32 weeks pregnant: what can I expect?
If this is your first pregnancy you will be excited about being a first time mum. You will be looking for advice and comfort about being a parent. Don’t let anxiety get the better of you. Set up a network of supportive friends and family who are happy to listen to you and lend a helping hand.
Physical changes in you at week 32
- You might find that you can’t stop scratching your skin. The reason is heat rash also known as prickly skin. Heat rashes show up on your skin as pimply and red patches on your skin. It is caused by the combination of factors like damp skin, overheated skin and friction of skin rubbing against scratchy clothes. These heat rashes are common in the crease between and underneath your breasts. To prevent heat rash you can take cool showers, use talcum powder and wear comfortable clothes. Dampness is the number one cause for heat rash, so try to stay as dry as possible.
- Fatigue and tiredness during your pregnancy is common as your belly grows a little more every week. Imagine running up a hill with a backpack whose weight increases as you try to reach the top. You won’t have the same energy as you did in the beginning of your pregnancy. If you are tired take a rest or short nap. Don’t push yourself to do things when you are feeling tired.
- In the third trimester your doctor will monitor you carefully during your antenatal checkups. Chances of gestational diabetes, preterm labor and pre-eclampsia are high at this stage. At checkups expect routine pregnancy tests like urine test and blood pressure test.
- Swollen feet and ankles may make your legs feel like stone pillars this week. Increase in blood volume and fluid retention can be blamed for this uncomfortable feeling. To reduce swelling in your feet take a five minute walk or put your feet up on pillows whenever you can – the elevation will help the puffy feeling. Drinking plenty of water will also ease the swelling.
- At week 32 your breasts will continue to expand with your belly. Your breasts will feel heavier and at times you may feel like they are dragging you down. Invest in a good maternity bra to give support to your breasts.
Emotional changes in you at week 32
- In the third trimester you might feel like you can’t wait to deliver the baby. It’s normal to feel like this. All the physical discomforts and emotional challenges throughout your pregnancy will feel like too much of a burden. When you feel sapped talk to your partner or watch a light hearted movie to feel cheery.
- Negative feelings like resentment, doubt and guilt are common in pregnancy. You might feel resentful at your partner because he is able to do things you are not when you are pregnant. The important thing is to acknowledge you have these feelings and cope with it by talking to your partner or a supportive friend.
How’s my baby doing?
- At 32 weeks of pregnancy your baby weighs around 1.8 kilograms and is almost 50 centimeters long. Your baby will be looking more like a new born now and would have lost that see-through quality of skin it had in the previous weeks. This is due to accumulation of more body fat on your baby’s skin.
- Your baby’s digestive system is well formed by now and your baby will have settled into a routine of rest and activity. Your baby might be spending more time sleeping now and you might not feel its activity that much.
- At 32 weeks you will feel your baby’s movements more as it squirms and wiggles inside your womb. This is due to the fact that the baby is taking up more space in your uterus with each passing week and there is little room for it to maneuver.
- Your baby’s skin will be looking less translucent as more vital fats are deposited on your baby’s skin.
- Don’t forget to keep up with your calcium intake. Your baby’s bones and teeth are developing and calcium is important for strong bones. The easiest way to increase your calcium intake is to have yoghurt, milk, cheese, almond and fish.
Useful tips for week 32:
- Of all the aches and pains during your pregnancy back ache can be the worst. There are several changes you can make in your daily routine to deal with back aches. You can use a warm compress and warm soaks in the tub to reduce the intensity of pain. Use you hands to get out of bed in the morning. Avoid springing up suddenly from the bed or chair; get into a habit of getting up slowly.
- With your growing belly you might not feel comfortable in your old bikini panties anymore. Invest in maternity underwear that is not only comfortable but fit you well.
- To deal with side effects like bloating, heartburn and dizziness eat small frequent meals. Avoid eating large meals that will make you feel more bloated when you are sitting. Snacking on toast, salads, fruits, vegetables, cereals and crackers is healthy. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- If you have started to attend birthing classes your midwife would have told you about the benefits of perineal stretching. In a vaginal delivery your pernieal needs to stretch a lot, and sometimes doctors do a little surgical cut known as episiotomy to enlarge the vaginal opening. This stretching will reduce your chance of having an episiotomy.
- If you don’t already have a camera now would be a good time to invest in one. You can continue to add pictures of your growing belly to the pregnancy scrapbook you might have started.