Welcome to the last trimester of your pregnancy. These last few weeks of your pregnancy can be tiring and emotionally challenging. As your aches and discomfort become more pronounced, it is time to take it easy. Knowing what to expect during pregnancy can help to ease your anxiety. In this article, you will learn about your symptoms, the development of your baby, and tips to help you during the 28th week of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy week 28
You are in the 28th week of your pregnancy, and you may be feeling a bit low on energy now. Your baby is growing, and so is your belly, making it difficult to sleep comfortably. Your baby is now regularly passing urine into the amniotic fluid. He may also get hiccups sometimes, and you will be able to feel the jerk of each hiccup.
1. Shortness of breath
Your enlarging uterus is taking up more space and putting more pressure against the diaphragm, which may make it harder for you to catch your breath. Maintain a good posture. When you slouch, your lungs do not get enough space to expand. Don’t overdo exercising.
2. Braxton Hicks contractions
You may notice your Braxton Hicks contractions getting stronger and more frequent now. Your uterus is getting ready for labor.
3. Leaky breasts
It is completely normal for breasts to leak during pregnancy. What is leaking out now is the first thick milk (colostrum) that your breasts make before producing breast milk. Wearing breast pads inside your bra can prevent wet patches from showing through your clothes.
Pregnancy hormones relax the intestinal muscles, which slows down the movement of the bowel contents and makes you gassy. As your uterus grows bigger, it puts extra pressure on your rectum and causes gas. Eat small and regular meals and avoid foods that make you gassy.
5. Symphysis pubis dysfunction
When the hormone relaxin rises during pregnancy, it causes the ligaments around the pelvic joint to become stretchy, soft, and relaxed. In turn, the symphysis pubis becomes unstable, leading to pain. Your doctor may prescribe a support belt, which helps to stabilize the ligaments and holds the pelvic joint in place.
Sleep disturbances are common at this stage of pregnancy. According to studies, insomnia affects 20 to 60 percent of women during pregnancy (1, 2). Take a warm bath before bedtime, practice relaxation exercises, or read a book.
7. Stuffy nose
High levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause your nasal passages to swell and produce more mucous. A stuffy nose can also lead to nosebleeds if you blow your nose a lot. Invest in a humidifier or wear a nasal strip before you go to bed.
Hormonal changes can make your gums sensitive to bacteria in plaque. Brush thoroughly but gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. See your dentist regularly for preventive care.
9. Stretch marks
As your pregnancy progresses, you may develop narrow pink or purplish streaks on your abdomen, breasts, hips, and thighs. You can’t prevent stretch marks from occurring, but they do fade away and become less noticeable after your baby is born.
10. Restless leg syndrome
You may develop a tingling or crawling sensation in your legs. You may feel the irresistible urge to move your legs. These are the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, which is common during pregnancy.
Your body at week 28 of pregnancy
This week your fundal height (distance from the top of the uterus to your pubic bone) is around 26 to 30 cm. By now, you must have gained between 17 to 24 pounds. Your growing uterus may start putting pressure on your sciatic nerve, which causes a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica causes pain that radiates down your buttocks, leg, knee, foot, and toes and causes tingling (3). An easy remedy to this condition is to lie on the opposite side of this pain.
You may also be prone to heat rashes during pregnancy. The more sensitive spots include your belly, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Calamine lotion can help ease the itchiness.
Your baby at week 28 of pregnancy
Your baby is now 2 ½ pounds and is busy storing fat under his skin. By the end of this week, he will be 14 ½ inches long. Your baby is also settling down into the proper position for birth with his head down.
- As your baby is starting to develop more fat, his wrinkly skin is becoming smoother.
- Your baby’s lungs are maturing. The bronchial tubes are dividing into smaller branches.
- Your baby’s brain is developing ridges and indentations.
- He can also blink now. If you shine a light on your tummy, he may respond by looking away.
- Your baby is also beginning to experience REM sleep, which means that he is dreaming.
Tips to be followed when you are 28 weeks pregnant
1. Get prepared
Even though delivery is still three months away, you must be prepared. Pack your bag, write down a list of your contacts and find the fastest route to the hospital.
2. Choose your pediatrician
It is time to choose a doctor for your baby. Don’t leave this task until the last minute.
3. Get your Tdap vaccination
You must get your Tdap vaccination during this week. This vaccine protects your baby as he can’t be given this vaccine until he is two months old.
Iron deficiency is a very common condition during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you need twice the amount of iron as you usually do. Dark leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, beans, tofu, meat, and enriched cereals are good sources of iron. Vitamin C can boost the absorption of iron, so eat foods rich in vitamin C as well.
5. Choose a childbirth class
A childbirth class teaches you about the different stages of pregnancy and what to expect during delivery. You also learn about the different pain relief options. Sign up early so that you can finish several weeks before your due date.
Your week 28 of pregnancy doctor’s visit
Now that you have entered the third trimester, you will visit your doctor every two weeks. During these visits, your doctor will do a physical exam. You will be weighed, and your blood pressure will be taken. Your doctor will check the baby’s heartbeat and feel your belly to check your baby’s size.
You will be given a blood test to screen for anemia and any antibodies in the blood. If your iron levels are too low, your doctor will prescribe iron tablets.
You must have had a test to measure your Rh factor during the earlier visit. If you are Rh-negative and your baby is Rh-positive, it can be a problem. If your baby’s Rh-positive blood mixes with your Rh-negative during delivery, it can result in anemia and jaundice. Your doctor can prevent these issues by giving you an Rh immune globulin injection during this visit (4).
Tips for the partner
Go with your partner to as many prenatal visits as you can. You should also enroll with her in the childbirth and infant CPR classes. You will benefit from these classes as much as she does.
You are in the last trimester of your pregnancy. From this week onwards you will meet your doctor every two weeks. Your baby is now 2 ½ pounds and is busy storing fat under his skin. Your baby is also settling down into the proper position for birth with his head down. This week you must get your Tdap vaccination. Join a childbirth class to learn about what to expect during delivery.