She is not yet the chubby-cheeked baby you may be picturing in your head, but she is getting there. This week, your baby weighs in at almost 1.8 kg and half a metre long. She is adding fat to her skinny frame and her wrinkly, red skin is beginning to smooth.

32 Weeks Pregnant in Months

32 weeks pregnant is approximately 8 months.

32 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect

By this week, the digestive system is almost ready to go. She has been practicing her swallowing skills with little sips of amniotic fluid, which is—in large part—made from her pee. She has yet to take her first poo (that will happen during or shortly after birth). Her bones are soft and pliable. Some babies already have a full head of hair at 32 weeks, others just peach fuzz. She has fingernails, too. (If you are having a boy, his testicles may have dropped into his scrotum by now…they started out inside his abdomen!)

She is moving around and kicking a little less, not only because she is pretty tightly packaged—your belly is mostly baby now, whereas a few months ago it was mostly amniotic fluid—but also because she is sleeping so much of the time.

Research shows that by this age, a baby's brain waves are similar to an adult's while sleeping. During sleep, your baby is creating early memories (like the sound of your voice and familiar flavours—like garlic and basil—that float from your digestive tract, through your blood into her amniotic swimming pool). And, she is also having REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, also called active sleep. That is the time when we dream. Wonder what she is picturing during her reverie?

You probably feel like a human pin cushion these days! At your next prenatal visit, you will likely get blood drawn for a few tests. Anemia increases your risk of preterm birth or low birth weight, and improper levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelets can be downright dangerous during birth. That is because when the placenta detaches from your uterus, it leaves blood vessels open. Uterine contractions help to close those vessels until they heal, which is why most women have some spotting/bleeding for up to 6 weeks post-delivery.

By this point, you should be on a prenatal vitamin + an iron supplement. Take them together (vitamin C improves iron absorption.) During pregnancy, that iron helps keep you and your baby properly oxygenated and may keep you from feeling tired or weak, symptoms of anemia. (Although iron can make your poo green, black, and be a little constipating.)

You may be given another routine STD test. STDs can be treated or cured with medication, but your STD status also affects your delivery. Most healthcare providers will apply antibiotic ointment to a baby's eyes immediately after birth. This type of treatment dates back to the 1800s and is used to prevent blindness that would occur if the baby was exposed to gonorrhea.

32 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Common symptoms of 32 weeks pregnant include:

  • Constipation
  • Leg cramps
  • Faintness or dizziness
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Colostrum (leaky breasts)
  • Itchy tummy and skin

A To-Do List for Your 32nd Week of Pregnancy

  • Consider adding DHA to your diet: DHA is essential to baby brain development and can help during the last trimester. Low-mercury, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines are great sources, as are oysters and mussels (cooked of course, and discard any shells that do not open). Vegans can take algae-derived DHA supplements or add flaxseeds and walnuts to their diet to up their omega-3 intake.

  • Review your birth plan with your caregiver: Review your birth plan with your healthcare provider or midwife. You might say, ‘I would like as little intervention as possible’ or ‘I trust you completely, but please always let me know what is going on…even if you have any concerns.’ And, from there, ask specifics about anything that matters to you. Maybe positions in labour or pain medication or using a mirror to watch the baby coming out or holding your little one immediately after delivery. Ask for their advice and what most mums request.

  • Whittle down your baby-name list. Be flexible in your plans. One couple in my practise named their son Jacob Madison for his first and middle names. They figured that way, if he wanted to run a deli he could be Jake and if he wanted to become a banker he could be J. Madison.

  • Know the signs for preeclampsia: Call your healthcare provider immediately if your hands or face suddenly swell, you get bad headaches, blurry vision or shortness of breath.

Quote of the Week

Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain – your life will never be the same. — Catherine Jones

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