Mother and Baby

32 Weeks Pregnant - What to expect

32 weeks pregnant

This week, your baby’s putting on weight, you might be feeling forgetful and it’s time to start planning the practical elements of giving birth. Find out more about what your baby and body is doing and the common symptoms to look out for at 32 weeks’ pregnant.

How big is my baby at 32 weeks?

Remember when your baby was the size of a tiny lime? Things have definitely changed now, as the big day approaches: she’s now the size of half a gallon of milk. She weighs between three and a half and four pounds, and measures between 15 and 17 inches. It’s nearly time for her to make her big appearance!

What’s my baby doing at 32 weeks?

In the last few weeks of your baby’s time in your tummy, it’s all about practising for life outside of the womb. She’s practising those all-important skills she’ll need as a baby, from breathing and sucking to swallowing and kicking. 

Your baby’s more beautiful than ever, with the fat accumulating under her skin getting rid of that once-transparent look: she’s now fully opaque. Her digestive system is also ready to go in preparation for breastfeeding in just a few weeks’ time. She’s also got fully fledged toenails, fingernails and hair: gorgeous!

Thanks to your baby’s growth, she’s probably feeling a bit cramped in there now. That’s why you might feel a bit less dancing in there and a bit more tapping and squirming. Don’t worry though, your baby is still super-cosy, and has even reverted back to a curled-up position for maximum comfort. Sometime soon, she’ll also move around and get into a head-first position ready for the birth. 

What is my body doing at 32 weeks?

You’ve no doubt experienced the pregnancy brain haze known as baby brain, when, thanks to your lovely pregnancy hormones, your memory’s compromised to say the least – but what about baby-induced clumsiness? 

Thanks to hormonal changes loosening your joints and ligaments and your changed centre of gravity and extra weight, you might find you’re bumping into things and tripping over a lot. So step away from those staggering stilettos and wobbly wedges: it’s sensible shoes all the way, or at least until your little one is born. 

These changes in your body could also lead you to experience lower back pain. If you do feel pain in your lower back, tell your midwife right away, as this can be a sign of premature labour. 

At this point, you’ll also be gaining about a pound a week, half of which will go straight to your baby. She will gain between a third and half of her birth weight during the next seven weeks as she prepares for survival outside the womb.

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions: If you feel your uterus hardening, chances are these aren’t real contractions, but irregular practise contractions known as Braxton Hicks, which can last anything from 15 seconds to two minutes. You can tell if they’re real signs of labour by changing positions: if the contractions stop, don’t worry, it’s just Braxton Hicks. If they get progressively stronger and more regular, call your midwife, as this is usually a sign of labour.
  • Reduced appetite: You haven’t got much space in your stomach these days, so it’s no surprise you might find your appetite is reduced. Try to eat small meals at regular intervals rather than large meals. 
  • Leaky breasts: The pregnancy glamour just never ends. This time, it’s the turn of leaky breasts to wreak havoc on your body. As your breasts grow in the third trimester, they might start to leak a yellowish fluid called colostrum, the precursor to breast milk, and the first milk your baby will taste. Consider nursing pads if the leaking becomes uncomfortable.
  • Heartburn: Now that your uterus is pushing up near your diaphragm and taking up so much space in your stomach, you may experience heartburn or shortness of breath. Sleeping propped up on pillows or eating smaller meals might help to make you more comfortable.

What to do this week:

The big day is getting closer and closer, so why not take the chance now to run through everything regarding your delivery with your other half? Map out two different travel routes to the hospital and practice to make sure you know how long they take. If you’re not having a home birth, check to see if your antenatal class will give you a tour of the hospital. 

If not, then make sure you organise this yourself – and familiarise yourself with the admission procedures you will have to go through when your labour commences. The more prepped you are, the more confident you’ll feel once those contractions begin.

Your week 32 FAQ's answered: 

How long is 32 weeks pregnant in months? 

Working out how many weeks and months pregnant you are can be tricky. That said, at 32 weeks pregnant, you are roughly 8 months pregnant. 

How big is my baby in terms of fruit and veg at 32 weeks pregnant? 

Congratulations! This week your baby is the size of a mexican turnip! See photos of this odd sounding vegetable here, and follow your baby's progress in terms of fruit and vegetables

Take me back to week 31

Take me to week 33

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