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  • Pregnancy Symptoms Week 28: It's a Good Time to Get a Prenatal Massage!

    It's official! You're on the last three-month stretch of your pregnancy!
    by Rachel Perez .
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 28: It's a Good Time to Get a Prenatal Massage!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • You are now on the first week of your seventh month and your third trimester. You're just three more months away from having your baby in your arms. Pregnancy symptoms at Week 28 are probably not going to get any more comfortable for you. But take it one day at a time!

    As your delivery due date nears, it's normal to feel a mix of emotions. You're probably worried about labor pain and childbirth, especially if it's your first time. Of course, you're also excited to finally welcome your baby and eventually reclaim your body from pregnancy. Still, the anxieties about the daunting tasks of motherhood can mess with your mind. It helps ward away negative thoughts when you have someone to talk to like your partner, family or a support group.

    Pregnancy signs Week 28

    At 28 weeks of your pregnancy, it's getting crowded inside your belly as your organs move to make way for your little. You will appreciate the pregnancy glow, shiny locks, and maybe your nails growing faster than usual. But the skin discolorations, itchiness, and stretch marks (if you have any) will not likely make you happy. They should soon disappear after you give birth.

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    Depending on your blood sugar test results and your weight gain, your doctor may put you on a strict diet or refer to you nutritionist-dietitian to keep your weight gain in check. Follow their advice because it will help you avoid or manage pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. The fewer difficulties at this point, the higher the chances of having a safe delivery.

    Try to keep moving despite your growing baby bump. Low-impact pregnancy exercises for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week are still ideal unless your doctor tells you to slow down. These workouts will not only help you manage your weight and ease some of your pregnancy symptoms, but they will help you prepare for labor and childbirth.

    Pregnancy symptoms Week 28

    Hormones, increased blood levels, and your growing baby bump are often the root of the pregnancy symptoms at Week 28 below. Some preggos can experience these third-trimester symptoms before this period. If you're noticing the onset of new symptoms, tell your doctor so he can rule out any related complications.

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    Since you are producing and circulating more blood to meet the demands of your growing baby, your body is also producing increased bodily fluids that may accumulate in your tissues. You might be dealing with increased vaginal dischargevision problemsvaricose veinshemorrhoidsswollen ankles, feet, and hands, and sore, bleeding gums.

    Sciatica

    As your baby moves to position his head first into your birth canal, his weight and your enlarged uterus may put pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower part of your spine. As a result, you may feel sciatica, a sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in your buttocks, which radiates down the back of your legs.

    Encouraging your baby to shift positions may help ease the pressure in your sciatic nerve. You can try talking to him or gently poking or jiggling your baby. The pressure may persist until you deliver your baby. Warm compress, stretching, a good bed-rest day may also help alleviate the discomfort. Seek your doctor's advice if the pain becomes too much to bear. Don't take any medication without your doctor's okay.

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    Pain in your joints and ligament

    You may experience some aches and pains on your back, hips, lower belly or groin area (or round ligament pain), hands or wrists (or carpal tunnel syndrome), and your pelvic area (called symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD). This is due to the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens your joints and ligament in preparation for childbirth.

    You may also experience painful leg cramps (often in the middle of the night, no less!) and restless leg syndrome (RLS), which doesn't really hurt but it can be disconcerting to feel like something is crawling on your feet.

    Pregnancy exercises, stretching, and having correct posture can help relieve these aches and pains. Tell your doctor right away if any pain becomes more intense.

    Sleep troubles

    You're probably not getting as much sleep as you'd like. There are still many pregnancy changes still happening to your body — your belly is even bigger and heavier. It also doesn't help that your baby feels like he's doing somersaults in your womb in the wee hours of the night.

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    Pillows help a great deal with the backaches and finding that sweet side-snooze position. Meditation and drinking warm milk before bedtime may also help. If you still find yourself wide awake, try to be productive. Write in your journal or do some online retail therapy (your husband is unlikely to complain at this point). Just stay away from having negative thoughts!

    Braxton Hicks contractions

    Do you feel your belly tightening? They're probably Braxton Hicks or false labor contractions. They're mild, irregular contractions that help prepare your uterus for delivering your baby. Braxton Hicks contractions, however, do not increase in intensity or frequency, unlike true labor contractions. They should not be too painful and ideally goes away as you change positions.

    If you feel that the contractions are getting stronger and you also feel out of breath after each one, call your doctor immediately.

    Breast milk leaks

    Your breasts have been preparing for milk production since the beginning of your pregnancy. Depending on your hormone levels, you may notice a watery, milky fluid leaking from your breasts. No need to worry and take precautions such as wearing breast milk pads and ensure that your breasts are well supported with a good maternity or nursing bra.

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    Dizziness and shortness of breath

    Your growing uterus is also putting pressure on your veins which restricts oxygen distribution, especially to your brain. It's also crowding your lungs, giving you less room to take in a full breath and making you short of breath. Take your time moving from lying down to sitting and standing up positions. If you find yourself feeling dizzy often or having headaches, ask your doctor so he can rule our anemia or preeclampsia.

    Digestive and dietary issues

    Your baby's growing size means more pressure on your whole digestive tract, where the muscles are more relaxed and might not be functioning as they should. Drink lots of water and eat fiber-rich food. Stay away from foods that produce gas, such as fried foods, broccoli, root crops, and beans. Don't strain too much when you poop.

    The relaxed muscle valve between the stomach and esophagus and your growing uterus pressing on your stomach are to blame for your heartburn. Eat slowly and drink plenty of fluids after you've finished your meal. Avoid eating spicy, greasy, and fatty food.

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    Your baby's development at 28 weeks

    At 28 weeks, your baby is the size of an eggplant, measuring nearly 15 inches long and weighs about two and a quarter pounds.

    Your little one already has a couple or more tricks up his sleeve, such as blinking, coughing, and hiccuping on top of being able to suck his thumb and grasp his umbilical cord. His brain activity indicates that he experiences rapid eye movement (REM) as he sleeps. It means that your baby is already dreaming (probably of personally meeting you!).

    Your baby's skin is still covered with a waxy covering called vernix caseosa (to prevent his skin from wrinkling as he is submerged in amniotic fluid) as well as tiny little hairs lanugo to keep him warm.

    Your baby's lungs are producing surfactant, which helps them expand to take in oxygen once he's out of your womb. He's also been practicing inhaling through his nose.

    Your doctor will ask you to monitor your baby's movements by counting kicks. Keep tabs when your baby is consistently most active during the day or night. Try some kick-prompting tricks, such as drinking ice-cold water or playing music. Note how long it takes for your baby to register 10 fetal movements each day to share with your doctor. Just because he's getting more snug in your womb doesn't mean he shouldn't move as much.

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    Your to-do list on Week 28 of your pregnancy

    You're officially on your third trimester. It's now more crucial for you to take care of yourself. Listen to your body and avoid exhausting yourself, so pause if you have to and start delegating chores. Avoid panic by staying on top of your to-do lists.

    Make sure you follow your prenatal checkup schedules

    Starting on your seventh month of pregnancy, you’re going to have twice-a-month prenatal visits with your doctor. Later in your third trimester, as your due date nears, starting your 36th week, you'll have to go in for weekly checkups, so your doctor can closely monitor you and your baby's health.

    Prep all essential documents and bags

    It's time to do a quick check on the essential documents you need for your maternity leave. Take the time to prepare your budget for childbirth expenses. You should also start preparing the papers your partner needs to bring to the hospital when delivery day comes. You should start packing for your three hospital bags, too!

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    Get ready for the unexpected

    By now, you should have your final birth plan and have given a copy to everyone in your birth team. Remember, though, that birth plans aren't set in stone. You want him to continue "cooking in your womb" until he's reached full term or at least 38 weeks. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure if you're at risk for preterm labor.

    Preterm labor and birth can happen almost any time — and fast. The moment you feel that you're going into labor — you're having regular, intensifying contractions, bleeding, or your water bag is leaking or had been broken — head to the hospital's emergency room as soon as you can. You should also alert your doctor if you're having severe headaches and blurred vision, which may be signs of preeclampsia, and if you notice decreased fetal movements.

    There's value in attending birth and baby care classes.

    Attending birth classes can help ease your worries about birth. Your partner may also receive a certificate that can be his ticket to being with you and holding your hand throughout the birth of your child. Newborn classes, on the other hand, can also help boost your confidence in caring for your baby. It can also help you and your partner discuss circumcision, breastfeeding, vaccines and more.

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    More on your week-by-week pregnancy:

    Pregnancy Symptoms Week 27: You Might Pee a Bit When You Sneeze!

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