32 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Tips, Baby Development

At 32 weeks pregnant, you have completed the large part of the task of carrying and nurturing a child. You are now remaining with about two months until the big day when you can usher in the new addition to your family. 

The baby's bones and organs —save for a few— are now developed. Apart from the developments in the baby, you will also notice a few changes about yourself, especially around your belly and the pelvic area.

Take a closer look at what’s happening in the thirty-second week of your pregnancy.

Your baby at week 32 of pregnancy

Your baby is getting bigger at this time in the pregnancy. He’s looking more like he will in a couple of months. There are plenty of developments taking place within your uterus ensuring that the baby is in the perfect shape for the outside world.

How big is your baby at 32 weeks pregnant?

After eight months in the womb, your little one is not so little anymore. He is about 16.7 inches (42.5 cm) long, just about the size of a head of lettuce.

As far as weight goes, the baby has gained some pounds compared to the previous week. He now weighs between 1.8 kilograms and 2 kilograms. This translates to around 3.75 pounds and 4 pounds.

Apart from his external growth, there’s plenty taking place inside his body.

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Pregnancy week 32 fetal development

In the past weeks, the baby has been quite translucent with visible internal organs. In week 32, the fat deposits under the skin are spreading and becoming more compact. This leads to a more opaque baby, taking it closer to the finished look that you will see at birth.

The nails, bones, and other internal organs are fully formed including the lungs although they still have some way to go. The bones, though molded in the right shape, are soft and malleable. They still need to harden.

In comparison with the other body parts, the head is larger. The baby usually flips over into the head-down position which is more comfortable for it.

Your body at week 32 of pregnancy

While your baby is preparing for life outside the cozy confines of your womb, your body is also gearing up for the forthcoming task of childbirth.

You will notice plenty of changes that should alert you to how far along you are on your journey to motherhood.

32 weeks pregnant belly

The growing baby expands your belly to a point where you can’t see your feet anymore. The top of your uterus is now 5 inches (13 cm) from your belly button.

With the expanding uterus, your skin stretches out and forms stretch marks. These can sometimes become itchy due to the rapid expansion of the skin.

32 weeks pregnant symptoms

There’s a lot of activity taking place in preparation for the birth of your young one. This leads to a number of signs and symptoms that you should look out for.

These include:

  • Leaking breasts. One of the things your body does in preparation for life after birth is to stock up on breast milk. The first batch of this milk is known as colostrum and it contains plenty of protein, fat and secretory IgA for the baby. At week 32, your breasts might leak colostrum. Don’t be alarmed, it’s completely normal and quite expected at this stage in the pregnancy.
  • Heartburn. As your uterus expands, it pushes up on the organs around it — including the stomach. This makes it easy for the acidic components of the stomach to flow back up your gullet, giving you heartburn.
  • Constipation. The same expansion of the uterus also puts pressure on the colon and rectum which may restrict the flow of their contents. This gives more time to the body to absorb water from the stool, causing constipation.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions. During this time, you are also likely to experience light contractions that can range from half a minute to two minutes and happen 5-6 times per hour. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions and they are the body’s way of preparing for the real labor contractions. These contractions also do not have any rhythm, coming and going at any pace.
  • Fatigue. The increased weight of the baby becomes a load to carry and can leave you feeling quite tired. The back muscles and legs are particularly affected by this increasing weight. It’s also possible that you are not eating enough. This causes you to have low blood sugar that makes you feel both weak and lightheaded.

32 weeks pregnant ultrasound

The ultrasound image at this period will show plenty of movement from the baby, especially if it’s done when he’s awake. (At week 32, the baby is asleep 70 percent of the time.)

With the better quality imaging ultrasounds, you can see more detail about your baby. You can see that he has hair. You can also make out the finger and toenails especially when you do the 3D and 4D ultrasound.

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32 weeks pregnant lifestyle

With two months to go, your lifestyle will revolve around your impending childbirth. You should be engaging in light exercise so that you don’t spend the entire day on your backside. This should help with your hemorrhoids which are frequent at this stage of the pregnancy.

Your lifestyle shouldn’t be too active and rash. You should be taking things slow and being calm as much as possible. Yoga and massage therapy are great ways to do this.

H3 Sex at week 32 of pregnancy

Many women enjoy sex when they are pregnant. You do have to find positions that are comfortable for you. 

However, if you have been having some complications during the pregnancy, you should put sex on the side till you have had your baby.

32 weeks pregnant checklist

As you embark on the last home stretch towards motherhood, you should increase your visits to your doctor. If there are any complications, they will handle them as soon as possible. If it’s your first baby, these regular visits also relieve any anxiety you might have as the big day approaches.

In this week, you should also learn the signs and symptoms of early labor and how to differentiate them from the Braxton Hicks contractions. From this point on, there’s a real possibility that your baby might come into the world at any time.

Also, seeing as your uterus is taking up all the space, you might have a very low appetite. However, you should not skip meals. It’s advisable to have healthy snacks on standby all the time. This will ensure that your body is getting constant nourishment all through this stage.

What to ask your doctor?

Ask about any vaginal bleeding.

If you experience any spotting at 32 weeks pregnant or vaginal bleeding, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This bleeding could be a problem with your cervix that needs to be looked at immediately.

Ask about severe abdominal pain.

Pelvic pain during thirty-second week can be normal because it might indicate that the baby is settling into the head-down position. In this position, it exerts a bit more pressure on your pelvis.

However, if this pain is severe, you need to ask your doctor. The increased severity is an indicator that something is wrong especially if it’s this close to D-Day.

Ask about any persistent headache and blurred vision.

A persistent headache and blurred vision are usually signs that of high blood pressure. This, in turn, could be a sign that you might have preeclampsia. This is a dangerous condition that puts both your life and the baby's at risk.