Your guide to being 32 weeks pregnant
How do you feel in your thirty second week?
This week is a real milestone as your baby’s lungs will have started to produce a substance called surfactant, which stops them from sticking together and helps them to expand – so in other words your baby is more likely to be able to take a breath of air unaided than ever before.
If your baby is a boy, his testicles will be descending into his scrotum. This will be one of the things the paediatrician will check for before you’re discharged from hospital after the birth. If his testicles are undescended then rest assured that in two thirds of cases, this will have corrected itself by his first birthday.
Research has shown that, at this point in her development, your baby is behaving almost exactly as a newborn and will continue to do from now on. She’ll spend the majority of her day asleep or snoozing while her body gets on with the business of growing and maturing.
What’s happening to you
Forgotten what your feet and toes look like? It’s quite possible you’ve reached the stage where everyday things like bending down to do up your laces suddenly seem impossible thanks to your bump.
This may be the week you start to experience practice contractions (known as Braxton Hicks, and named after a nineteenth century British obstetrician) as your uterus stretches and contracts in preparation for labour. They’ll feel like a tightening of the bump that will last a few seconds.
As you draw near to the birth, it’s only natural to have moments when you worry about how you’ll cope with being a new mum. This is normal but it can help to discuss any concerns with your partner, your midwife, a family member or good friend.
When to check it out
See your GP or midwife if you are feeling anxious or down to the extent that it overshadows everything else. It could be that you are experiencing antenatal depression which, while rare, is more common than previously thought (one UK study found that it affects up to 10 per cent of pregnant women to some degree). Symptoms can include extreme irritability, an inability to concentrate, anxiety, sleep and/or eating problems and constant sadness (eg crying more than usual).
‘To do’ this week…
Give yourself the best chance of a straightforward, easy birth by drinking raspberry leaf tea. It’s considered safe from now (providing you are having a normal pregnancy) and can help tone your uterus for labour. Optimal foetal positioning (OFP) – encouraging your baby into a good position for birth – can also help. Try sitting on a birth ball when you’re watching TV or swimming belly down (breaststroke or front crawl) to encourage your baby into a head down position.
Wow! Did you know…
Your baby is receiving half a litre (500ml) of blood from the placenta every minute to help her grow. And at the moment her bladder volume is 10ml At 40 weeks it will be more like 40ml!