What to expect at 32 Weeks Pregnant. Everything you need to know as you approach the Home Straight.
You’re now 32 weeks pregnant and your belly is full of your baby. At this time it’s normal to experience crazy dreams and what are considered “rehearsal cramps”.
It’s Month 8 of your pregnancy and the weighing scales are tipping as your baby moves on from a gentle rocking to an excitable squirming, in preparation to join you. By this point in your third trimester, babies like to reposition themselves with their heads pointing down in your pelvis, ready for labour. The pear shape of your uterus means this is a comfortable position for both your baby’s head and for you, during childbirth. However, if this isn’t the case yet, not to worry, some babies will wait until the last minute!
Read on to find out everything you need to know at 32 weeks pregnant. Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect 31 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.
Your Baby at 32 Weeks Pregnant
The many changes your baby is undergoing at the moment are all preparing you both for a more comfortable childbirth and your baby’s debut in the real world. This means thicker skin and stronger bones (although the skull will remain moderately more supple as it rests head-down in your uterus).
Your baby’s finger and toe nails will have started to grow and most likely your baby now has a head covered in a lovely soft, peach fuzz; though some will even already be boasting a full head of hair. Becoming more clever by the day, your baby will be practising its swallowing skills, building up a digestive system with the help of the amniotic fluid inside your womb. Also, by this point your baby has developed a sense of smell, although, there being no air inside of your womb means your baby hasn’t explored this new sensation, as of yet.
32 Weeks Pregnant Baby Size
A strangely satisfying and popular way to get an idea of the size of your baby is to size up your little human with a vegetable… At 30 weeks we offered you a large cabbage or broccoli tree as a point of comparison. Now, at 32 weeks, your baby measures circa 16.7 inches and can be weighed at about 3.8 pounds. So, how about a squash?
Your Body at 32 Weeks Pregnant
Prepare for the rehearsal cramps mentioned at the beginning of this article! Known in the medical world as Braxton Hicks Contractions, these cramps lasting from 15 to 30 seconds are pretty uncomfortable but totally normal, serving as a little warm-up for the big day! If you’re a new mum-to-be, evidence shows that you may not notice these so much… but if you’ve been pregnant before, more intense contractions are not uncommon. Deal with your baby flexing their muscles by keeping hydrated with water and warm herbal teas. Changing position can also encourage your baby to relax the wriggling as well as taking warm baths for less than half an hour.
With the possible change in your baby’s position around this point in your third trimester, you could be expecting a visible change in the shape of your bump as you go from carrying high, (meaning your bump protrudes the most at your abdomen), to carrying low (protruding most as the pelvis).
32 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Itchy Skin and Tummy
Moisturiser is your holy grail at 32 weeks. You’ve probably noticed that your skin and especially tummy are increasingly itchy, caused by your growing baby and therefore stretching skin which is prone to drying out at this time in your pregnancy.
An uncomfortable cramping pain may drop in, occasionally, to bother you in your 32nd week of pregnancy. With no certain known cause, theories range from a lack of magnesium or calcium in the diet to pregnancy hormones causing slow circulation. Nevertheless, these leg cramps are no cause for concern but can be quite painful and irritating, often creeping up on pregnant women at night. Try stretching your leg from the toes and flexing your feet to soothe your cramping calves.
Your baby is really developing into a little person by now, with fingernails, smoother skin, stronger bones, and, according to scientists: little dreams! In fact, evidence suggests that babies at this stage have dreams synced up in patterns, just like adults.
Funnily enough, at 32 weeks it’s also not uncommon for you, as a mother-to-be to be experiencing crazy dreams at night and vivid daydreams when you’re awake! Inevitably rooted in excitement and anticipation as well as anxieties and nerves, nightmares and weird dreams at this point in your pregnancy are nothing to worry about; they’re all part of the process. And reminding yourself that your baby is also dreaming should help you to turn your dreaming energy into positive energy! If your dreams are vivid and you enjoy unpacking them, this could be an opportunity to keep a dream diary. However, if they are concerning you, speak to a midwife to reassure yourself.
For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.
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