32 Weeks Pregnant

Reviewed by
Jacques S. Abramowicz

32 Weeks Pregnant : What to Expect

As you enter your 8th month of pregnancy, you are probably feeling very ready for the baby to be out of your body, and this is normal. Just continue to eat and exercise properly, get plenty of rest, and go to your appointments. Follow any and all instructions given to you by your healthcare provider, and don’t do anything too strenuous during these last weeks of pregnancy.

Symptoms and Body Changes at 32 Weeks

The name of the game (as it has been) is weight gain. You should be gaining an average of a pound per week, plus your blood volume has increased by up to 50% to accommodate you and your baby during delivery. Even at 32 weeks pregnant you’re probably still experiencing some or all of the normal pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue, leaking breasts, pregnancy pains, constipation, heartburn, insomnia, shortness of breath, cramps in legs, vaginal discharge, nose bleeds, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, mood swings, stretch marks, contractions, and sometimes, even at this late stage, nausea. The baby may have already moved, or could be on its way to the pelvis area in preparation for birth.

Baby’s Development

As your baby continues to move, you might notice that he or she seems much calmer these days. This is mainly due to the fact that there’s less room inside the womb. Most babies have their head down, and some have completely turned around and positioned themselves into the breech position. The majority will turn back to a head down presentation. If your baby hasn’t yet its okay; they will sometime before birth, and if not, then they may need to be delivered via C-section. Your baby has grown to 16-17 inches long, and it weighs about 4 ½ lbs by this 32nd week. The baby is sleeping in 20-40 minute segments at a time, and you may be discouraged that your normal sleeping patterns are disrupted. Hang in there; this is normal. Studies show that some babies dream in this stage, and this could be the reason that the baby is moving around more often. The brain is continuing to develop, so eating properly is still very important. Baby’s appearance is still wrinkly and reddish, but the fat tissues are continuing to build under the skin. The umbilical cord is coated with a gelatinous substance, so when the baby turns and twists, the cord is protected from kinks and knots. The baby’s skeleton is completely formed by now, but the bones are soft and flexible, and will harden later.


Pregnancy Week 32 Tips

Braxton Hicks contractions at this stage can cause false signs of labor. If you don’t know how to distinguish the difference, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor and schedule an immediate appointment. These contractions are normal, and you should think of them as practice for the real thing. Try changing positions more often, taking warm (but not too warm) baths, and relaxing to help ease the discomfort. Even eating small meals can help reduce contractions at this point. Next is pregnancy at 33 weeks.

[Page updated January 2014]