Baby's Growth and Development When You're 32 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is spending quite a bit of his time practicing the skills he'll need after birth, such as sucking, swallowing, and breathing. Other changes during your 32nd week of pregnancy include:
- At 32 weeks of pregnancy, your baby weighs about 4 pounds and is almost 11½ inches long from crown to rump, or the length of a small watermelon.
- Lanugo, the soft, downy hair that insulates your baby, continues to fall off this week.
- You might notice a change in your baby's movements this week, as he becomes more crowded in your uterus.
- Kicks and movements might seem less powerful.
- Be sure you monitor your baby's movements from time to time, especially if you think you've noticed a decrease in activity. The10-Kick Count can help.
- Your baby's skin is no longer see-through. It looks more like yours.
Your Changing Body When You're 32 Weeks Pregnant
When you’re 32 weeks pregnant, you might experience new symptoms or continue with now-familiar late-pregnancy symptoms as your body responds to your growing baby's needs.
- You might notice that your skin across your abdomen, in particular, is dry and itchy from ongoing stretching and tightening. Lather on the lotion for some relief! Thick, creamy body butters are best.
- You might be feeling some anxiety about your baby's upcoming birth or your responsibilities as a new parent. Finding out more information about what you can expect and making decisions about his birth and care after he is born can help.
- During your 32nd week of pregnancy, you might begin to notice mild swelling in your hands, face, legs, ankles, or feet caused by the extra fluids in your body.
- Some swelling (or edema) is normal, but this is one area your doctor will watch closely.
- Swelling is usually worse in late pregnancy and if you're pregnant during the summer.
Swell Solutions for Your 32nd Week of Pregnancy
- Don't stand or sit for long without taking breaks. Try a brisk, brief walk to keep circulation and fluids moving.
- Elevate your legs when possible. Sleep with your feet propped on a pillow to keep fluids from pooling in your lower body.
- Lie on your left side, so it's easier for kidneys to do their job.
- Keep up regular exercise. Walking is ideal for swollen feet because it keeps the blood flowing. Swimming or water aerobics push fluid from your tissues to reduce swelling.
- Drink more water. It's simple: the more you drink, the less you retain.
- Don't cut salt completely. Severely limiting your salt intake actually can increase swelling.
- If you swell suddenly or the swelling is particularly bad, contact your doctor.
Soothing Sciatica Pain
Many women begin to slow their activity in the 29th week of pregnancy and beyond, which is normal.
- If you feel a tingling, numbness, or pain that travels from your hip or rear down your thigh on one or both sides of your body, your growing uterus is probably placing pressure on one or both of your sciatic nerves (the major nerves that run from your lower back down your legs to your feet).
- This discomfort (called sciatica) is temporary and usually diminishes or disappears completely as your baby changes position.
- Lifting, bending, or even simple walking can aggravate pain.
- Try soothing sciatic pain with these tips:
- Try warm baths or a heating pad.
- Switch the side you sleep on.
- Change positions regularly during the day.
- Get up and move at least once every hour.
- Ease the pressure of your uterus on the sciatic nerve by swimming.
Wellness and Nutrition When You're 32 Weeks Pregnant
When you’re 32 weeks pregnant, you might find yourself eating less at one sitting and moving less in general. But less can still mean more!
Snack for Balanced Nutrition
- If you find you can't eat a full-size meal all at once, opt for mini-meals throughout the day. Just be sure you're getting nutrients from all of the food groups.
- Try to choose food from at least two food groups for each snack or mini-meal choice.
- Rotate through the food groups to hit on all of your needed nutrients.
Focus your time and energy on activities to meet your needs right now:
- Swimming — great for alleviating swelling or pain from sciatic nerves
- Walking — a strong choice for reducing back pain, swelling, or leg cramps
- Prenatal Yoga — perfect for easing worries and encouraging relaxation as well as fitness