Motherhood & Parenting
At 32 weeks pregnant, your baby is taking up a lot of space in your womb, much bigger than they were before. This means that as you finish up the necessary tasks before your big day, you are likely to feel more tapping and squirming sensations as compared to the previous rolling and rocking. Don’t worry though, because your baby is very comfortable, it’s just that they are getting ready for their nearing arrival.
If the nerves are extra shaky these week, remind yourself that you still have a few weeks left to make the required preparations. You have gotten through so many difficult weeks to make it till this point and you can get through this last bit just fine.
This week, you may be feeling extra tired, along with certain discomforts as a result of the stress, hormones and your ever-growing 32 week baby bump. We know you have a bunch of things you want to finish before your due date, but remember that you need self-care even more this week. So, don’t compromise on the rest and make sure you are eating well. Keep up the good work just as you have been doing all this time!
The size of the baby at 32 weeks is around 16.7 inches, weighing approximately 3.8 pounds. Your baby keeps growing strong because the size of the baby at 32 weeks is around that of a squash. Your baby still has sufficient space to exist comfortably in your belly, but they cannot exercise as freely as they could a few weeks ago. Thus, they must stick to more squirming as a movement.
The baby will likely be in a new position, usually with their head near your cervix, because the baby’s head fits better at the bottom of your inverted pear-shaped uterus. This also makes the birthing process much smoother. If your baby hasn’t yet moved into this position, they will mostly do it in the next couple of weeks.
Other than that, baby’s internal systems are getting their finishing touches and the lungs are in the final stages of development. Your little one is almost ready to survive in the outer world side-by-side with you.
Your 32 week baby bump when measured in fundal height (distance from the top of the uterus to the pelvic bone), should be between 30 to 34 centimetres. This 32 weeks baby bump may change a little in the next couple weeks as the baby drops from being near your ribs to being down near your pelvis. If this happens, you may notice that you from “carrying high” to “carrying low”. However, it doesn’t happen this soon for everybody and some babies only drop when actual labor is occurring.
If you are pregnant with twins, you are probably feeling more weighed down with your 32 week baby bump as compared to single baby mothers.
Some of your 32 weeks pregnant symptoms may get more intense and annoying, which can make you feel more drained. We understand how bothersome these are, but try to focus on the excitement you are feeling about the arrival of your little one.
Accept the negatives that you have to deal with and divert your attention towards the positives instead. Because at the end of the day, when your little one is holding onto your finger with all their might, all these discomforts will just be a faint memory you will recollect fondly.
Here are the 32 weeks pregnant symptoms that you may experience:
1. Braxton-Hicks Contractions
These “false labor” contractions as practice contractions which are done by your body to prepare for the real thing. Braxton-Hicks contractions are irregular tightening of the uterus which do not become stronger or frequent with time. They just come, last for around 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then go away. Lying down, stretching and drinking water can help with easing them.
Make sure to keep an eye on them, so that you know the difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and real labor pains. Braxton Hicks contractions come and go irregularly and do not grow stronger and closer together with time. In contrast to this, actual labor contractions grow stronger, longer and occur closer together with time. In case you suspect that what you are feeling is the latter once, call your doctor immediately and make your way to the hospital if you are asked to.
That burning sensation in your chest after you have a meal is an indicator of digestive troubles and usually happens after consuming spicy, greasy or acidic food. Heartburn during pregnancy can be annoying, so make sure to eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day so that less pressure is put on your digestive system and try to opt for healthier foods, too.
3. Shortness of breath
While the growing baby is still near the ribs, they can crowd your lungs, making you short on breath. You may get relief from this in the next few weeks if they drop near your pelvis in that time.
4. Darker nipples
You may notice your areolas getting darker in preparation for future breastfeeding. It seems like your body can’t wait to finally embrace your baby, either.
5. Leakage from breasts
Your breasts may start leaking a yellowish fluid called colostrum, which is the baby’s first food. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, you can try using nursing pads to make things more comfortable.
6. Vaginal discharge
Increased vaginal discharge is just your body’s way of preparing for delivery and preventing infection in your genital area. Be on the lookout for your mucus plug, which is a thick, gooey, sometimes bloody, substance that covers the cervix and gets expelled a few days or even a few hours before labor.
In case you are experiencing a constant discharge that is more watery in texture, your water may have broken, so call your OB and make your way to the hospital immediately.
While you are likely to have a 32-week checkup at this point, your doctor may not conduct a 32 weeks pregnant ultrasound if your pregnancy is without any complications, or unless there is any special need. But if you were to peek in there, you may be able to see your baby in the head-down position, in preparation for their nearing descent.
If you are carrying twins, the doctor may wish to check certain specifics or monitor your baby’s more often and thus, may conduct a 32 weeks pregnant ultrasound.
As the countdown is reaching its final stages, it is now more important than ever to revise your self-care checklist and make sure that you are following all the points to ensure a safe, healthy pregnancy.
Continue with your nutritional, balanced diet in these last few weeks, while also making sure to take your prenatal vitamins and drinking sufficient water. Try to make some meal arrangements for the first weeks after pregnancy as well, by either asking friends or family to help you out, considering meal services or employing someone.
Contacting your health insurance company
Contact your health insurance company at this time to make the necessary arrangements in terms of your hospital bill and see if your policy covers maternity costs.
Arranging care for your other children
If you have other children, see to it that someone can look after them when you have to go to the hospital. Always make flexible plans, because labor can start before you expect. Thus, it is good to have a backup to pick the children up from school if needed, even a few weeks before your due date, in case it becomes necessary.
Do certain final preparation such as preparing you and your partner’s hospital bag, setting up the nursery and seeing to it that you have the newborn essentials you may need in the first few weeks, installing the baby’s car seat, etc. That way, you will be prepared even if things happen earlier from the expected schedule.
You only have 8 weeks to go before you can finally feel that tiny palm engulfed within your own. Remember to savour these last few weeks, because this is when both the nerves and the magic intensifies. Remind yourself that you have done your best so far and you are going to make it to the finish line even stronger and braver.