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At 32 weeks pregnant, the stomach may feel squeezed since the unborn baby takes up so much space inside the abdomen. Plus, half of the mother’s weight gain comprises to her baby’s.
The mother in week 32
By week 32, the female body is busy prepping up for child delivery by flexing its muscles. From this week onwards, a mother – to – be will be gaining 1 pound a week (half of the weight gain is from the baby’s).
Week 32 symptoms
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are the painless tightening sensations which begin at the top of the uterine muscles and radiates downward. These contractions generally last from 15 – 30 seconds and in some cases, it can last for up to 2 minutes or more.
Stretch marksPregnancy week by week
Did you know that about 90% of pregnant women gain stretch marks? Stretch marks happen as the skin is being pulled to its extreme.
Bloating, burping, and farting
Bloating, burping, and farting – this embarrassing trio is triggered by progesterone. This hormone relaxes the gastrointestinal muscles which slow down digestion.
On the bright side, this symptom gives the nutrients more time to be absorbed in the bloodstream and reach the unborn baby.
Vertigo (commonly known as dizziness) stems from a variety of causes such as:
- Unable to produce enough blood supply to fill the rapid expansion of the circulatory system
- High levels of progesterone which has vessel – relaxing effects
- Growing uterus which presses the blood vessels
- Increased blood flow to the baby and vice versa
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood sugar
Leg spasms are painful cramps which radiate through the calves and up the legs. The cause of the symptom has not been found yet, but there are various theories which is said to be its causes such as:
- Over – fatigue from carrying the added weight of the burgeoning belly
- Squeezed blood vessels
- Excessive phosphorus intake
- Insufficient calcium
- Insufficient magnesium
By week 32, the breasts may begin leaking a thin and yellowish substance called the colostrum (precursor to breast milk).
Darker nipples and areolas
The nipples and areolas become darker so that the baby – to – be can see them better when it is time to breastfeeding.
Colon congestion (commonly known as constipation) happens when the gastrointestinal muscles are relaxed due to progesterone. This then slows down the digestive process.
Add to that, is the enlargement of the uterus which takes up the space where the bowels are stored.
On the bright side, there is an added time for nutrients to be absorbed in the bloodstream and reach the baby.
Hemorrhoids (also known as piles) or rectal varicose veins which feel itchy and downright painful due to the following causes:
- Heightened blood flow to the pelvic area which causes the rectal veins to swell and itch
- Postpartum effect – extreme pushing while in labor
Dry and itchy skin
The skin tends to become dry and itchy due to the rapid stretch it experiences.
Leukorrhea (widely known as vaginal discharge) occurs as a defense mechanism to keep the vagina from various infections until the delivery day.
Fetal development in week 32
At 32 weeks pregnant, the mother – in – waiting will likely feel the tapping and squirming instead of the baby’s kicking and jabbing. Also if the baby is born now, he would have a 100% chance of surviving without any complications.
- The baby – to – be stretches for about 15.2 – 17 inches and tips the scales roughly at 2.5 – 3.8 pounds (almost reaching the 4 pound mark). As a result, he is feeling more cramped inside the uterus.
- The unborn baby may have turned in the head – down, bottoms – up position in the pelvis. Squarely facing the birth canal in preparation for delivery day.
- The amniotic fluid serves as his primary oxygen inside the womb. By the same token, his lungs aids in practicing its breathing motions. In line with this, he is also honing his swallowing and sucking skills in preparation for mouth feeding.
- If the baby is a boy, his testicles have moved in his scrotum now. However for some, one or both testicles have not move in its respective position until after childbirth (undescended testicles). If this is the case, there is nothing to worry about it since undescended testicles correct themselves before he even celebrates his 1st
- His digestive system continues to hone its waste management functions, in preparation for its first bowel elimination. In line with this, meconium begins to build up in the intestine. A meconium is made up of – old blood cells and skin cells. This will soon be the baby’s first stool however in some cases, the meconium is already eliminated while he is still in – utero. If that happens, the amniotic fluid is at risk of being polluted with meconium which could damage her lungs. To know if the amniotic fluid is contaminated, the vaginal discharge is green or brown in color. Contact the doctor immediately, he may speed up child delivery to suction the baby’s nose and mouth to remove dirty fluid.
- At week 32, he spends about 90 – 95% sleeping in – utero with sleep cycles of 20 – 40 minutes long (which equates to fewer fetal movements this week).
- All his sensory organs are fully developed.
- Rapid eye movements (REM) and dream cycle begins.
- Lanugo (fuzzy hair which protects the baby’s skin) begins to disappear. Some babies have hair on their scalp already while others have a few wisps.
- His skin becomes soft and smooth as he continues to plump up with white fat. A fatty layer which keeps him warm while inside the womb.
- His fingernails are fully grown. As a matter of fact, they needed to be trim shortly after he is born. As per toenails, it takes a bit longer for it to grow.
Pregnancy tips for week 32
Week 32 serves as the 4th week of the 3rd trimester, one more month to go before the most awaited delivery day. Having said that, she only has few remaining weeks to keep the baby and her body well – nourished by doing the following things below.
Things to do during the 32nd week of pregnancy
Sleep and/or lay on the left side
Always make sure to sleep and/or lay on the left side of the body while pregnant. This type of sleeping position increases the amount of blood flow and nutrients towards the growing baby.
Stay well – hydrated
Staying well – hydrated is necessary since the mother and the baby’s body needs a lot of water supply. Plus, it has a lot of benefits such as:
- Prevents constipation
- Avoids acid refluxes
- Eases dizziness
- Prevents hemorrhoids
Eat fiber – rich foods
Eat fiber – rich foods to prevent bloating, burping, and farting. Here are the following foods which are rich in fiber:
- Leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
Sleep or lie on the left side
Avoid sleeping using the back, always sleep or lie on the left side of the body. This type of position keeps the blood flow going plus, it prevents the vena cava (a major vein which carries the blood back to the heart from the lower body) from being pressed.
Wear nursing pads
To prevent the clothes she wears from being soaked with breast milk, she must wear nursing pads inside the bra.
Take a 3rd trimester ultrasound
An expectant mom needs to take a 3rd trimester ultrasound due to the following reasons:
- Fetal growth evaluation – to confirm that the baby is growing properly
- To identify the causes of vaginal bleeding
- To identify the causes of abdominal and/or pelvic pain
- To see if the cervix has already effaced or dilated
- To determine the baby’s current fetal position and confirm if he is in the proper position
- To check if the baby is still moving
- To check if the placenta is still placed over the cervical opening
Tips for an easier labor
To ensure that will be easy and less painful as possible, below are the following tips a soon – to – be mom must consider doing:
Plan the delivery day scenario
Have a discussion with the birth partner (spouse) about the scenarios that will probably happen during the delivery day. So that when the much awaited day comes, no one will panic as everything will go as planned.
Exercise keeps a mother – to – be fit and increases stamina which helps her handle pain better.
What to avoid in week 32
Eating late – night snacks
Avoid eating late – night snacks for about less than 2 hours before bedtime. Munching on late – night snacks will likely cause acid refluxes.
Gas – trigger foods
Lessen the intake of gas – trigger foods to decrease the chances of bloating, burping, and farting. Here is the following gas – trigger foods that she must avoid:
- Fried foods
- Greasy foods
- Sweet and sugary treats
- Rich and buttery sauces
Expectant mothers are strictly prohibited from engaging in vices since they are dangerous on both parties. Here are the following vices she must consider avoiding:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Taking illegal drugs
- Taking sleeping pills
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
Caffeine is a form of drug (diuretic) which triggers urination, disrupts the sleeping cycle of both parties, and can cause birth defects. Apart from coffee, here are the substances which have caffeine content:
- Soft drinks
- Energy drinks
- Some teas
Do not take stimulant laxatives (May it be homemade or herbal) since these are not proven to be safe to take while pregnant.
High – powered fiber
Aside from fiber – rich foods, there is also called high – powered fiber to prevent constipation. Here are the following foods which contains high – powered fiber:
- Wheat – bran
Take a warm bath or shower
It is recommended to take a warm bath during pregnancy. Taking a warm bath or shower for at least 10 – 15 minutes alleviate various body pains.
Slather on some lotion
To keep the skin soft and moisturized, slather on some lotion (preferably pink calamine lotion that is also used to cure chicken pox).
Vitamin E oil
If the nipples feel sore, dab on some vitamin E oil for healing.