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    28 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your third trimester

    Updated 11 August 2023 |
    Published 24 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Charlsie Celestine, Obstetrician and gynecologist, New Jersey, US
    Written by Olivia Cassano
    Edited by Alice Broster
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    From an itchy bump to thinking about your birth plan, here’s the lowdown on being 28 weeks pregnant.

    Pregnancy is split into 3 parts (called trimesters), and at 28 weeks pregnant, you’ve officially entered the third trimester. This means that over the next few weeks, your bump will continue to grow, and you might be figuring out how to prepare for your delivery and, of course, your baby. While your birthing bag probably isn’t by the front door yet, your due date may be at the forefront of your mind. 

    At this point, a mix of excitement, nerves, and a strong urge to start nesting might be kicking in. This is totally normal. If you’re curious about what’s going on with your baby and your body at 28 weeks pregnant, here are some of the things to keep in mind. 

    Your baby at 28 weeks pregnant 

    Baby can smell

    At 28 weeks, your baby is pretty well developed. During the third trimester, your baby will continue growing in size and weight, and they may even start to move into position with their head down, ready for birth. During the third trimester, their organs (like the brain, kidneys, and lungs) will continue to mature, and they even start to experience rapid eye movement sleep, just like us. 

    While your baby’s major organs continue to develop, their senses are also refining. For example, did you know that your baby can smell long before they’re born? While their nostrils started to form during the first trimester and their scent receptors developed during the second, your baby will start to get used to smell while they’re in the uterus. Pretty cool, huh?

    Baby can cry

    There’s no real way to prepare yourself for hearing your baby cry for the first time. You might think that they let out their first wail shortly after labor. However, your baby develops the ability to cry and make faces when you’re around 28 weeks pregnant. It’s thought that babies cry when they’re in the uterus for similar reasons to after they’ve been born — like if they hear a loud noise or are bothered by something. Just as you might be starting to prepare for their arrival, they’re constantly preparing for life in the outside world. 

    How big is a baby at 28 weeks? 

    Length (crown to heel): 37.9 cm or 14.9 in

    Weight: 1.2 kg or 2.7 lb

    Size: Equivalent to a coconut

    All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.

    Your body at 28 weeks pregnant 

    At 28 weeks pregnant, you’re in your seventh month. That means you’ve probably got a record of the ways your body has changed and the symptoms you’ve experienced. Remember, though, that no two pregnancies are the same, which means your experience might have been totally different from a friend’s or even what you expected at the start. While you might be counting down to your due date and meeting your little one, you still might notice some new symptoms at 28 weeks pregnant

    The skin on your bump is stretching and might be itchy

    Your baby is now around the size of a coconut, so your uterus has had to stretch to give them more space to grow. This means the skin on your bump has stretched too. While you might not be able to see this change in action, you might have felt it. As your bump has grown, the skin on your abdomen may have become increasingly itchy. You might notice some stretch marks as the skin on your bump gets thinner the more it is stretched. This means it may not have as much moisture as usual and may feel drier or itchy. Having an itchy bump can be pretty inconvenient and annoying, but it’s quite common. As always, with your pregnancy symptoms, if you have any questions or are worried, speak to your doctor. 
    You might have been tracking your bump as it grows, and it can be hard not to compare yours with others. But it’s so important to remember that bumps come in different shapes and sizes, so there’s no such thing as a “normal” or “typical” bump. 

    Fatigue 

    Fatigue is a common pregnancy symptom, and you might have gotten used to having a little less energy at this point. In fact, by 28 weeks pregnant, your bump will be heavier, and you may have to adapt your sleeping position to get as comfortable as you can. Remember that doctors recommend that you sleep on your sides during pregnancy. If this isn’t natural for you, then it could take a bit of time to get used to sleeping this way. Grabbing some extra pillows for added support can help.

    It isn’t just physical changes that can make sleeping during your third trimester a little more difficult. Since you did your first pregnancy test, you may have been trying to get your head around the idea of your baby being here. It’s common to experience anxiety at some point during pregnancy; it’s a massive life change, after all. Stress is one of the leading causes of difficulty sleeping, so try to lean on your loved ones and doctor for support. 

    New aches and pains 

    As your baby takes up more and more space, things can start to feel cramped in your uterus, so you might start experiencing some heartburn and indigestion. This is because your uterus is pressing up against your stomach as your baby grows, allowing stomach acid to back up. There are some things you can do at home to ease this pain. “There are no specific recommendations about supplements or dietary changes at this point, though if you find that you are getting full more easily due to your growing uterus, eating smaller meals more often may help,” says Dr. Marta Perez, obstetrician and gynecologist, assistant professor, Washington University School of Medicine, Missouri, US. 

    Backache and sciatica (pain that radiates from the lower back down the back of the legs) are also common third-trimester symptoms that can contribute to feeling uncomfortable. “The discomforts of pregnancy may start to increase at this time,” says Dr. Perez. “It’s helpful to stay active and use supportive tools like abdominal support bands and sleeping pillows.” A mix of resting and going on daily walks can help to ease the discomfort. 

    Your questions answered

    Why is the 28th week of pregnancy crucial?

    When you’re pregnant, every new week can feel important and exciting, but when you reach 28 weeks of pregnancy, it might stand out for a special reason. “Typically, it marks the difference between the second and third trimester, so it’s a milestone a lot of people find notable,” says Dr. Perez.  

    What should you avoid at 28 weeks pregnant? 

    Getting lifestyle tips from your doctor can help you navigate your pregnancy and symptoms, whatever week you’re at. Sometimes knowing what you should avoid doing at 28 weeks pregnant can be as helpful as knowing what you can do. Your doctor will likely have already provided you with some guidance during your appointments, which may have included:

    If you’re ever unsure about food, drink, or activity recommendations, then the best thing to do is speak to your doctor, who can give you all the information you need. 

    Is a 28-week baby fully developed?

    Your body and your baby are still changing and developing at 28 weeks pregnant, and — while you may have your due date circled on your calendar — your baby still has a little bit of growing to do. “Although the fetus has almost all the parts it needs for its eventual birth, these parts are still very immature,” explains Dr. Perez. “A fetus born at 28 weeks would need significant support to survive in the outside world, such as help with respiration, getting nutrition, staying warm, and avoiding infection.” It’s really important to remember that it’s rare for a baby to be born at 28 weeks and if you’re at all concerned about how your baby is developing then reach out to your doctor.  

    Want to know more?

    Download the Flo app for tailored insights throughout your pregnancy

    28 weeks pregnant checklist 

    At 28 weeks pregnant, you might have seen your symptoms change over time and be curious about just how you can make yourself as comfortable as possible as your bump grows. 

    Notice your baby’s movements

    Generally speaking, people report feeling their baby move around 16 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. What can start out feeling like the flutter of a butterfly or bubbles can develop into more distinct kicks and elbows as your baby grows. 

    During your second and third trimesters, your baby becomes increasingly more active, and their movements may start to feel stronger. You might notice more regular kicking at this point. The frequency of movements can be different for everyone, so understanding what’s normal for you and your baby can help you monitor them at home. You can keep an eye on your baby’s movements by doing something called a daily kick count. You can do this by getting into a comfortable position (perhaps lying down on your side) and resting your hands on your belly. You can then start a timer and see how long it takes to feel 10 kicks, bubbles, or rolls. Once you’ve felt 10, you can stop the timer and note how long it took. This is a great way to spot patterns in your baby’s movements and establish what’s normal for them. 

    You’ll likely already know that your baby is more active at different parts of the day, and some babies move around more than others. Drinking something sweet or having a small snack may trigger your baby to move. If you’re ever concerned about your baby’s movements, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. 

    Be aware of Braxton Hicks contractions

    As your due date is on your mind, you may be much more aware of twinges and cramps in your belly. By 28 weeks pregnant, you may have already experienced Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re sometimes referred to as false labor contractions, and you might confuse them with real labor contractions because of the way they feel. However, there are some key differences between Braxton Hicks contractions and the real deal. Braxton Hicks contractions feel like tightness at the front of your bump and are irregular in timing. Real labor contractions can be felt in the middle of your back and wrap around your abdomen, and they initially last between 30 and 90 seconds. 

    They might sound alarming, but Braxton Hicks contractions are a normal part of pregnancy and nothing to worry about. It’s your body’s way of practicing labor. They may go away by themselves, but you can also go for a walk or move your body if you’ve been sitting down, lie down if you’ve been standing, or have a small snack or a drink of water to help alleviate them. 

    Keep hydrated 

    Whether you’re pregnant or not, staying hydrated and drinking lots of water has a number of benefits. When you’re pregnant, it can aid in digestion and help you to manage constipation. As your bump gets bigger, you might also notice that you need to pee more than usual. This is because the baby in your uterus is putting increased pressure on your bladder

    Not being able to sit through your favorite movie without a pee break anymore might be frustrating, but it’s important that you continue to drink enough water and make sure you completely empty your bladder when you pee. This is because your kidneys filter out any waste from your body or your baby, and that waste leaves your body in the form of pee.

    Think about a birth plan 

    Once you’ve officially entered the third (and last) trimester, it can be a good time to start drawing up a birth plan. “At this point in pregnancy, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your preferences for birth and talking with your provider about your birth,” says Dr. Perez. From hypnobirthing to water births, cesarean sections, and epidurals, there’s a lot to think about. So it’s important that you understand all of your options, so you can make informed decisions about what might be right for you. Prenatal group classes will give you lots of helpful information here, so they’re worth signing up for if you haven’t already.

    You might also want to start thinking about how you’ll feed your baby after birth. Dr. Perez has some useful advice: “If you have decided to breastfeed, it’s a good idea to take a breastfeeding class in the third trimester,” she says. If you’ve decided that breastfeeding isn’t for you, you could spend this time researching formula or breast pumps and talking to your doctor about feeding schedules.  

    “It’s also a great time to figure out details of your life after the birth, such as work leave or childcare for other children,” says Dr. Perez. You could also look into pediatricians for your baby. 

    When to consult a doctor at 28 weeks pregnant 

    Throughout your pregnancy, you will have routine checkups with your doctor so they can monitor how you and your baby are progressing. You might have one such appointment at 28 weeks pregnant. Along with checking your weight, measuring your belly, taking urine samples, and checking your blood pressure, you can expect your doctor to screen you for preeclampsia — a pregnancy complication with early warning signs, including protein in your pee and high blood pressure.

    “Always go to your normally scheduled prenatal care. If you are feeling strong contractions, new or worsening pain, or have vaginal bleeding, gushing of fluid, or decreases in fetal movement, it would be a good idea to see your health care provider,” says Dr. Perez.

    If you experience vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, fever, or signs of infection, speak to your doctor right away. 

    28 weeks pregnant: The takeaway

    At 28 weeks pregnant, you’ve entered your third trimester a milestone week. Your body is adapting to your growing bump, which means you might feel some new aches and pains, and sleeping may be a little bit more difficult. Try to be kind to yourself and rest when you need to. 

    You might also be looking forward to meeting your little one. Your baby’s due date might feel daunting, but your doctor will be able to support you through your third trimester and any decisions you’d like to make about birth. Is hypnobirthing for you? What about a water birth? There are lots of options to explore, and the most important thing to remember is that you’re in control of choosing what feels right for you. 

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