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Week 28 marks the last week of the 2nd trimester. An expectant mother is 2/3rds shy from entering the 3rd trimester. Most pregnant women gain an average of 5KG during this trimester.
The mother in week 28
At week 28, soon – to – be mother will be experiencing a lot of sleepless nights as the due date approaches. Aside from that, here are the following symptoms which she is expected to undergo during this week:
Week 28 symptoms
Sciatica (tingling leg pain)
Sciatica is a short – term pregnancy symptom with a tingling pain in the legs. This symptom occurs when the sciatic nerve gets compressed by bulging and ruptured discs or by the narrowing of the spinal cord.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It begins from the lower back and stretches from the buttocks down to the back of the legs, ankles, and feet.Pregnancy week by week
Backache is felt when a woman is pregnant because of the extra weight (growing baby and uterus) that she carry. That said, her lower back curves more to adjust as the center of gravity shifts forward.
Tender lumps in the breasts
Feeling some tender lumps in the breasts at week 28 is natural. This is because milk ducts are beginning to form at the tip of the nipples.
Puffiness and gassiness
Having a puffy physique and being gassy is caused by progesterone. This hormone relaxes the gastrointestinal tract. This then slows down the bowel movement.
On the bright side, this symptom allows the nutrients more time to be absorbed in the bloodstream and reach the baby.
Clogged nose and nosebleeds
Clogged nose (also called as stuffy nose) and nosebleeds is triggered by the high levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones increase blood flow to the mucous membranes.
The gums tend to be more sensitive due to the increased blood volume in the mucous membranes. During pregnancy, the gums are more prone to inflammation and irritation.
Dizziness happens because the blood flow towards the mother decreases and goes towards the unborn baby. By the same token, the blood supply in her brain is being drained and her blood sugar drops down.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
Researches show that about 300 pregnancies are diagnosed by symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). While surveys indicate that about 2% of pregnant women is said to experience the symptom.
Symphysis pubis dysfunction is when the ligaments in the pelvic bone become too relaxed and stretched out too soon before the due date approaches. As a result, the pelvic joint (symphysis pubis) becomes unstable and can lead to pain.
Expecting moms who suffer from SPD are having a hard time to walk and doing any weight – bearing activity such as:
- Lifting one’s leg
- Climbing up stairs
- Getting dressed
- Getting in and out of the car
- Turning over in bed
Mask of pregnancy
The mask of pregnancy (Medically called melasma or chloasma) refers to the excess melanin production that is stimulated by estrogen.
This means her moles and nipples will look darker than pre – pregnancy.
Shortness of breathe
The expanding uterus begins to crowd the lungs. As a result, she experiences shortness of breathing.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are the feeling of tightness around the abdominal cavity. As the pregnancy progresses, the contractions become tighter and stronger in preparation for child labor.
Even if the baby is not born yet, the breasts will be leaking with milk at week 28. This is because the breasts have already produced some colostrum which will serve as the baby’s primary food.
Fetal development in week 28
Being in the last stage of the 2nd trimester, the unborn baby’s anatomy is prepared to face the world outside the womb. Until now, he is still practicing his breathing skills. Aside from that, here are the following fetal development which takes place this week:
- The baby – in – waiting stretches for about 13.6 – 14.8 inches from head – to – toe standard and tips the scales roughly at 1.5 – 2.5 pounds. He is already settling into his proper and final position (head facing downward towards the birth canal) for birth
- Deposits of fat layers continue to distribute and fill out underneath his epidermis. With that being said, his wrinkled and saggy skin begins to get smoother by week 28. By this trimester, she is gaining at least 1 pound every 2 weeks. In a like manner, as he grows bigger, he becomes more cramped inside the womb. Because of that, his movements become less frequent.
- The baby – in – waiting’s bones is nearly developed. As of this week, his bones are still soft and pliable and they will not harden until she is still inside the womb.
- The unborn baby’s brain wave activity begins to show different sleep cycles.
- Now that all her major systems and internal organs are fully functioning, his built – up fat tissue regulates body temperature and provides him the energy that he needs.
- His lungs are now fully developed that if he is born now (premature birth), he would probably survive at a 97% rate.
- He is now capable of doing rapid eye movements (REM) and blinking (closing and opening the eyes). Plus, his eyelashes are fully grown and ready for batting.
- More fetal skills this week such as coughing, more intense sucking, and hiccupping. In a like manner, he will turn his head towards the source of a bright light from the outside.
- Fingernails continue to bud and take form on the nail beds.
- The network of nerve pathways to his ears is finally complete. By the same token, the unborn baby can completely hear everything his mother and father says even though he is still inside the womb.
Pregnancy tips for Week 28
To welcome the 3rd trimester with a healthy body and a well – nourished baby, here is what a soon – to – be mother needs to do:
Things to do during the 28th week of pregnancy
Attend a childbirth class
It is necessary for an expectant mother (preferably first time moms) and their partner to attend childbirth classes. A childbirth class provides information on pregnancy, child labor, and post – partum issues. Furthermore, here are the different types of childbirth classes:
- Lamaze – the most popular childbirth class which teaches natural strategies such as rhythmic breathing exercises, hydrotherapy. This class also includes a wide range of information about life after delivery and other possible complications. Lamaze is also pro – pain medical therapies.
- Bradley – this class pushes natural childbirth. With that being said, about 90% of expectant women who attend this class deliver without any medicine. This class stresses the benefits of nutrition and exercise as a precursor to a healthy delivery. Bradley pushes women to focus on self – awareness, trusting the female body’s capability to withstand the pain and stress of child labor.
- Alexander – this class aims to maintain proper posture and teaches various movements to relieve muscle tension. Alexander class is recommended to be attended the earliest.
- Hypnobirthing – led by a professional hypnotherapist, this class relies on the power of relaxation. It uses different guide thoughts to decrease the levels of stress and fear.
Check the Rhesus (Rh) status
At week 28, a soon – to – be mother must get her Rhesus status checked. Checking the Rh is necessary. For instance, the mother is Rh negative while the unborn baby is Rh positive, an anti – D injection is needed in no time.
Babyproofing a house
Babyproofing or childproofing is transforming the house into an essential place to keep the baby safe.
Begin tracking the fetal kick counts
Tracking and/or counting the fetal kicks is the best way to identify curable problems before the fetal heart rate gets affected and the risks of stillbirth increases.
Prepare a birth plan worksheet
A birth plan worksheet provides a list of child labor, delivery, and post – partum options. Preparing a birth plan worksheet helps expectant women and their partners’ tally their decisions for their baby – to – be’s essential needs.
Visit the doctor
Beginning this week after the 2nd trimester ends, an expectant mother is required to visit the doctor for 2x this month.
Do some hip openers
To flex and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, do some hip openers. To perform some hip openers, here is what she needs to do:
- Sit in a butterfly position with the soles of feet together
- Knees open wide in a diamond stance
- Use the elbows to open the hips further
- Hold the position for at least 30 – 60 seconds everyday
Foods that is good for the baby
Eating foods that are packed with nutrients keep both the mother and the baby healthy throughout pregnancy. Here are the foods that are good to eat for the unborn baby’s development:
- Sweet potatoes
- Lean meat
- Orange juice
- Leafy green vegetables
Eat on iron – rich foods
The baby is high on absorbing iron during the 28th week. Because of that, an expectant mother must eat on some iron – rich foods such as:
- Iron – rich cereals
- Iron supplements
Drink chamomile tea
Whenever a pregnant woman is having trouble sleeping, she must drink on some warm chamomile tea to relax her senses.
Vaginal birth after cesarean class
Vaginal birth after cesarean (abbreviated as VBAC) is a class specialized for women who expect for twins or multiples. Second time mothers are also recommended to participate in this class to stay up to date with new motherhood techniques.
What to avoid in week 28
Carrying heavy objects
Avoid carrying heavy objects to avoid straining the back and triggering various body parts. If she must, here is what she needs to do:
- Stabilize the body by positioning a wide stance
- Bend using the knees and never the waist
- Carry the heavy object using the arms and legs, do not use the back
Stretching out for high objects
Avoid stretching out just to get high objects, doing this will strain her body. If she must, always use a chair.
Do not wear high heels for a while as it will strain the back. High heels contribute to backache.