It’s Week 32 and you’ve finally entered Month 8! Your big uterus is now pushing up on your stomach, and you start feeling symptoms like morning sickness and a change in appetite – you might or might not want to eat as much in comparison to the second trimester. If you were unable to tell your baby’s sex for various reasons, you will get another shot at doing so during this period. What should you take note of in Week 32?
32 Weeks Pregnant: Sonogram of fetus in your belly
In Week 32, the top of the uterus is about 5 inches above your navel, and the fundal height is 11.0-14.2 in (28-36 cm). The ideal weight to put on by Week 32 since the start of pregnancy is 11.0-17.6 lbs (5-8 kg). This is an ideal range specified by the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), but there are bound to be individual differences.
Consult your practitioner to check if the weight you have been putting on now is ideal for you. Should your practitioner advise you to be more conscientious in your weight management, it’s time to alter your eating habits.
32 Weeks Pregnant: Can I travel with this big a belly?
In Week 32 of pregnancy, you might be feeling some wanderlust. The idea of roving around while you still can in the last two months before your baby arrives in this world might be tempting you to grab your bags and just go. Although travelling while pregnant is not forbidden, you might want to pause and consider the minor hiccups that could come along the way.
Take note of these little things and go enjoy the holiday you deserve! If you haven’t tried more relaxing holidays before, how about a staycation at a hotel nearby in a neighboring county which you haven’t been to before? Or be a local playing a tourist for a day? Wherever you choose to go, take good care of yourself and have a good time!
32 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms
The big uterus puts pressure on the surrounding organs, and symptoms like morning sickness might make a reappearance. In order to support your big belly, your waist, back, and legs muscles might be strained, resulting in muscle aches.
These physiological phenomena are a result of pregnancy, and will mostly disappear after the birth, so don’t worry about them plaguing you in the long term. If you stress over these symptoms, that might only serve to aggravate your symptoms and worsen them further. When your body gives you signals that it’s at its limits, don’t push it too hard.
Third trimester: Minor troubles
- Bowel is displaced, so you feel nauseous and have an upset stomach
- Unable to stomach a certain amount of food in one sitting
Heart and lungs are compressed, resulting in palpitations and shortness of breath
Pressure on the bladder results in urinary incontinence and you visit the restroom more often
Contractions in the uterus and abdominal tightness becomes stronger
Burden on the intestines results in constipation or hemorrhoids
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions
When the fetus becomes bigger and the space in the uterus decreases, fetal movements seem to reach your stomach directly and the feeling of abdominal tightness might become stronger. From the start of the third trimester of pregnancy to the last month of pregnancy, you might find yourself experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions more often.
Many women mistake Braxton Hicks contractions for true labor contractions, so be sure to check the symptoms you are experiencing so as to make an accurate judgment. The biggest differences lie in the frequency and the intensity of the contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are not regular, and not as strong as the real contractions are.
When the contractions are regular and show no signs of abating, keep calm and stay still for awhile. The contractions will take some time to subside. In the last trimester of pregnancy, it is not uncommon to feel contractions a few times a day, every day. However, when contractions are accompanied by bleeding and the rupture of the amniotic sac, resulting in your water breaking, then you should go to the hospital immediately to get yourself checked.
32 Weeks Pregnant: Sonogram of fetus in your belly
In Week 32 of pregnancy, the fetus is about 16.5 to 17.7 in (42 to 45 cm) long, and weighs about 3.1 to 4.9 lbs (1.4 to 2.2 kg). In the span of the next week, the fetus’ weight will continue to increase and they could grow by about another 1 cm or so. As a result of the subcutaneous fats accumulating under the skin, the wrinkles on the body will grow and cover the whole body. The fetus who had translucent skin will slowly turn into a pinkish baby with opaque skin.
- Amount of subcutaneous fats increase
Fetus assumes a slightly hunched position
The skin of the fetus is pink in color and opaque
Fetus continues to practice breathing
The lungs are on their way to completion, and fetus practices how to breathe using lungs
Sexual organs are complete
Hairs and nails grow longer
Fetus can move the muscles on face, and can make different expressions
The brain develops quickly and the head grows bigger
Blood circulates in the body
Expels urine from the bladder every 30 minutes or so
32 Weeks Pregnant: Gestational hypertension
Gestational hypertension is defined as having symptoms like high blood pressure, weight gain, and detecting signs of protein in urine. Gestational hypertension can pose a risk to both mother and child when it worsens and leads to eclampsia, cerebral hemorrhage, or placental abruption.
The exact cause of gestational hypertension is not known, nor is there a guaranteed cure for it. Pregnant moms above the age of 35, who have a high body fat percentage, put on weight quickly, or see their blood pressure rise quickly throughout the course of pregnancy, are at risk of getting gestational hypertension.
To make sure you are not at risk of getting gestational hypertension, eat food high in potassium like yogurt, avoid salty food and cold drinks, keep your body warm, have a balanced diet, and exercise regularly.
32 Weeks Pregnant: Preterm birth
Preterm birth is defined as a birth taking place from Week 20 to Week 37. Only hospitals that are fully-equipped with the necessary equipment can manage babies born before Week 32, so you might want to find out which hospitals near you can be of help, in the event that a preterm birth occurs.
This is because before Week 32, the retina vessel or the lungs’ breathing function are not completely formed, and if the baby is born prematurely, there has to be equipment ready to help the undeveloped infant tide through until the organs have time to form. The brain is also not yet fully formed, so there is a possibility that the baby could be born with birth defects.
There are many causes for preterm birth. Pregnant moms with a short cervix face an increased risk of a preterm birth as a short cervix can lead to cervical insufficiency – the process in which the cervix effaces and dilates before the pregnancy reaches term. The cervix is at the bottom of the uterus, and it plays a part in maintaining the fetus within the uterus until the fetus develops fully. When the time for labor approaches, the cervix effaces and the baby’s head drops down, causing the cervix to open wider.
If the cervix becomes shorter before pregnancy comes to a term, then there is a risk that the baby will be born prematurely. Although there are individual factors giving rise to a preterm birth, a short cervix of 1 in (25 mm) or shorter has been thought to be the cause of a preterm birth. The length of your cervix can be determined via ultrasound, so if your practitioner tells you that your cervix is too short, you might have to take some extreme measures to maintain your pregnancy. Your practitioner might order a bed rest.
From Week 32 onward, changing the position of a breech baby is difficult. This is because the baby has grown and there is little room left for the baby to move in the uterus. Also, the decrease in the amount of amniotic fluid makes it difficult for baby to rotate and assume a head-down position in the uterus. However, this is no cause for alarm!
Ultimately, only 3 to 4% of all babies are delivered in the breech position.1In most breech presentation cases, a Caesarean section will be required to deliver the baby. Talk to your practitioner about the options you have, and how to go about dealing with a breech baby.
Labor: Only two months left
Your baby is becoming plumper and has come a long way since it resembled a fish more than it resembled a human. How has the past eight-month journey with Baby been like for you? There are only two months left before you finally come face-to-face with your baby. It might be a hassle having to prepare for the labor or for postpartum life at times, but there isn’t much of the pregnancy journey left – enjoy it as much as you can!