Week 32 of Your Pregnancy

A look at your body, your baby, and more

Welcome to week 32 of your pregnancy. You are seven months pregnant this week. Your baby is nearing the end of his or her development, though plenty of important things happen now and in the weeks ahead. You are likely feeling like you’re getting bigger by the minute. While that’s not actually the case, it’s not exactly far off.

week 32 pregnancy highlights
Illustration by Verywell

Your Trimester: Third trimester

Weeks to Go: 8

You This Week

Your crowded uterus is now pushing about 5 inches above your belly button, which can put the squeeze on your diaphragm and hinder your breathing. The very same uterine pressure can also amp up the heartburn you may have been feeling for a while now.

Your uterus isn’t the only organ moving around, however. By this point in your pregnancy, your lungs are crowded and shoved upward; your intestines have relocated out of baby’s way; your bladder is pretty squashed; and your rib cage is expanding to accommodate all of that movement. For some women, this rib shift is especially uncomfortable, causing costochondritis, which is inflammation of the cartilage and bones in the sternum.

Finally, just as your baby is continuing to grow late into your pregnancy, so are you. In most cases, that equals roughly a pound of weight gain a week at this point.

Your Baby This Week

Your baby-to-be’s lungs are continuing to develop, although they still need several more weeks to reach maturity. Aside from this, your baby is very much in the finishing-touches stage of development. Toenails and fingernails are now fully formed this week, as are eyelashes and eyebrows. And if you’re going to birth a baby with a head of hair, it’s all grown in by now. (But know that it’s also perfectly normal for babies to be born bald, too.)

By the end of week 32, your baby will stretch to over 16 inches long and weigh in at roughly 4 to 4½ pounds. The thing is, because your baby is getting bigger, there’s less room for him or her to move inside your uterus. This means that baby’s bold kicks will now be replaced with more knocks and nudges.

At Your Doctor’s Office

During your prenatal visit this week, your healthcare provider will monitor your blood pressure, urine, weight, and any swelling that you may be experiencing. While water retention in pregnancy is totally normal, if you’re experiencing swelling in your hands or face, your healthcare provider will further evaluate you for preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. (Preeclampsia most commonly develops during the last trimester.)

Other signs that you may have preeclampsia include sudden weight gain, headaches, or vision changes. If you, indeed, have mild preeclampsia, your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure and urine regularly, and perhaps have you check your blood pressure at home, too. He or she will also ask you to perform daily kick counts. Most women with preeclampsia go on to have healthy babies, as long as their condition is detected and treated in a timely fashion.

Also this week: If you have moderate to severe asthma, your healthcare provider may follow the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ lead and offer you an ultrasound this week and regularly thereafter. This is to monitor baby’s activity and growth.

Upcoming Doctor’s Visits

The next time you see your physician or midwife, he or she will gently touch your abdomen, expecting to find your baby-to-be in the head-down position. If your baby is instead situated rear or feet first, that’s considered a breech presentation and not the preferred position for delivery. This occurs in 3 percent to 4 percent of full-term births, and healthcare professionals typically take a “watch and wait” approach or suggest non-invasive interventions like acupuncture to remedy things. (After week 36, an intervention to turn the baby or an eventual C-section or may be considered.)

Taking Care

There’s nothing like packing your hospital or birthing center bag to feel a smidge more prepared for baby’s arrival. Here are some things to consider bringing along on the big day:

  • Health insurance card and identification
  • Pre-registration forms for the hospital: Bring an extra set, even if you already submitted one.
  • A copy of your birth plan
  • Toiletries, like deodorant; toothbrush and toothpaste; mouthwash; shampoo; soap; hair brush; hair ties; lotion; contact lenses and solution; glasses; lip balm; etc.
  • Medications: Bring anything you take regularly, but talk to your care team before taking them once admitted; you may need to get prescribed by on-site practitioners.
  • Robe and nightgown. Make it an open-in-the-front nursing nightgown if you’re planning on breastfeeding.
  • Slippers for safer walking during labor; extra socks
  • Mints, lollipops, or other hard candies
  • Snacks that are easy on your digestion, like crackers
  • Pillow from home in a colored pillowcase to distinguish it from hospital or birthing center pillows
  • Phone charger; battery pack; and any photo or video must-haves on your list
  • Heavy-flow sanitary pads
  • Nursing pillow
  • Going-home outfit: Choose something comfortable that you wore when you were around six months pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding or any reference books that could be helpful.
  • Cord blood kit, if privately banking

And here are some items you should include for the new person you will be taking home:

  • Two easy-to-put-on going-home outfits (just in case), booties, and baby hats. Many moms like kimono-style onesies, which go on like jackets instead of shirts.
  • Newborn mittens to prevent scratches
  • Swaddling blankets
  • Newborn diapers and wipes

(Note: Though you may want to dress your baby in items from home during your stay, some hospitals do not permit this. It’s worth an ask before packing.)

For Partners

While it’s a no-brainer that your partner will need to pack an overnight bag before heading to the hospital or birthing center, don’t forget your bag, too. Even if you don’t plan to stay overnight, you may be there longer than you expect. Grab a duffle and think about adding the following for delivery day:

  • Toiletries, prescription eyewear, any medications you might need
  • Change of clothes, plus a bathing suit if a water birth is planned
  • Phone charger; battery pack; and any photo or video must-haves
  • If smartphone-free, a watch with a second hand (for contraction timing)
  • List of everyone you’re supposed to call or text once labor kicks in and/or baby arrives (if applicable)
  • Snacks, as well as change for the vending machines
  • Any labor support tools that you and your partner discuss, such as speakers, massage oil, or stress balls
  • Any handouts or notes from childbirth class that you might want to reference

Verywell Checklist

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Continue drinking about eight to 12 glasses of water a day.
  • Continue doing your Kegel exercises daily.
  • Pack your hospital or birthing center bag.
  • Have your partner pack his or her hospital/birthing center bag, too.

Last Week: Week 31

Coming Up: Week 33

View Article Sources