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32 Weeks Pregnant

You are now well into the eighth month of your pregnancy and the day to meet your baby for the first time is not far now. Your baby’s chances of survival became pretty high once you completed the 30th week of your pregnancy [1] and by the 32nd week, your baby has over 95% chances of surviving without any long-term complication [2]. Hospitals offering specialized Level 3 neonatal intensive care help to further increase the chances of survival by offering artificial ventilation to aid in the baby’s breathing after birth.

32 weeks pregnant: baby development

External appearance

Your baby continues to get plumper with the fat layer growing underneath his skin, while the downy hair or lanugo covering his body until this point is gradually disappearing [3]. His fingernails completed their development by the 31st week while the toenails require a bit longer (35th-36th weeks) to grow [4]. The hair also starts gaining some pigmentation at this stage [5]

32 Weeks Pregnant Picture

32 Weeks Pregnant Picture

Internal organs

Apart from the still-developing lungs, all the other major organs are done maturing, ready to start working the day your baby is born [4]. Although your baby still receives all his necessary nutrients from the umbilical cord, his digestive tract has almost completed developing [6].

Bone development

Your baby has a well-formed skeleton by the 32nd week, although it is still soft and pliable, going through ossification [7]

32nd week of pregnancy: fetal movement and breech position

It is normal for babies at 32 weeks of gestational age to sleep around 90% of their time with short periods of activity. Your growing bundle of joy now has much less space to allow big, jerky movements; so, you might notice that his kicks and punches are getting less powerful than the earlier weeks [8]. Most babies tend to become active late in the evening to early in the night, between 9 pm and 1 am, when the mother tries to get some sleep [9]. However, you can detect fetal hiccups any time during the day.

It is normal for your baby to already settle into a proper birth position with his head down by the 32nd week [3]. However, there is nothing to worry about in case your baby still remains in a transverse (lying sideways) or breech (feet down) position as there is still plenty of time for him to turn [4]. The amniotic fluid volume increases every week (1.5 liters at week 32), making it easier for your baby to move about and rotate within the womb [10].

32 weeks pregnant with twins

In a twin pregnancy, the babies have even lesser space in the womb than a single baby. So, there is nothing to worry about if you notice reduced fetal movement in the 32nd week. Keep track of those little flutters and wriggling to make sure of their wellbeing [11].

How big is your baby?

As big as a jicama [12], your baby is now around 16.7 inches (42.4 cm) long, weighing about 3.75 pounds (1.7 kg) [13].

Pregnancy week 32: weight gain, belly and body changes

The top of the uterus can be felt approximately five inches above your bellybutton [7]. The rising relaxin hormone levels, loosening the joints and muscles to prepare your body for childbirth, continue to make you clumsy, often causing you to drop things and bump into furniture [10]. Pregnancy hormones are also likely to affect your brain to some extent, leading to forgetfulness and ‘pregnancy brain’ [14]. You may also notice your breasts leaking a yellowish thick fluid (colostrum) in preparation for breastfeeding [15].

32 weeks pregnant tests and ultrasound

In most cases, the monthly prenatal visits are likely to turn bi-weekly, or even weekly in the last stage of pregnancy [15]. During these visits, your doctor will routinely check your blood pressure, urine and assess any swelling or vision changes to look for any signs of complications like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure [16].

32 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Picture

32 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Picture

Pregnancy week 32 signs and symptoms

When to call the doctor

  • In case of irregular or decreased fetal movement [3]
  • Regular contractions getting closer together over time, bleeding/spotting, period-like abdominal cramps, mucus discharge or losing the mucus plug, flu-like symptoms (diarrhea and vomiting) and leaking watery clear or straw colored fluid (amniotic fluid), felling lots of pressure in the pelvic area and throbbing lower back pain (might be signs of early labor) [21]
  • Sudden weight gain, changes in vision and swelling of the face and hands along with constant headaches, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and upper abdominal pain (might indicate high blood pressure) [16]
  • Pain or burning during urination, abnormally frequent urge to urinate and dark or cloudy urine accompanied by lower back pain around one of the kidneys, nausea, pain during intercourse and thick white, greenish or yellowish jelly like discharge (might indicate UTI [22] or yeast infection [23])
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth along with fatigue, lightheadedness, sudden vision changes, yellowish or dark urine and frequent urge to urinate even if passing little or no urine (might indicate gestational diabetes) [24]

Tips for a healthy pregnancy and baby

  • Eating smaller, frequent meals and drinking lots of fluids to avoid common symptoms like heartburn and indigestion
  • Staying propped up with the help of fluffy cushions and pillows to avoid shortness of breath [5]
  • Doing regular prenatal yoga or following a light exercise routine, like swimming or going for a short walk twice a day
  • Avoiding standing for long periods and keeping your feet elevated using a stool or cushions whenever sitting or lying down to manage leg cramps and edema [8]
  • Applying some witch hazel or a cold compress on the affected area to relieve hemorrhoids; you can also ask your doctor for a suppository or ointment in severe cases [6]
  • Trying to lie on your left side as it improves your blood circulation
  • Following a diet containing lots of calcium-rich foods, such as yoghurt, milk, low-fat cheese, almonds, cartilaginous fish and leafy green vegetables, as calcium is vital for the fetal bone development during these last few weeks [25]

Published on August 28th 2014 by .
Article was last reviewed on 8th September 2014.

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