32 weeks pregnant
It’s hard to imagine how life will be with a new baby
All prospective mums, and not just first-timers, find it difficult to envisage the future after the arrival of the baby. The imaginings, dreams, and hopes of the last few months are about to become realities – which may be very different from what you expect. You may find that it helps to concentrate on practical matters, such as the birth celebrations and future childcare. You could make plans for recovering your pre-pregnancy figure. The bump won’t be with you forever, even if it feels like it!
1.With bottom up, head down, and chin tucked into his chest, a baby is in an ideal position for the start of labour. Of course, not all babies are so obliging.
2.The amniotic fluid swallowed by the baby passes through the stomach and intestines in the same way as food travels through a mature digestive system. Waste is stored in the baby’s colon to be excreted after birth.
3.At 33 weeks the average crown to heel length is 43.7cm (17.2in) and the average weight is 1.9kg (4.2lb).
4.Fingernails have grown long enough to reach the tips of the fingers.
5.Calcium from your diet is crossing the placenta and being used to help the hardening of your baby’s bones.
You are well into your third trimester and must be thinking about what life will be with your new baby. By this time, your body has been feeling the effects of being pregnant for more than seven months. You may also be dealing with uncomfortable aches, pains, and swollen body parts. With just a handful of weeks to go in your pregnancy, you should know about signs of early labour and when to rush to the hospital. By this week your baby should weigh approximately 2-2.3 kg.
What are you about to experience?
By now you are obviously aware that many parts of your body, like your growing belly and breasts, have undergone a change during pregnancy, but many more parts of the body have adapted to the pregnancy as well. The good news is that most of these changes, such as swollen feet, should go back to normal after pregnancy.
Your baby’s development
Your baby’s skin is beginning to look less red and wrinkled. Fat continues to get deposited under the skin. The bones are all beginning to harden except for the skull because the skull needs to remain soft and flexible for delivery. During these final weeks in the womb, you baby will be kicking forcefully, using senses to observe the environment, and sleeping. Babies at this stage can even experience deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
Changes in you
You have probably become familiar with many of the symptoms you’re likely to experience this week.
- Insomnia: With the hormonal changes, midnight bathroom trips, leg cramps, heartburn and your bulging belly, it's no wonder you are unable to sleep. Third trimester insomnia strikes about three in four pregnant women (who may also be coping with anxiety about the upcoming birth). At 33 weeks, your body needs rest, so remember that worrying about it won't help. Instead, do your best to get comfortable before bed. Try a warm bath or a warm cup of milk before sleeping.
- Breathlessness: That growing belly is pushing anything out of its way, including your lungs, which are unable to expand fully. It’s more uncomfortable for you than it is for your baby, who is getting the oxygen he/she needs from the placenta. Try walking inside your house for a couple of minutes to catch some long breaths.
With the increased pressure on your body, it might be time to hit the swimming pool (if your body is already used to this form of exercise). Walking or swimming in a pool may help swelling, as it compresses the tissues in the legs and provides temporary relief. It will also give you the feeling of weightlessness. Make sure to not overdo it. You must remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Nutrition for you
By now you must already be aware of how important a healthy diet during pregnancy is for both you and your baby.
- DHA intake: Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA) are a valuable nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. DHA is critical to brain and vision development of the foetus, and almost all of a baby's accumulation of DHA occurs during the last trimester. DHA may also help prevent preterm labour and protect against postpartum depression.
- Snack healthy: When you get hungry, you are most likely to reach out for something unhealthy. So ensure you eat small quantities, but frequently, to keep away any hunger pangs. Always keep fruits, nuts and other delicious yet nutritious munchies handy.
Pregnancy at this stage can have its own set of worries. Here are some common ones:
- Water break: You may doubt if you will be able to tell when your water breaks. This is the breaking of the fluid-filled sac surrounding the baby. Only 1 in 10 women experience a dramatic gush of amniotic fluid (Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly yellowish liquid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. It is contained in the amniotic sac. It is a protective layer and helps in bone growth and lung development). Sometimes the amniotic sac breaks or leaks before labour begins. It is common to be uncertain about whether leaking fluid is amniotic fluid or urine. One point of difference is that amniotic fluid is clear and odourless.
- Braxton Hicks: If you feel irregular, painless, squeezing sensation in your abdomen, this may be Braxton Hicks. Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, however, they are most common in the third trimester. The muscles of your uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds or as long as 2 minutes. Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they will prepare you for true labour contractions, and they are a great opportunity to practice the breathing exercises you learnt in your antenatal class.
What do the experts suggest?
“At this stage of pregnancy, call your doctor immediately if you detect signs of early labour, experience unusual shortness of breath, or notice decreased fetal movement (i.e. if you don’t count six to 10 movements in an hour).”
Dr. Sangeeta Malhotra
CGHS Maternity and Gynea Hospital, Delhi
What do some of the moms say?
Let’s hear what some other moms have to say.
“Every time I started to get bored with my pregnancy, I lay down and rubbed my belly. Sure enough, my baby started to kick, and I thought about how wonderful it would be when I would be able to hold him,” shares Kriti Gulati, a new mom.
“During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I got very moody and emotional. I think that’s normal as the anticipation gets on your nerves. The only way to combat these mood swings is to have a conversation with your mother or partner about the coming days,” shares Richa Bhasin.
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Summer: Do outdoor tasks like grocery shopping etc. in the morning or evening when the sun is lower and temperatures are cooler. Always keep yourself well-hydrated.
Monsoon: During monsoon, try and take a bath with neem water as it fights germs and bacteria. Wash your hands and feet and sanitize regularly. This will help you in keeping infections away. Also, all the erractic passing of urine may expose you to infections. Change your underwear frequently to keep yourself dry, use a panty-liner if going outside, and pee often.
Winter: Use oil-based heaters, instead of blowers. Oil-based heaters are known to cause less dryness. Even though in winter, you may not feel like having water, do not ignore it. Drink water like you would in July. Cold suppresses thirst signals!