Eight Months Pregnant: Symptoms & Fetal Growth

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 know about eight months pregnant symptoms & fetal growth, keep reading!

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 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. Constipation

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.

3. 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.

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. 

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.

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.

Fetal development at 8 months pregnant

Your baby’s organs are developing rapidly this month! One organ that really progresses is the brain, as it begins to have newborn-style brainwaves. Your baby’s kidneys also reach maturity.

With all the growth that’s going on, it’s probably not surprising to find out even your baby’s nails are getting longer. By the end of the eighth month, they may extend beyond the fingertips.

At the end of this month, your baby may be 16 1/2 to 18 inches long and around 4 to 6 pounds

Baby position at 8 months pregnant

As you get closer and closer to delivery, your baby will begin to settle into your pelvis. As they move down, you may notice that your bump even begins to hang a little lower! (This may even provide some relief from pregnancy heartburn.)

By the end of this month, your baby will likely be head down. If your baby has not flipped by 36 weeks, your doctor may begin to suggest some methods to help turn your baby.

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

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.

PRETERM BIRTH

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.

Do’s

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.

CHECKLIST

Don’ts

  • 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.

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!

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