You are now entering the eighth month of your pregnancy. Your baby’s weight has doubled in the last four weeks. This is the time to complete pregnancy-related tasks like maternity leave, health insurance, and pregnancy shopping. Having dealt with these tasks, you can relax and prepare for the arrival of your baby. From your baby’s development to the different symptoms to look out for, read on to learn it all.
32 weeks pregnant
At 32 weeks, your baby is growing fast. You are also able to feel lots of movements, though they may feel like squirming instead of rocking and rolling. By week 32, many babies settle down into a head-down position. The intensity of your symptoms like heartburn, breathlessness, and Braxton Hicks contractions is increasing.
1. More Braxton Hicks contractions
By week 32, Braxton Hicks contractions may get more frequent and stronger. These are irregular contractions and are painless. They stop when you change position.
2. Shortness of breath
As your uterus pushes upwards towards your lungs, you may find it difficult to breathe. To give your lungs more space, take a deep breath as you stretch your arms over your head. Sit in a proper posture during the day and sleep with an extra pillow under your head.
Heartburn and indigestion are common symptoms during pregnancy. Your growing uterus puts pressure on your intestines and stomach, which pushes the contents of the stomach back into the esophagus. Antacids are safe for women to take during pregnancy (1).
4. Leaky breasts
By the third trimester of pregnancy, your breasts grow noticeably bigger. They may even begin to leak colostrum, a yellow fluid that is the precursor to breast milk. This milk is highly nutritious as it contains proteins and antibodies for your baby.
5. Vaginal discharge
You may notice increased vaginal discharge now. This runny, whitish liquid, known as leukorrhoea, is your body’s way of flushing out bacteria to keep you and your baby healthy. However, if the discharge seems watery and there is a constant flow, then your water may have broken. It’s time to go to the hospital (2).
6. Leg cramps
Many pregnant women get leg cramps in the middle of the night. Changes in the blood circulation or the stress on the leg muscles from carrying extra weight may be responsible for these cramps. The deficiency of calcium and magnesium in your diet can also cause leg cramps. Avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time. Take calcium supplements and keep yourself hydrated.
Dizziness or lightheadedness could be a sign of low blood sugar. Munch on a carb-rich snack whenever you feel dizzy. Sometimes when you lie down, your bulky uterus weighs down on the blood vessel of your torso and reduces the blood flow to the brain, which can also lead to dizziness.
As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on the colon and rectum, which restricts the flow of their contents. High-fiber food, regular exercise, and staying hydrated can prevent constipation.
9. Heat rashes
You may also develop heat rashes under your breasts. Take cooling showers and dust talcum powder and maintain proper hygiene to prevent heat rashes.
10. Rib pain
As your baby grows, he may kick you in the ribs, or stretch out under them, which may lead to rib pain. Lie down on your side to coax your baby into changing position.
Your body at week 32 of pregnancy
The top of your uterus is now five inches above your belly button. Many of your organs shift from their position. Your diaphragm is pushed upward; your lungs are squeezed, your intestines and bladder also feel squished. Even your rib cage expands to accommodate all these changes.
Your blood volume has increased by 40 or 50 % during the past 32 weeks. This increased volume of blood will make up for the loss of blood during pregnancy. You are also gaining one pound a week now. You have around two pints of amniotic fluid in your uterus now. As the skin of your tummy stretches, you may find it drying out and itching. Apply moisturizing creams or calamine lotion to soothe this itch.
Your baby at week 32 of pregnancy
By the end of this week, your baby will be over 16 inches long and will weigh around 4 ½ pounds.
- Your baby’s body is now almost ready for life outside your womb.
- His lungs are in the final stages of development.
- His bones are fully formed though they’re still soft.
- Your baby’s fingernails are growing.
- Your baby’s head has hair on it now.
- Your baby’s eyes can now focus on large objects that are not too far away.
- He is still putting on fat under his skin.
- Your baby has periods of rest and activity, which follow similar patterns every day.
Tips to be followed when you are 32 weeks pregnant
As your uterus continues to grow and squish the other organs, you may find that you’re not so hungry these days. Avoid large meals and eat small and easy-to-digest foods. Eat a banana, a sandwich, some yogurt, or munch on some salad.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Hydration helps to keep your kidneys functioning well. Drinking water also helps to prevent urinary tract infections. It also prevents constipation.
3. Childbirth classes
Your childbirth classes will start this week. Be an active participant and ask questions. You and your partner should take these classes together so that you both are prepared about labor and childbirth.
4. Continue pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises help to improve backaches, relieve pressure on the pelvis, and ease delivery. Now that you are in week 32, you must do these exercises standing up.
5. Stock up
Though you are still a few weeks away from your delivery date, it is wise to buy the baby gear and nursery essentials that you may need. A car seat, stroller, bassinet, baby carrier, diaper bag, diapers are just a few of the items that you will need pretty soon.
6. Learn about preterm labor
At this stage, you may worry about the signs of early labor. If you show any of these signs, phone your hospital immediately as you are in early labor:
- Clear or pinkish fluid from your vagina
- Pressure in your pelvis
- Frequent need to urinate
Your week 32 of pregnancy doctor’s visit
During this week’s visit, your doctor will check your weight and blood pressure. He may also ask you to provide a urine sample to check for sugar, protein, or infection. He will also check for signs of swelling. Protein in urine and swelling in hands and feet can be signs of preeclampsia. Your doctor will also measure your belly to check your baby’s growth.
If everything is going smoothly in your pregnancy, you need not have any more ultrasounds. However, if you are having twins or have a medical condition like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or asthma, your doctor will suggest an extra ultrasound scan this week and in the coming weeks. These scans help to monitor your baby’s growth and development.
Tips for the partner
Naming your child may seem like an easy task, but choosing a name that you both like is tougher than you think. You and your partner should make a list of ten names for boys and ten names for girls. Now exchange the lists. Both of you should cross out any names that you don’t like. This way, you will come up with name options that are acceptable to both of you.
You are in the 32nd week of your pregnancy, and you are experiencing symptoms like fatigue, heartburn, leg cramps, dizziness, and constipation. Your baby now weighs around 4 ½ pounds and is putting on fat under his skin. His lungs are in the final stages of development. Eat easy-to-digest food, stay hydrated, and continue with pelvic floor exercises to b healthy.