Join the next Smart Parenting Giveaway and get a chance to win exciting prizes!

Join Now
  • Pregnancy Symptoms Week 32: How to Be Ready in Case Your Baby Arrives Early

    You've officially entered the 8th month of pregnancy. One more month to go!
    by Rachel Perez .
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 32: How to Be Ready in Case Your Baby Arrives Early
PHOTO BY iStock
  • At 32 weeks pregnant, we hope you are mentally prepared to meet your baby, who is almost ready to leave your womb. At this time, your plans for maternity leavenewborn essentialschildbirthbreastfeeding, and postpartum care are all set up for one of the most significant moments of your life!

    Pregnancy signs Week 32

    Who would have thought that your baby — and consequently, you, too — can pack on the pounds at 32 weeks? Every pound you gain now — and you should limit it to one pound a week — will most likely go to your baby.

    Continue to be mindful of your weight gain although your appetite may start to wane at this point. You don't want any complications to arise at this stage of your pregnancy. Your preggy exercise every other day — yes, even if it's just going for a walk for 20 to 30 minutes — is still good as long as you're not overexerting yourself (and you have your doctor's approval). No need to push your preggo body's limits.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Between 32 to 34 weeks, you may notice that your baby bump will descend or "drop" from your ribs to your pelvis. It's a sign that your baby is moving to a head-down position towards the birth canal to prepare for birth. Not all moms, however, will carry low; for some, it happens a few days before or on the day they go through labor.

    Pregnancy symptoms Week 32

    Whatever pregnancy symptoms you're having before, it's normal to feel like they're just getting worse as your due date nears. You are more than ready to be done with them and want the baby out. Just hang in there, momma, because you need this baby to stay inside you a little bit more. 

    Braxton Hicks contractions

    Your belly is tightening more often now, and sometimes it feels like you're having a contraction. It can be Braxton Hicks or false labor contractions, which are mild and irregular and don't increase in intensity or frequency. They go away usually when you shift positions. If you feel that the contractions are getting stronger, longer, or more regular, and you also feel out of breath after each one, call your doctor immediately.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Darker nipples, breast milk leaks

    You didn't think your nipples and areola could get any darker than they already have since you became pregnant. No one knows why the darkening happens except it's related to hormones. Most of the skin discolorations do go away soon after you've given birth.

    If you notice a watery, milky fluid leaking from your breast, it's no cause for alarm. It's your breast milk, which may have set in earlier.

    Sleep issues, leg cramps, aches and pains

    The hormone relaxin loosens your ligaments and joints to prepare for childbirth, and it is the reason for some of your aches and pains including your lack of sleep at night.

    You may also get woken up by leg cramps at night. Doctors are not sure why this happens, but it has been linked to the uterus. As it expands, it may be putting pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the leg. Prenatal yoga and calf stretching before bedtime may help prevent leg cramps.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Now that you're in your third trimester, it's even more crucial that you sleep on your side, and a pregnancy pillow can make this more comfortable for you.

    Shortness of breath, heartburn, and frequent urination

    Your enlarged womb is crowding your lungs, giving you less room to take in a full breath. It makes you feel more tired quickly. The reason for your heartburn is the relaxed muscle valve between the stomach and esophagus and your growing uterus (again) is pressing on your stomach. Your growing baby is also putting pressure on your bladder, making you go to the bathroom to pee more often.

    Constipation

    Your baby's growth also means more pressure on your whole digestive tract, which may affect your bowels. Drink lots of water and eat fiber-rich food. Avoid eating spicy, greasy, and fatty food. Also, try not to strain too much when you poop.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Itchy skin and stretch marks

    Lathering up with moisturizers should help ease the itch and prevent or manage stretch marks. Mild itching and rashes are normal in pregnancy, but if it prevents you from getting on with your daily activities, have it checked by your doctor.

    Increased vaginal discharge

    You've had increased vaginal discharge to help prevent infection. At 32 weeks onwards, it also helps prep your body for labor. Watch for a clear but often red-tinged, sticky, and a gelatin-like substance. It could be your mucus plug detaching from your cervix, which may be a sign that you're about to go to labor, so tell your doctor about it. If you notice bright red or clear watery discharge, call your doctor and head to the hospital immediately.

    Swelling

    Your body's increased blood and bodily fluids production may also accumulate in the tissues and cause swollen ankles, feet, and handsvision problems, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, stuffy nose, and bleeding gums.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Your baby's development at 32 weeks

    At 32 weeks, your baby is now as big as a cantaloupe and is still growing bigger and stronger, measuring nearly 17 inches long and weighing almost four pounds! No wonder he feels more cramped!

    Fat has accumulated under your baby's skin, so it's no longer translucent but more pinkish or opaque. The tiny, velvety hair, called lanugo, that kept him warm in his early weeks, is now shedding since he already has enough fat to protect him from the cold from being submerged in amniotic fluid.

    All of your baby’s major organs are fully developed now, except for his lungs. He's still practicing breathing and inhaling amniotic fluid in place of air. But, if in case you go into labor and deliver your baby now, he will be considered premature, but his chances for survival are high at this stage!

    Your baby is keeping you more awake and aware of his movements. The good news is it makes it easier for you to count kicks, so you know he's okay in there. You may also notice your baby bump become misshapen when he kicks, punches, and moves.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Your to-do list on Week 32 of your pregnancy

    Your doctor should have already advised you to see him every other week so he can monitor you and your baby more closely and make sure everything is in order. You don't want any surprises, so make sure you don't miss your prenatal checkups!

    Get a car seat!

    If you're going to transport your baby home via a private motor vehicle, make sure you already have an approved car seat — or at least you should have decided on a car seat to buy — before your delivery day. All children, from newborn to age 12, should be strapped in a car safety seat when in a private vehicle as mandated by the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.

    Have your baby's 3D/4D ultrasound

    This week may be your last chance to get a 3D or a 4D ultrasound if everything is going well. Always ask your doctor's okay before getting it done.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Have a day a the salon!

    You want to get pampered as much as you can now. Get a hair cut and have your eyebrows done. You can even book a glam team for the delivery day if you like.

    Ready your D-day bags!

    Prepare everything you need for childbirth so it will be easier for your partner to grab it before you leave for the hospital. Prepare three hospital bags: one containing your things, another for your newborn's essentials, and the last one containing documents you need for birth like your doctor's admission orders.

    Know the signs of pre-term labor.

    No one wants to give birth prematurely, but pre-term-labor can happen to anyone at any time. If you think you're going into labor — symptoms include having regular, intensifying contractions, bleeding, or your water bag is leaking or ruptured — head to the hospital as soon as possible.

    Alert your doctor and rush to the hospital if you're experiencing any of these signs of pregnancy complications: elevated blood pressure, severe headache, blurred vision, and vomiting. Waste no time and get to the hospital as well if you notice that your baby isn't moving.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    More on your week-by-week pregnancy:

    Pregnancy Symptoms Week 31: You're Tired All The Time (Take It Easy!)

    More from Smart Parenting

View More Stories About
View more articles