Your Baby is the Size of a Viola
Head to Toe
Highlights of the Week
- Baby is around 16 to 17 inches long and weighs around 4.5 pounds.
- Baby’s head is more in proportion with the rest of its body now, and its bones are hardening.
- Baby’s senses are continuing to develop, it can hear sounds from outside the womb and may respond to voices and music.
- Baby’s immune system is also continuing to develop, preparing it to fight off infections after birth.
- Baby’s movements are more coordinated and can be felt more often and more strongly.
- Baby’s head will start to settle into the pelvis in preparation for birth which can cause some pressure on the bladder
- It’s possible that the baby may be in the breech position at this stage, which is when the baby is positioned bottom or feet first.
- The obstetrician will closely monitor the position of the baby and may suggest a procedure called External Cephalic Version (ECV) to turn the baby into the head-down position for a vaginal delivery.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 32
At 32 weeks pregnant, you may be experiencing a variety of symptoms. These can include:
Braxton Hicks contractions:
Braxton Hicks contractions are common in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. They are also known as “false labor” or “practice contractions” because they mimic the sensation of true labor contractions but are usually painless and irregular.
As the pregnancy progresses, the body may feel more tired as it works to support the growing fetus. This increased fatigue is normal and can be managed by getting enough rest, practicing good sleep hygiene, and engaging in regular physical activity.
Swelling in your hands and feet:
Swelling, also known as edema, is a common pregnancy symptom that can occur in the hands, feet, and face. It can be caused by fluid retention and is usually more noticeable in the afternoon and evening.
Heartburn and indigestion:
Heartburn and indigestion can occur during pregnancy due to the increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the muscle between the stomach and esophagus, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
Shortness of breath:
As the uterus expands, it can put pressure on the diaphragm and lungs, making it harder to breathe. This is a normal symptom of pregnancy, but if it becomes severe, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider.
Lightning crotch refers to sharp or shooting pain in the pelvic area, which can be caused by the baby’s head pressing on the nerves in the pelvic area.
Itching skin is not a common symptom of pregnancy, but it can occur in some women. Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of factors, including dry skin, hormonal changes, and certain skin conditions. There is also a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) which can cause extremely itchy palms and soles of feet. It is a condition that is dangerous for both mother and baby, so if your itch is extreme, make sure you let your OBGYN know.
Stretch marks are a common symptom of pregnancy and are caused by the stretching of the skin as the belly and breasts grow. They usually appear as reddish or purplish lines and can appear on the abdomen, thighs, breasts, and hips.
Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins, often appearing in the legs and feet. They can occur during pregnancy due to the increased blood flow and pressure on the veins.
Appetite changes can occur during pregnancy and can include food cravings, aversions, and changes in hunger levels. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and speak with a healthcare provider if there are any concerns.
32 Week Pregnancy Checklist
As you prepare for the arrival of your little one, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have taken care of by the 32nd week of pregnancy. These can include:
Choosing a pediatrician for your baby:
At 32 weeks pregnant, it’s important to have chosen a pediatrician for your baby. This will ensure that you have a doctor in place when your baby is born and also you can start inquiring about the vaccines schedule, feeding options, and any other concerns you have.
Preparing your home for your baby’s arrival:
At this point, you should have a good idea of the baby essentials you will need, such as a crib, changing table, and car seat. You can start setting up the nursery and stocking up on these items to ensure that you’re ready for your baby’s arrival.
Attending prenatal classes:
It’s a good time to start attending prenatal classes to learn more about childbirth and baby care. These classes can help you to prepare for labor and delivery, and also learn about the different stages of labor, pain management options and breastfeeding basics.
Planning for your postpartum recovery:
At this stage, you should start thinking about your postpartum recovery. This includes arranging for help with household chores and childcare, so you can focus on recovering and bonding with your new baby.
Prepare for breastfeeding:
It’s a good time to start preparing for breastfeeding. You can research breastfeeding techniques and start gathering the necessary breastfeeding supplies, such as nursing bras and breast pumps.
Start thinking about baby names:
You may start to think about baby names. You can make a list of your favorite names and start discussing them with your partner or family members.
Think about who you want in the delivery room:
You should start thinking about who you want in the delivery room with you. This may include your partner, family members, or friends. It’s important to have a good support system in place for the delivery.
Your 32 Week Pregnant Belly
At 32 weeks, the belly has grown significantly and is starting to become more noticeable. The size of the belly will vary for each woman, depending on factors such as the size of the baby and the amount of amniotic fluid present. However, by 32 weeks, the belly is usually quite prominent and can make it more difficult to move around, do daily activities and even sleep comfortably.
The growing belly can also cause some physical effects on the body, such as back pain and difficulty breathing. As the uterus expands, it puts pressure on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back, which can cause pain. Additionally, the expanding uterus can put pressure on the diaphragm, making it harder to breathe. These are normal symptoms of pregnancy, but it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider if they become severe.
Taking care of the belly during this stage of pregnancy is important for both mother and baby. It’s crucial to maintain good posture and engage in gentle exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles and reduce back pain. Wearing a support belt can also help alleviate discomfort. It’s also important to get enough rest and sleep. Using a pregnancy pillow can be helpful in finding a comfortable position for sleeping. It’s also important to stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet and avoid any activities that could put the belly at risk. Avoiding any heavy lifting, strenuous activities and maintaining a healthy weight gain during pregnancy will also help minimize the strain on the belly.
It’s also important to be mindful of the changes the belly is undergoing and to be prepared for the next stages of pregnancy. As the baby continues to grow and the belly expands, it can become more uncomfortable and can make it harder to move around. However, with proper care and attention, a woman can continue to enjoy her pregnancy and look forward to the arrival of her baby.
Baby Development at 32 Weeks
At 32 weeks pregnant, the baby is continuing to grow and develop rapidly. The baby is about 16 to 17 inches long and weighs around 4.5 pounds. The baby’s head is more in proportion with the rest of its body now, and its bones are hardening. The baby’s lungs are also continuing to mature and are preparing for breathing on its own after birth.
The baby’s senses are also continuing to develop. The baby can now hear sounds from outside the womb and may respond to voices and music. The baby’s eyes are also fully developed, and it can blink and move its eyes around. The baby’s taste buds are also developing, and it may be able to taste the different flavors of the amniotic fluid.
The baby’s brain is also continuing to develop rapidly. The baby’s brain is developing new connections and pathways, which will help it to process and understand the world around it after birth. The baby’s immune system is also continuing to develop, preparing it to fight off infections after birth.
At this stage, the baby’s movements are more coordinated and can be felt more often and more strongly. The baby’s kicks, punches, and rolls are becoming more pronounced, and it may be possible to see the baby’s movements through the mother’s abdomen.
It’s also important to note that by 32 weeks, the baby’s head will start to settle into the pelvis in preparation for birth which can cause some pressure on the bladder, making it harder to hold in urine. Additionally, it’s also possible that the baby may be in the breech position at this stage, which is when the baby is positioned bottom or feet first. In this case, the obstetrician will closely monitor the position of the baby and may suggest a procedure called External Cephalic Version (ECV) to turn the baby into the head-down position for a vaginal delivery.
Overall, the baby at 32 weeks pregnant is continuing to develop and grow, preparing for its arrival into the world. With proper care, both mother and baby will be in good health and ready for the next stages of pregnancy.
How Many Months is 32 Weeks Pregnant?
If you are 32 weeks pregnant, you are considered to be 8 months pregnant.
As you enter the 32nd week of pregnancy, you’re in the home stretch! While you may be experiencing some new symptoms and challenges, it’s important to remember that this is a time of incredible growth and development for your little one. By taking care of yourself and preparing for your baby’s arrival, you’ll be ready to welcome your new bundle of joy into the world.