetus, so choose fish that have the required nutritional value and are not too fatty for consumption.

6. Liver and Cured Meats

Liver and other cured meats must be avoided in the entirety of the pregnancy, not just in the third trimester. Cured meats like salami and ham increase the risk of toxoplasmosis and listeriosis in the unborn child, making it strictly off-limits for any expectant mother during the time of pregnancy.

7. Soft Cheese

Cheese that has been ripened using a mould, like brie, has to be avoided during the time of pregnancy. Also, cheeses that have blue veins often contain listeria, so they are harmful to the health of the child during pregnancy. If you have a craving for cheese during the third trimester, opt for hard cheese like cheddar and the likes.

8. Undercooked Poultry

Undercooked eggs or meat can be a host of salmonella bacteria which causes food poisoning. All poultry products, whether meat or eggs, should be cooked thoroughly before eating. If you are unsure about how well something is cooked, avoid eating it.

Sample Diet Plan For 8th Month Of Pregnancy

As a mother-to-be, your diet needs to be well-rounded so that you get a mix of the nutrients you need everyday. It also ensures that you consume foods in moderation, as you’ll be eating small meals throughout the day. Here is a sample diet plan for you to pick from. 

1. Pre-Breakfast

A good pre-breakfast sets the tone for the day without filling you up. Here are some options to choose from. 

  • 8-10 pieces of dry fruits (almonds, raisins, cashews)
  • 1 glass of banana milkshake
  • 1 glass of plain milk
  • 1-2 fruits (banana, chikoo, guava, etc.)
  • 1 glass of carrot juice

2. Breakfast

You can eat breakfast a couple of hours after your pre-breakfast snack. The below dishes are full of fibre and give you energy for the rest of the day. Pick any two dishes for your daily breakfast.

  • 1 cup of vegetable sevaior upma
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 2 whole wheat dosas or idlis
  • 2 medium-sized moong dal chillas
  • 1 cup of poha
  • 2 medium-sized parathas

3. Mid-Morning Snack

A good mid-morning snack serves as a pick me up, as you work your way to lunch. You can pick from any of the below options.

  • 1 cup of vegetable soup (broccoli, pumpkin, etc.)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 bowl of tomato soup
  • 1 glass of blueberry or strawberry milkshake

4. Lunch

Eating a hearty lunch will ensure that you stay full till dinner time and also get a well-balanced amount of nutrients. Here are some lunch options to choose from.

  • 1 cup of sabji + 1 cup of dal + 2 rotis
  • 1.5 cups of pulao + 1 bowl of raita
  • 1 cup of chicken/ mutton curry + 1 cup rice / 2 rotis + 1 cucumber
  • 1 piece of fish (grilled or pan fried) + 1 cup of dal + 2 rotis
  • 1.5 cups of khichdi + 1 cup of sabji1 bowl of salad

5. Dinner

Eat dinner as early as possible, as it will allow the food to digest before sleeping and prevent acid reflux, which is common during this time. The below dinner options are light and nutritious.

  • 2 moong dal chillas + 1 cup of dal
  • 4-5 medium-sized idlis + 2 tsp of chutney
  • 1 grilled chicken breast + 1 bowl of salad
  • 2 multigrain/ whole wheat dosas + 1 cup of sabji

Diet Tips for 8-Month-Pregnant Women

  • Consume only food items that add nutritional value to your diet (no more chocolate cake!)
  • Drink plenty of fluids, as they prevent constipation, while also increasing the bloodstream volume that carries vitamins and minerals to the mother and the child. So ,make sure to drink water between each meal and snack, and take eight swigs, every time you see a water bottle.
  • If you eat seafood, do not avoid it as a whole. You can still choose fish that are safe to consume during pregnancy. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are extremely important for the growth of the foetus.

Supplements During 8th Month Of Pregnancy – What to Take and What to Avoid?

There are two supplements that you have likely been prescribed through the pregnancy: folic acid and iron. Iron ensures that your body is producing a sufficient amount of blood, which is essential in the last stages of pregnancy. Folic acid allows for proper development and helps prevent any congenital disabilities in the baby. Apart from this, your doctor will do a thorough checkup and suggest supplements based on your nutritional needs. Do not take any supplements without your doctor’s knowledge.

FAQs

1. What Number of Calories Should an Eight-Month Pregnant Woman Consume?

It is important to eat right and exercise for at least 30 minutes everyday during pregnancy to maintain a healthy weight. On average, if you have a normal weight during pregnancy, you should consume at least 2400 calories per day during the third trimester.

2. How Can I Increase My Weight During Eighth Month of Pregnancy?

If your doctor has recommended that you increase your weight during this time, make sure you eat at least five meals a day, with three of them being substantial and the other two meant for snacking. Also keep healthy snacks on hand, like peanut butter or fry fruits for when you feel hungry. Avoid junk food. Instead, use nutritious sources of food to increase weight.

A pregnancy diet plays an important part in the well-being of the mother and also the growth of the child. Consumption of necessary food items in ample quantities is a must and staying away from harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco and drugs is important for the health of the foetus.

References/Resources:

1. Eating right during pregnancy; Medline Plus; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm#:~:text=For%20most%20normal%2Dweight%20pregnant,day%20during%20the%20third%20trimester; December 2022

2. Vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/vitamins-supplements-and-nutrition/; February 2020

3. Pregnancy Nutrition; American Pregnancy Association; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/pregnancy-nutrition/

4. Foods to avoid in pregnancy; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/foods-to-avoid/; May 2023

5. When you need to gain more weight during pregnancy; Medline Plus; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000617.htm; November 2022

Also Read:

6th Month of Pregnancy Diet
Diet Plan at 7th Month of Pregnancy
Foods to Eat and Avoid at 9 month of Pregnancy

Previous article «
Next article »