32 Weeks Pregnant
Greetings! Wondering how many weeks pregnant am I? Well today, according to your pregnancy calculator, you are 32 weeks pregnant and only 8 weeks short of reaching full term pregnancy. This is the time to enjoy the last few wonderful weeks of being pregnant before you plunge head first into baby care. Your little one has come a long way and is preparing to meet you soon. The size of the baby this week is as big as a papaya and weighs approximately 1.7 kilos. The total length from head to toe is 16 inches. At this stage, each baby is growing at an independent rate and so, minor differences in height and weight are likely to be there. As long as all growth parameters are normal, you can be rest assured all is well.
How Your Baby is Growing This Week?
The baby is growing and maturing each day. The internal organs have almost completely formed except the lungs which are still maturing. In case the baby was to be born at this stage, there would be 95% chances of its independent survival with some assisted ventilation. The digestive system is all ready and is currently only handling amniotic fluid. It will take over the process of digestion once the baby is born and takes in milk for the very first time.
At 32 weeks pregnant, the bony skeleton of your baby has formed but the skull bones are not completely fused. They can slide over each other. This is nature’s way of facilitating an easy passage for the baby through the birth canal during delivery. During the final stage of labor, the skull bones over ride and this pliability makes is easy for the head to come out first. This is followed by the shoulders and the rest of the body.
Externally, the skin is now almost opaque as fat begins to deposit under the skin. The lanugo hair is shedding off and the skin is getting thicker. Hair pigmentation is going on. It is interesting to see whether your baby gets your hair color or that of your partner. Well you will have to wait few more weeks to find it out!
The baby may be head down or breech at this stage but there is still a week or two before the position gets fixed. At this time there is almost 1.5 liter of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and so there is still space to move about.
You may feel the baby move lesser this week than at 30 weeks pregnant. This is mainly because the space around him is getting lesser each day. Also by this time, babies spend 90% of their time sleeping with intermittent periods of activity. They will tend to be most active when the mother is at rest as the movements of the day may rock them to sleep. So, if you are a night watcher, you’ll be happy to have company as your little one is going to stay up with you.
Changes in Your Body at 32 Weeks Pregnant
For all pregnant women, the journey of pregnancy is a different story. However, for most the following mentioned body changes are relevant.
Your blood volume has increased by 40-50% to sustain the growing baby and your uterus is now way above the umbilicus causing some serious crowding in your abdomen and putting pressure on the lungs. This is causing breathlessness at the slightest exertion. The stomach is also pushed up, making you more prone to getting acidity and heartburn due to easy reflux of the gastric acid.
Another thing troubling you is low backache. The weight gain around the abdomen leads to a shift in the center of gravity putting strain on your back muscles. Also the hormone relaxin causes loosening up of the joints making you clumsy and less stable. Due to this, changing positions, getting up from the floor and bending becomes more difficult as the days go by. You may experience pregnancy cramps which are felt more in the lower limbs due to a pressure on the large veins of the body.
Week 32 Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
By now you are well aware of most of the signs of pregnancy such as morning sickness and backpain. With changing months, the pregnancy week by week symptoms will only change in frequency and intensity. Your early pregnancy symptoms are now gone and you will experience the following later symptoms of pregnancy.
- Chest pain or difficult inspiration due to compression of the lungs
- Reflux symptoms with heartburn
- Pelvic pain
- Braxton Hicks contractions – false labor pains
- Mood changes
- Frequent urination
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Change in the gait
- Round ligament pain
- Loss of appetite due to acidity
- Strange Dreams
- Back pain
- Pregnancy cramps
- Dry and itchy skin of abdomen, thighs and breasts
- Varicose veins and hemorrhoids
- Stretch marks
- Breast enlargement
- Yellowish discharge from the nipple
- Linea Nigra
- Increased pigmentation of skin
It is very important to eat healthy at this stage to keep a check on the pregnancy weight gain. Gaining too much weight is associated with other complications like diabetes, blood pressure and puts you at a risk for preeclampsia.
Diagnostic Tests and Ultrasound Results in Week 32 of Pregnancy
The prenatal visits will change from this week onwards. Your monthly visits will now be converted into biweekly visits, that is every 15 days till the last month. After 36 weeks, the visits will become weekly till the time you deliver your baby.
The main concerns at this week check up are looking for any signs of high blood pressure, screening for diabetes and preeclampsia.
The ultrasound will check the well being of the baby in terms of weight, total length, heart rate etc.
You can see the position in which your baby is lying at the ultrasound visit. The presentation gets fixed in most cases by this time.
Pregnancy Health Tips
- If you are troubled by pelvic contractions, try lying down for a while or take a warm bath. Drinking water also helps to relieve the pains as it has been seen that dehydration can stimulate contractions.
- Have a diet that is rich in calcium. Include milk, yogurt and cheese daily as part of your food.
- Cut down on the caffeine intake to control acidity. Instead of tea or coffee, choose a glass full of plain unsweetened milk.
- In case you are underweight or the baby’s weight gain is slow, the doctor might recommend some protein supplement to be taken with milk.
- Sleep on your left side as it is best for the circulation with a pillow to support your pregnant belly.
- To relieve the shortness of breath, lie down with pillows in a propped up position.
- Take small portions of meals as eating too much will trigger acidity and heartburn.
- This is a good time to think about cord blood/stem cell banking. The blood remaining in the umbilical cord is generally thrown after the baby is born. This technique involves storing the cord blood which contains stem cells. These cells can be used to treat a number of diseases which may affect the child in future. They can be normally stored under special conditions (very low temperatures in liquid nitrogen) for a period of 15-21 years depending on the plan and the company you choose. It is however an expensive procedure, but worth storing for your child!