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32 weeks pregnant

Katie de Klee
All you need to know at this pregnancy stage, what changes to expect, and some great tips for the week ahead.
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5 things to look forward to at 32 weeks pregnant:
  1. Your baby’s skin is becoming soft and smooth.
  2. More practice contractions (Braxton Hicks). Although they’re only practice contractions, they can be pretty intense.
  3. Flatulence, bloating and constipation (fun!)
  4. Large and leaky breasts.
  5. Your baby’s toes and elbows poking you in the ribs.
How your life will change this week:
You might not have thought it possible, but your breasts will get larger in the third trimester, and you may notice that they leak a yellow liquid. This is called colostrum and it will be the first food your baby receives – full of essential proteins and antibodies. Colostrum is followed by breast milk. Your nipples will probably be darker now than they were before your pregnancy so that your baby will be able to see them clearly while feeding.

You’ve probably already been feeling practice contractions, but you may notice them more this week – the muscles of your uterus tighten suddenly and stay hard for half a minute or so. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re nothing to worry about, and you can tell they’re not real contractions because they don’t get longer and stronger.  You might also feel your baby’s toes and elbows poking you in the ribs this week, as space gets a little constricted in there. 

Your baby’s development this week:
Your baby is probably getting ready for entry into the world by now – both in development and now even in position. They may already be lying in your womb in the head down position, and it’s probably starting to feel pretty cramped inside there! There is still space to switch from head up to head down, so if your baby isn’t yet in delivery position you don’t need to worry about it yet. They will weigh about 1.7kg by now, measuring around 45cm from head to toe.

As your baby develops a little more fat and gets plumper, their skin smoothes out so they look more like newborns. Some babies are born with lots of thick hair on their heads, others with less, and some are born completely bald. If your baby were born now, they would be able to survive just fine without much help. You’ve done a great job.

This week’s To Do list:
  • Talk about a birthing plan with your gynaecologist.
  • Go on a tour of the hospital that shows you the labour and postnatal rooms. Knowing where you’re going to be giving birth is very helpful.
  • Together with your partner, map out two routes to the hospital – your usual route and an alternative in case you need it.
  • Spend some quality alone time with your partner.
If you have 5 minutes… Pregnancy top tip.
Many Moms-to-be find it useful to have an object or photograph to focus on during labour – something that makes you feel relaxed or focuses your attention. This is a good time to choose what that object will be.

Curious about next week?  
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms-to-be in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says…
This article has been checked by Sister Pippa Hime, Midwife. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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