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Your Baby at Week 32
Baby’s Prepping for Birth
What’s up with your baby? She’s starting to get ready for her big debut, tipping the scales at three-and-a-half to four pounds and topping out at 15 to 17 inches.
In these past few weeks, it’s all about practice, practice, practice as she hones the skills she’ll need to thrive outside the womb — from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking.
In anticipation of that momentous transition to mouth feeding, your baby’s digestive system is all set and ready to go.
And though you’re weeks away from D-day, your baby’s looking more and more like a newborn:
As fat accumulates under her skin, it’s no longer transparent and is now opaque.
32 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 32 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 8 of your pregnancy.
Only 1 month left to go! Still have questions?
Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Fetal Position: Head Down or Breech?
At 32 weeks pregnant, you’re likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby’s signature rocking and rolling.
That’s because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now — she’s actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!).
Between 32 and 38 weeks, your baby will also probably settle into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis in preparation for birth.
That’s because the fetus’ head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus, plus it’s easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first.
Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term — so don’t worry if your little bean hasn’t assumed the head-down position yet.
There’s still a good chance she’ll flip before birth, even in the tight confines of your uterus.
Baby’s Sleep Cycles
And speaking of the big day, hope you’re resting up for it because your bambino certainly is.
In preparation for that first date with you, your baby is sleeping like a baby — with regular sleep and wake cycles (which would also account for the decrease in movement you’re likely feeling these days).
Your Body at Week 32
Braxton Hicks Contractions
This week, your body may start prepping for delivery day by flexing its muscles…literally.
If you feel your uterus tightening or hardening periodically, those are Braxton Hicks contractions — irregular practice contractions that are first felt around mid-pregnancy and increase in frequency and strength as things progress.
These prelabor rehearsals are a warm-up for the real thing and are typically experienced earlier and with more intensity in women who’ve been pregnant before (many novice moms-to-be don’t notice them as much).
They feel like a tightening sensation that begins at the top of your uterus and then spreads downward, lasting from 15 to 30 seconds (though they can sometimes last two minutes or more).
How do you know they aren’t real labor? They’ll stop if you change position, so try getting up if you’re lying down or walking if you’ve been sitting.
If they are real labor contractions, they’ll become progressively stronger and more regular — so in that case, put in a call to your practitioner.
In the meantime, when they’re just the practice kind, try taking a warm bath to help with the discomfort.
Ultrasound is a tried-and-true prenatal tool (and a window into the wonderful world of your womb) — but this procedure has taken a giant leap from the confines of a doctor’s office to a storefront at the mall, with 3D- or 4D-ultrasounds.
Is it safe to take a peek inside your tummy on the way to Sears? The FDA warns against having ultrasounds for fun (as opposed to for medical reasons), since such three-dimensional imaging machines use higher power than the typical ultrasound machines at your doctor’s office.
And many medical professionals fear that nervous moms-to-be will come away mistakenly convinced there’s something wrong with their babies or, worse, that the untrained wand wavers will miss real problems that would be detected by a pro.
If you’re still interested in an elective sonogram, make sure to check with your practitioner for the go-ahead.
32 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development
Your baby is getting closer and closer to looking like the baby you will meet when he is born.
For example, his eyelashes, eyebrows, and even the hair on his head are now all in place.
He’s recently started shedding the lanugo — those fine hairs that covered your baby’s body — and most of it will be gone by now, though some babies are born with a little lanugo still on show.
Your baby may be standing on his head now, or sometime soon; most babies move into the head-down position at least a few weeks before birth.
Don’t be surprised, though, if your little acrobat decides to change positions several times before he’s born.
You might feel him jostling into place as he flips.
More and more fat is forming under your baby’s skin.
This has slowly turned your baby’s skin from see-through to its current, opaque state.
That’s not all: Your baby’s toenails have been growing and are now visible.
Get those clippers ready — you’ll be cutting those teeny-tiny nails soon enough!
Mom’s Body at 32 Weeks Pregnant
During pregnancy, you may experience changes in your mouth, teeth, and gums that might cause some discomfort.
These might include:
Sensitive gums. If your gums feel more sensitive, or if they swell or bleed when you brush or floss, it might help to rinse with salt water and to use a softer brush.
Teeth feel looser. Hormonal changes can cause your ligaments to relax, and these same hormones may also affect the tiny ligaments that hold your teeth in place.
As these ligaments relax, your teeth may feel looser.
Rest assured: It’s unlikely you’ll actually lose a tooth for this reason, and this feeling usually goes away after you’ve given birth.
You may get these sores because your immune system is working overtime to remove germs from your mouth.
The good news is that the sores typically go away after pregnancy.
It’s important to floss daily, brush twice a day, and keep up with your regular dental checkups every six months.
Experts recommend arranging any elective dental procedures to happen in the first half of the third trimester (around about now), if they weren’t taken care of in the second trimester.
Your dentist may recommend postponing any major dental work until after you’ve given birth.
32 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Have you been experiencing sharp, painful cramps in your calves? You’re not alone! Unfortunately, this is a common symptom of late pregnancy.
It’s not known why these leg cramps occur.
Try to stretch your legs before going to sleep at night.
If you experience a cramp, flex your foot upward and back and massage your calves in downward strokes. This should help.
Diarrhea. It’s never pleasant, but you could come down with a bout of diarrhea at 32 weeks pregnant or at any time.
If this happens, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Sometimes, diarrhea can also be a sign of preterm labor, so if you notice any symptoms like abdominal cramps, pelvic pressure, low backache, regular contractions, or your water breaking — with or without diarrhea —contact your healthcare provider immediately.
“Pregnancy brain.” You might have heard of this and be wondering whether symptoms like forgetfulness and difficult concentrating are actually caused by your pregnancy, or whether you’re just imagining things.
32 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
Be on the lookout for symptoms like sudden weight gain, persistent headaches, changes in vision, pains in the upper abdomen or shoulder, and swelling or puffiness.
These could be signs of a pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorder called preeclampsia.
If you notice any of these symptoms at 32 weeks pregnant, or at any time in the rest of your pregnancy, tell your healthcare provider right away.
At 32 weeks pregnant your healthcare provider may be asking you to keep an eye on your baby’s movement —your provider will be able to provide direction on this.
One option could be to do “kick counts,” keeping track of how long it takes to count 10 movements.
Pick a time of day when your baby is typically energetic — for example, after you’ve eaten a meal.
At 32 weeks, you could be 7 or 8 months pregnant, depending on how you’re grouping the weeks of pregnancy into months.
Though you still have a ways to go until your pregnancy is full term, you’ll have a lot on your plate in these final few weeks.
To make life a little easier, we’ve gathered a list of essentials that you may still need to organize, along with some advice on how to decide on an option: