You and Your Baby at Week 28 of Your Pregnancy

(10 minute read)

You and Your Baby at Week 28 of Your Pregnancy

Week 28

As you enter the 28th week of your pregnancy, you are now entering the third and final trimester. By now you are probably feeling extremely tired and uncomfortable.

How Big is Baby at 28 Weeks?

Week 19 Fetus (29)

At 28 weeks, the focus is now on maturation and growth. Your baby will now typically measure about 37.6cm from head to heel and weigh around 2.2 pounds, or 1kg, roughly the size of a large aubergine. This size, however, can vary slightly from baby to baby.

Your baby's heartbeat will now be around 140 bpm, which will slow down to about 130 bpm before birth. The baby's heart has to beat this fast because it is still very small, and it also helps your baby keep warm.

The lungs are developing surfactant, a substance that helps them expand and contract post-birth. The brain is also growing quickly, with changes in the brain's structure and function.

The baby's eyes can blink and now have eyelashes. Hearing is more developed, and the baby may respond to sounds and voices.

Movements are more defined. You might feel kicking, stretching, and even hiccups.

Physical Changes to Your Body and Symptoms at 28 Weeks

The third trimester brings noticeable changes to your body as it prepares for birth.

  • Uterus Size: Your uterus is about the size of a basketball, pushing against other organs and possibly causing discomfort.
  • Weight Gain: Average weight gain by this week can be between 17 and 24 pounds. It's important to continue a balanced diet and regular exercise.
  • Breast Enlargement: Breasts may continue to grow as they prepare for breastfeeding, potentially causing tenderness.
  • Round Ligament Pains: Pain on the sides of your bump are caused by your uterus expanding.
  • Backaches and Discomfort: The extra weight can put a strain on your back, and you will also be experiencing loose joints and ligaments.
  • Heartburn and Indigestion: Your growing uterus, along with hormonal changes, will be affecting your digestive system.
  • Shortness of Breath: The expanding uterus may press against your diaphragm, making it harder to breathe deeply.
  • Swelling: You might notice swelling in your feet, ankles, and hands due to increased fluid retention. Get this checked out if it's worrying you, as it can also be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
  • Nosebleeds: Don't be alarmed, these are very common in pregnancy and are caused by hormonal changes.
  • Insomnia and Tiredness: Taking frequent naps and investing in a pregnancy pillow can help.

Prenatal Care and Tips for Week 28

  • Routine Check-ups: Visits to your doctor or midwife will become more frequent. Expect discussions about birth plans and third-trimester screenings.
  • Nutrition: Continue with a balanced diet rich in iron, calcium, and protein. Stay hydrated and avoid foods high in sugar and fat.
  • Exercise: Gentle exercises like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga can help manage weight and improve circulation.
  • Rest: Get plenty of rest. Use pillows to support your body and find comfortable sleeping positions.
  • Prepare for Birth: Start thinking about your birth plan and what you'll need for the hospital stay.

Emotional Well-being

The third trimester can be a rollercoaster of emotions. You might feel excited, anxious, or overwhelmed. It's important to talk to your partner, family, or friends about your feelings.

You could try some stress-relieving activities like meditation or deep breathing exercises.

You might also consider joining a prenatal class or support group where you can socialise with other mums-to-be and exchange experiences.

Preparing for the Baby

As the due date approaches, start preparing for baby's arrival:

Nursery: Set up the baby's nursery with essentials like a crib, changing table, and baby clothes.

Baby Gear: Purchase necessary items like a car seat, stroller, and baby carrier.

Hospital Bag: Pack a bag for the hospital with items for you and the baby.

 

Congratulations on reaching week 28 of your pregnancy. Not much longer now; the exciting start of parenthood is fast approaching!

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