Pregnancy Week 32
Its 32nd week and the starting of your 8th month! Doesn’t it sound too near to the due date? Having left with just two months, your mind and heart would be filled with mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension. The feelings are more intense for the first time parents. Becoming a parent means you are bringing a significant change in your life. Your life would never be the earlier one. You have to change your priorities, plans and lifestyle forever. You have to like things which you hated once, weight gain, becoming social, cleaning the mess and much more.
Growth and Development of Baby
Though at 32 weeks, you seem far away from your delivery, but your baby is gearing up for the big debut. Your cute little weighs around 3 ¾ pounds and measures around 16.7 inches in length. In these last months, you will probably gain one pound each week and half of that is due to baby.
The baby is busy in honing the skills like swallowing, hiccupping, breathing, sucking and kicking which will help in surviving in the outside world. He or she now looks more and more like a newborn. Your baby’s all five senses are working fine.
The process of fat deposition still continues which makes her skin look less transparent and more opaque. Some babies have thick hair while other have only few wisps at the time of birth. Thick hair does not necessarily means having thick lush for the rest of the life. However, babies with thin hair tend to carry this.
The baby’s digestive system is all developed and ready for mouth feeding. The bones are getting harder and calcifying and thus you must ensure that your diet has good amount of calcium. You can have yoghurt, almonds, fish, green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, etc. The baby is exercising his lungs by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, however, they won’t develop until before birth. With all these developments, baby has developed good chances of survival in case of preterm labor without any life threatening complications.
In these last weeks, baby adopts a sleeping cycle as a new born. He or she will sleep for complete 20-40 minutes at one stretch. This accounts for lesser movements which were quite frequent in last weeks.
One of the major developments of this week is the settling up of your baby in head down position. 95% of babies prefer a head down position because their head fits well at the bottom of your inverted pear shaped uterus. Moreover, it is also convenient during childbirth when child’s head comes out first. Some babies turn around completely to pit them in breech position. A small percentage of babies do not change their position by full term. However, you must don’t worry as you never know when your little one will change his mood and get into the right position. It’s just that most babies change their position from this week around. If baby does not change his position even near the birth, you may be advised by your doctor to go for a c-Section.
In case of baby boy, testicle must have moved to scrotum from abdomen. However, in some babies that does not happen until birth. However, the undescended testicle condition corrects itself by his first birthday.
Changes in Mother’s Body
- By this week, your uterus has reached five inches above your belly button. Your belly is getting rounder and bigger. It has become difficult for you to see your legs as the big belly is a bog obstruction. The belly button must have popped out. The breasts and belly have only little space in between.
- As the breasts become heavier, most women prefer to wear bras for the whole day. Some of them even wear them in bed too. You may also experience heat rash under your breasts due to sweat and little airy space. Try cooling baths, talcum powders or follow a good general hygiene.
- The Braxton Hicks contractions must be warming you up for the real thing. These irregular practice contractions start around mid pregnancy. However, as the pregnancy progresses, they become more frequent and stronger. They are felt as a tightening sensation from the top of uterus which moves down and lasts for 15-20 seconds. One way to differentiate them from real labor is that they stop in changing the position.
- You are gaining good weight as your baby grows. Generally, the women gain half a kilogram per week in these last weeks. However, only half of this weight corresponds to the baby weight while the rest is due to fluid retention. Though, weight gain is good but if it sudden with bad headaches, you must see your doctor as this may be a sign of complication.
- From your 3rd trimester, your antenatal appointments become fortnightly. On ever visit doctor examines your blood, urine & blood pressure. It may seem monotonous doing same thing again and again but these checkups are extremely important to ward off any possibility of complications.
- The heavy uterus is making it difficult to breathe properly as it occupies most of your lungs space which then find less space to expand. Moreover, this uterus also put strain on your legs which make you feel tired and worn out very soon. Give your body what it demands. Right now, it is not in a condition to go for shopping expeditions or any activity which requires physical output. Plan so that you can have ample time to rest and relax.
- Don’t get surprised with your leaky breasts as this is the first nutritious milk, colostrums from them. This is due to hormonal changes and a distant baby cry is enough to trigger the hormonal response which activates your mammary glands to produce breast milk.
Some Important Tips to Consider
- Now, when your pregnancy has only few weeks left, think of enjoying this pregnancy time with your partner. Ask him to sit with you and feel the baby’s kicks. Spend some time together thinking about baby’s names. Share a good intimacy if not sex, because after baby you both would not find enough time together at least for six months.
- Most of the women get distressed with their stretch marks but some take it as a big issue causing them to be in stress for most of the time. For such women, we would only say that ignore them. It is an irresistible result of pregnancy. In fact, take it in positive way because having stretch marks is a sign of good baby growth.
- Learn and keep updated yourself with the early signs of labor so that you can call out for help in case you watch any of them. They can be water breaking, period like cramps, vaginal bleeding, diarrhea, or a tight feeling in uterus.
- Avoid sitting for long hours as hemorrhoids or varicose veins in rectum may cause rear pain. Use ice packs, witch hazel or go for warm baths to soothe you.
- As the belly grows, skin stretches a lot which in turn becomes lot itchier. If moisturizers and creams are not helping, you can go for some anti-itch lotions.
- Be cautious while you get from your bed. Don’t stand out rightly. First roll to one side, use your hands to help yourself in sitting position. Shift yourself to the edge of the bed, sit there for a while and then stand slowly. This way, you won’t feel any dizziness or queasiness.
- Learning about taking care and looking after a baby is not a day’s task. It requires time and practice. So, don’t feel stressed for what you are not prepared for. In fact your baby herself would help you to learn many things. You may also consider building a supportive network for helping you with baby things. Let the time do it all. You just enjoy the NOW moment and be happy for what you are gifted with.
- If your family has a tradition of baby shower, plan it at least two months before your due date. This will help you in several ways. First, you are still in condition to bear the stress and physical tiredness of the same and secondly, you will have time to buy baby items which you have not received as gifts.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
This is the good time to step up in pelvic floor exercises. You must be doing them already but by now, they may be irregular. So, it’s a good time to make it a regular part of your routine. Pelvic floor exercises are important because your pelvic floor has girdle of muscles which holds your bladder, uterus and bowel. Therefore, strengthening them will help you in:
- Strengthening the vaginal walls so that baby can be pushed effectively.
- Preventing stress incontinence.
- Working on these muscles now will help them get back into shape post pregnancy so as to have a great sex life.
The biggest advantage associated with these exercises is that they can be done anywhere anytime until and unless you contort your features.
Is it Safe to go for 3-D or 4-D Ultrasounds?
Ultrasound is like a tried and tested prenatal tool which allows you to peep into the beautiful world of your little one. The procedure was started as a help for the doctors and parents to know the well being of their growing child but the science has taken it to next level with 3D or 4D ultrasounds. Whether this new invention is really good is a big question. These techniques use three-dimensional imaging machines which uses high power to analyze the inner details.
According to medical professionals, it is not safe as this can cause some birth defects in your growing baby. Until and unless, medical reasons demand it, one should not ask for these high power ultrasounds just for fun.
Though, many of the symptoms like heartburn, contractions, fatigue or tiredness may intensify but baby’s impending arrival is making you excited instead of closing you down. Stay happy, stay blessed!