As you enter your eighth month of pregnancy, you are probably feeling very ready for the baby to be out of your body. 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, and your blood volume has increased by up to 50 percent. You’re probably still experiencing the normal pregnancy symptoms: fatigue, leaking breasts, pregnancy pains, constipation, heartburn, insomnia, shortness of breath, cramps in your legs, vaginal discharge, nosebleeds, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, mood swings, stretch marks, contractions, and sometimes—even at this late stage—nausea. The baby may already have moved toward the pelvis in preparation for birth.
You may notice that your baby 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, whereas others have completely turned around and put themselves into the breech position. The majority will turn back to a head-down presentation. If your baby hasn’t yet, it’s okay; it’ll happen sometime before birth. If not, then your child may need to be delivered via C-section.
Your baby has grown to 16–17 inches long and weighs about 4 ½ pounds by this thirty-second week. The baby is sleeping in segments of 20–40 minutes at a time, and you may be distressed that your normal sleeping patterns have been disrupted. Hang in there; this is normal. Studies show that some babies dream at this stage.
The brain is continuing to develop, so eating properly is still very important. The umbilical cord is coated with a gelatinous substance to protect it from kinks and knots when the baby turns and twists. The baby’s skeleton is completely formed by now, but the bones are still soft and flexible.
Pregnancy Week 32 Tips
Braxton Hicks contractions (false signs of labor) can occur at this stage. If you don’t know how to tell the difference, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. 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 lounging to help ease the discomfort. Even eating small meals can help reduce contractions at this point. Next is pregnancy at 33 weeks.