Your Baby is the size of a

Celery

Keep an eye out for those ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions, as they might catch you off guard! These are nothing to worry about and are just practice for the big day. Why not get some practice in yourself this week? If you haven’t already, try some guided videos for slow, rhythmic breathing - this will help to put you into a more relaxed state that should help you cope better during the real deal.

Week 32

Length : 42.4 cm

Weight : 1.7 kg

Week 32
Length : 42.4 cm
Weight : 1.7 kg

Your Baby is the size of a

Celery

Keep an eye out for those ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions, as they might catch you off guard! These are nothing to worry about and are just practice for the big day. Why not get some practice in yourself this week? If you haven’t already, try some guided videos for slow, rhythmic breathing - this will help to put you into a more relaxed state that should help you cope better during the real deal.

Hopefully your baby is planning on entering the world head first and will be starting to turn to face head-down into the pelvis if they aren't already. This is known as a 'cephalic presentation'.

Don't worry if your baby is still pointing towards the stars - there is plenty of room for changing position yet, despite the ever-shrinking amount of space left in your uterus thanks to how much your little one is growing.

At around the 43cm mark and weighing 1.8kg, your baby is growing at a rapid rate - ready for all those cute baby clothes you have bought! Its previously saggy skin is filling out as they start growing more fat tissue and their skin is now finally opaque!

One thing you may begin to notice at this point is the stronger emergence of 'Braxton Hicks' contractions, these are nothing to worry about and are merely 'practise contractions' as your body gets ready for your big day. These contractions will increase in frequency the nearer you get to your due date. To stop feeling these contractions, simply move, or change position.

If you are sitting, stand, if you’re lying down, sit up, and so on. This is also a great way of identifying the difference between these contractions and contractions you feel during labour - real ones won't go away.

If you find that larger meals make you feel uncomfortable, something you may want to try is eating a little less, more frequently. As your uterus takes up more space, many find their appetite to be very reduced, however by eating little and often, you can help keep yourself energised as well as reducing the risk of feeling dizzy or faint between meals.

By week 32, most of your symptoms are directly related to the amount of space your little one now occupies inside of you. Here is a list of some things you may be experiencing.

Larger feet: As your body retains more fluid during pregnancy, it's not uncommon for your feet to swell and increase in size. This is typically temporary, so don’t feel like you need to run out and buy a whole wardrobe of new shoes!

Outie bellybutton: Around this time, many expectant mums notice their belly button protruding outward as the uterus expands and pushes against the abdomen. This change is entirely normal and usually temporary.

Heartburn: As the uterus expands, it can push against the stomach, leading to heartburn or acid reflux. This is common in the later stages of pregnancy and can be made worse by certain foods or lying down after eating. Eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding trigger foods can help manage heartburn symptoms. Here’s more on heartburn during pregnancy.

Sweating: Hormonal fluctuations can lead to increased sweating during pregnancy, especially in the second trimester. This is the body's way of regulating its temperature. Wearing breathable clothing and staying hydrated before bed can help manage sweating. Here’s how to keep cool during pregnancy.

Swelling in your feet: It's common to experience swelling, known as edema, particularly in your ankles and feet during. This occurs due to increased fluid retention and pressure on blood vessels as your body adjusts to the demands of pregnancy. Elevating your legs and staying hydrated can help alleviate discomfort. Here’s how to reduce ankle swelling.

Crazy dreams: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can result in vivid and sometimes unusual dreams. This is a common phenomenon and is usually harmless.

Stretch marks: As you enter the third trimester, you may notice stretch marks forming on your abdomen, breasts, and thighs. While they are a common part of pregnancy, keeping your skin moisturised can help minimise their appearance. Here’s a guide to pregnancy dreams.

Braxton Hicks: This week, you might be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as "practice contractions." These irregular and painless contractions are your body's way of preparing for labor. They may feel like a tightening sensation in your abdomen and typically occur infrequently. If they become frequent or painful, contact your healthcare provider. Here’s more on what to expect from contractions.

Tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands and wrists: Carpal tunnel syndrome, characterised by tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands and wrists, is common during this stage of pregnancy due to fluid retention and swelling. Wearing a wrist splint and practicing gentle exercises may provide relief.

 

Remember, every pregnancy is different, and not everyone will experience the same symptoms. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to your midwife or GP.   

At this point in your pregnancy, you may be contemplating the various options you have for your little one's delivery. Depending on your pregnancy, the options may range from a natural water birth delivery, to a hospital-scheduled caesarean.

Even if you are planning on a vaginal delivery, you should still familiarise yourself with the caesarean procedure. If you've previously had a baby delivered via caesarean, your doctor will likely encourage you to schedule another caesarean delivery this time. For many women with a previous caesarean, this is not the only option. It's merely the more typical route taken by healthcare practitioners.

If your heart is truly set on experiencing a vaginal delivery, speak up at your next appointment. Other common causes for having a caesarean include when labour is not progressing properly, if a prolapsed umbilical cord prevents adequate blood flow to the baby, and if the baby's heart-rate slows too much during contractions.

Feeding Your Baby

Another topic to think about this week is breastfeeding. The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented; and while there are some women who are unable to breastfeed for various reason, there are many incentives to try nursing, from both a nutritional and financial standpoint. Statistics show that most women will give nursing a good try before choosing to use formula instead.

But the number of breastfed babies drops substantially after about three months post-birth for various reasons.

The declining number of breastfed babies might be linked to mothers who struggle to produce enough milk as a result of missed feedings after a weekend away, or a bout of illness, or a plugged or blocked milk duct. Though many newborns are able to immediately, and correctly, latch onto the breast, others have a harder time with it. 

When a newborn struggles with latching and sucking, it affects their mother's ability to produce milk. When this happens, the help of a lactation consultant may be very beneficial.

So... what will you choose? If you decide to breastfeed, how do you plan to handle any concerns or complications that may arise? Do you know of any local lactation consultants? Are there nearby breastfeeding support groups? What will be your personal line-in-the-sand for choosing to formula-feed your baby? This is a great week to contemplate on and educate yourself about nursing. The best decision is your decision.

And don't forget to put these thoughts down on paper... like, in your pregnancy journal!         

At a Glance

  • Getting into position: Baby is hopefully positioned head-down, preparing for birth.
  • Filling out: Any saggy skin is filling out as fat tissue increases in preparation for the big day.
  • More braxton hicks contractions: Practice contractions may become stronger and more frequent this week.
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Louise Broadbridge

Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a registered senior midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby antenatal classes and the face behind instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have taught over 100,000 expectant parents since starting my antenatal classes which have 5* reviews.

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The information on the Your Baby Club website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always discuss any health concerns with a qualified healthcare provider and carefully review all guidance that comes with any medications or supplements before taking.