You’re at 32 weeks pregnant and looking down the road to your delivery date…
At 32 weeks pregnant you will be only a few of weeks away and you will be holding your little bundle of joy in your arms. Your baby has a little further to go however, and you have some more preparation to make.
Baby’s growth at 32 weeks pregnant
Your baby is at the stage where she is putting on about half a pound per week. She needs to arrive at her normal birth weight by the delivery date. She has grown up to about 42 centimeters in length, and is weighing close to 4 pounds. Depending on the size of those in the family, your baby may reach 4 ½ pounds. She continues to grow fat and is forming out to be a plump little girl in the making. Her fingernails and toenails have gotten longer and may need to be trimmed soon after birth. She is almost without any of that lanugo hair that covered her in previous trimesters. The hair on her head, eyebrows and lashes are however growing thicker and longer.
Positioning for birth
Your baby may also turn head down, bottom up in the birthing position at 32 weeks pregnant. If she should do so you can actually poke her bottom. This is when she chooses the position that she will exit the uterus. In any case, she will prefer her head in the smaller region of the uterus where she can fit more comfortably. A small number of babies (5% of them) however will remain in the upward position preferring to come out feet first. This is called a breech position. If your baby has not turned as is expected at 32 weeks, do not be overly concerned as there is still a good chance that she will do so by the delivery date.
Your baby is developing all her skills that she will need and use in the outside world. You may be surprised to know that she is now sleeping and dreaming with sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes long. For this reason you may not feel movements as you would in earlier weeks because she is practicing taking her naps. When she is awake you will certainly feel all her hard knocks as she tries to turn in the cramped space she has come to find herself, not knowing that it is her growing size that is causing the problem. Your baby is even breathing in amniotic fluid as she begins to learn to exercise her lungs for breathing. Hiccupping, sucking and swallowing have now become a habit as she practices these skills.
Mom at 32 weeks pregnant
Your tummy has gotten so big, it causes your belly button to push out. This will go back to its normal position and size after birth however. You tummy is high under your stomach causing you heartburn and discomfort. You feel as if you are running out of breath as the baby pushes against your diaphragm making it hard to breathe. At 32 weeks also, you are gaining about a pound per week, much of what is your baby’s weight. Your weight gain is partly due to the excess volume of blood that now envelops your body to help take care of you and the baby. Aside from this your body retains fluid and you feel bloated and distended. The more salt you eat in your diet, the more bloated you will feel. It is best to avoid high-sodium foods and carbonated drinks at this time.
At the same time, watch out for preeclampsia which is indicated by swollen face, hands and feet. Preeclampsia is a serious form of high blood pressure that can make both you and baby sick, and which can be fatal. If swollen limbs and face do not look normal, consult your doctor at once. Braxton hicks contractions will occur more frequently and stronger at this stage.
Your belly will tighten frequently as you get closer to delivery day and your body prepares for the real contractions that will occur. Twice pregnant moms will notice these more as they occur with greater intensity. First time mothers are novice to them and will pass them off as something else, or not notice them.
Common pregnancy symptoms may be having the better of you. Your growing uterus is weighing down on your digestive system causing your bowels to become sluggish and harder to dispose of their waste. Try drinking more fluids, and do some light exercise. Some mothers get these little swellings on the rectum which can be extremely painful. You can get ease from these hemorrhoids by taking sitz baths that is, sitting in warm baths. Witch hazel is a soothing remedy also in addition to using ice packs.
No one is certain why some pregnant moms have leg cramps. These do occur especially in the nights and just as you fall asleep. It is felt that leg cramps are an indication of deficiencies in calcium and magnesium. So seek out foods that are rich in these elements including milk, cheese and yogurt.
Another symptom that you may encounter at 32 weeks pregnant is an itchy belly. As your belly stretches to accommodate your growing uterus, the skin gets dry and itchy. Your first instinct will be to find some form of cream or moisturizing lotion which can be of help. If this does not work, you could try calamine or other form of anti-itch lotion for greater effect.
Your body is changing
A good natural remedy is to add oatmeal to your bath and have warm instead of hot baths. Your breasts have become larger as the milk ducts are filling up in preparation for the baby’s arrival. This may be your baby’s only source of food for a couple of months after she is born. But the yellowish first part of the milk, the colostrum may start to leak even before birth. What to do? You may have to start wearing nursing pads and the right kind of nursing bras to make your breasts firmer.
Your baby and her growing needs cause your body to have to make changes which are not so comfortable. You will be challenged by heartburn, and shortness of breath, caused by the uterus crowding your stomach and being pushed up against your diaphragm. Eating smaller portions and sleeping on propped up pillows are a few of the best options for relief of the discomforts. Lower back pain may occur, and if so contact your caregiver, as this may be caused by preterm labor.
Your posture might also change, putting a strain on your back, as the expansion of your uterus causes a shift in your center of gravity and thus stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles. Therefore caution should be taken when sitting, bending and lifting objects.
What you could do at 32 weeks pregnant
This is a good time of your pregnancy to catch up on certain things you did not know. Use the Internet to read and learn the signs of early labor. You will want to know about your water breaking, having period-like cramps, vaginal bleeding and tightening of the uterus. Read also on preeclampsia, that dangerous condition of high blood pressure.