You and Your Baby at Week 32 of Your Pregnancy

(10 minute read)

You and Your Baby at Week 32 of Your Pregnancy

Week 32

At week 32, your bump will be a significant size, making it harder for you to walk and maintain your balance. You will probably be waddling more than walking! You are now approaching the final stages of your pregnancy, when both your body and your baby are still undergoing substantial changes and growth.

How Big is Baby at 32 Weeks?

Week 19 Fetus (26)

At 32 weeks, your baby is rapidly growing and putting on fat, in preparation for life outside the womb. On average, babies at this stage are about the size of a large squash, measuring approximately 42.5cm from head to heel and weighing around 3.75 pounds, or 1.7kg. However, these figures can vary as each baby grows at their own unique pace.

During this week, your baby's bones are fully formed, but they remain soft and flexible for the birth process. The baby's skin is becoming softer and smoother as they continue to gain fat, which is vital for regulating their body temperature after birth. The lungs are also developing rapidly; your baby is practising breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid.

Sensory Development

Your baby's senses are quite developed at this stage. They can now see, hear, and even taste! The baby is sensitive to light and may react to loud sounds from the outside world. They might even start to recognise your voice, which can be a wonderful way to start bonding with your baby before they are born.

Your Body at Week 32

As your body prepares for childbirth, you'll notice several physical changes. Your uterus is now about five inches above your belly button, making you visibly much more pregnant. This growth can lead to a more pronounced pregnancy 'waddle' as your centre of gravity shifts.

Your breasts might continue to grow as they prepare for breastfeeding, and you may notice colostrum (early breast milk) leaking. This is completely normal and a good sign that your body is preparing for nursing.

Weight Gain

Most women will have gained between 22 and 28 pounds by week 32, though this can vary based on your pre-pregnancy weight and your body type. It's important to continue to eat a balanced diet and get regular exercise - as best you can, anyway.

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 32

During the 32nd week, you may experience a range of symptoms. These can include:

Braxton Hicks Contractions: These are 'practice' contractions and are usually painless. They are your body's way of preparing for labour.

Shortness of Breath: As your uterus expands, it can put pressure on your diaphragm and lungs, making it harder to breathe deeply.

Heartburn and Indigestion: These can be exacerbated by the relaxation of muscles in your digestive tract and the crowding of your stomach by your expanding uterus.

Swelling: Swelling in your feet, ankles, and fingers is common due to increased blood volume and fluids.

Back Pain: The additional weight and the shift in your centre of gravity can lead to back pain. Prenatal yoga and stretching can be beneficial.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): This is characterised by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them.

Increased Vaginal Discharge: This is normal and is your body's way of preventing infection.

Varicose Veins: Increased blood volume and pressure from your uterus can cause veins in your legs to swell.

Preparing for Birth

Prenatal Visits

Your prenatal visits are now more frequent. During these visits, your doctor or midwife will check your blood pressure, test your urine for protein and sugar, check the baby's heartbeat and position, and measure the growth of your uterus.

Childbirth Classes

Consider enrolling in childbirth classes if you haven't already done so. These classes can provide valuable information about the labour process, pain relief options, and newborn care.

Week 32 is an exciting time as you get closer to meeting your new baby! Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so it's essential to stay in close contact with your doctor or midwife to ensure the health and safety of both you and your baby. Continue to take care of yourself and take the time to rest, eat well, and enjoy this special time.

 


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