Your pregnancy: 32 weeks

This week your baby is going through a period of rapid brain development now and, yes, that head of his is getting bigger!

Felt zucchini used to show how big baby is at 32 weeks

Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com

What’s going on in there: Fetal development at 32 weeks

That tiny little person you’re nurturing is now the size of a zucchini: about 42 centimetres (16.7 inches) and 1.7 kilograms (3.8 pounds). At 32 weeks pregnant, his impossibly tiny little fingernails have grown to the top of his fingertips (just waiting for you to trim them with those itty-bitty clippers—something you’ll likely need to do the first week at home—here’s your guide to baby grooming). Instinctively, your baby continues to exercise his digestive system by swallowing enough amniotic fluid to fill his stomach before emptying it out again into the amniotic sac. Meconium (your baby’s first excretion) is also building up in the large bowel, but this tarry substance won’t be released until birth in most cases. Your little one is likely moving into the ideal birthing position, too: bottom up, head down, chin tucked in. Your due date might seem like it’s still far away, but your baby knows better.

32 weeks pregnant symptoms

Tiger stripes
Don’t be surprised if you wake up one morning, look in the mirror and see a handful of stretch marks on your thighs, boobs or belly—even if you have been diligent about moisturizing and haven’t seen a single one of the reddish-purple marks up to this point in your pregnancy. Your baby is growing at a rapid pace, stretching your skin at a much faster rate than in the earlier stages of pregnancy. Don’t fret: Stretch marks usually fade to silvery, translucent lines that you’ll hardly notice in a few months.

Dizzying times
Faintness may not be a new symptom for you at all—many women feel lightheaded and dizzy throughout pregnancy. It’s often caused by low blood sugar, as mothers-to-be learn how much and how often they should be eating while carrying a baby. In the second trimester, faintness can be a sign of low blood pressure, as progesterone softens blood vessels to allow for better blood flow between mother and baby. But at this later stage of the game, you may feel dizzy when lying on your back, as your heavy uterus weighs down the main blood vessels of your torso in this position, reducing blood flow to your brain. Turning to your left side should help you feel better quickly.

If your dizziness is persistent or accompanied by stomach pain, vaginal bleeding, blurred vision, headaches or heart irregularities, call your doctor immediately

What’s on your mind this week

Do not disturb
pregnant woman meditating15 strategies for an easier labour Have you and your partner talked about who’s going to be in the room at your baby’s birth? Your mom, your sister and other close friends and family members might express an interest in attending the birth, but you’re calling the shots on this one (even if your mother-in-law has a hissy fit). Some women only want their partners by their sides, while others are OK with an entourage. During a long, drawn-out labour, you might not want the added pressure of a waiting room full of eager relatives pacing the halls and watching the clock. Is your partner cool, calm and collected in stressful situations or will he need someone else there for support? Think about your family dynamics, too: Does your mom generally raise anxiety levels in the room, or is she great at managing crises or using humour to distract you? If you’re planning to have a room full of people to cheer you on, check with your hospital or birthing centre on the delivery room rules and visitor policy. The same thing goes for professional doulas and birth photographers or videographers: Know what’s allowed ahead of time.

Just for kicks

If you still don’t know the gender of your impending arrival, this video is for you. It might be a load of hooey, but old wives’ tales sure are fun to try as your pregnancy progresses and your symptoms accumulate and change.

Baby names

We’re not suggesting that you name your baby after your most common pregnancy cravings. (Otherwise, we’d have a lot of newborns in the nursery named “Pickle” and “Poutine.”) But we do have 15 cute food-inspired baby names here, including downright hipster options like Olive and Clementine.

Pregnancy to-do list: Week 32

If you’re skipping the crib altogether and considering co-sleeping or bed sharing from day one with your baby, do your research on the pros and cons. Read up on the risk of SIDS and make sure that the sleep environment is as safe as possible.

An essential part of your bedtime routine, whether your co-sleeping or not, is reading stories. Make sure all these classic books are in your baby’s library.

Favourite first books

Read more:
Study: Parents still aren’t following safe sleep guidelines for babies
5 memories from prenatal class
Next up: 33 weeks pregnant

 

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