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Being pregnant

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!

By Today's Parent
Your pregnancy: 32 weeks

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

Thirty-two weeks pregnant: What's going on in there

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.

pregnant woman himarkley / Getty Images

Thirty-two 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.

Young expectant mother stroking her baby bump Djordje Krstic / Getty Images

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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

Worried pregnant woman at home AntonioGuillem / Getty Images

What's on your mind when you're 32 weeks pregnant

Do not disturb

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.

pregnant woman discussing with partner pixdeluxe / Getty Images

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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.

Pregnant woman sitting on carpet and writing in a journal FatCamera / Getty

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.

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Favourite first books

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.

Books open a window into our imagination and they’re great for learning and cuddling. Pad your baby’s library with some of these favourite first books.

Read more: When reading doesn’t come easy>

Baby sits on couch with a book Photo: iStockphoto

Are You My Mother?

Written and illustrated by P.D. Eastman, Random House.

$13, indigo.ca

Cover art for Are You My Mother? Photo: BNC CataList

Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball

Written by Vicki Churchill and illustrated by Charles Fudge, Sterling

 $18, indigo.ca

Cover art of Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball Photo: Indigo

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Goodnight Moon

Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, HarperCollins

$11, indigo.ca

Cover art for Goodnight Moon Photo: Indigo

GrumpyBird

Written and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard, Scholastic

$21, indigo.ca

Cover art for Grumpy Bird Photo: BNC CataList

Guess How Much I Love You

Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, Candlewick Press

$16, indigo.ca

Cover art for Guess How Much I Love You Photo: BNC CataList

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Written and illustrated by Eric Carle, Philomel Books

$24, indigo.ca

Cover art for The Very Hungry Caterpillar Photo: BNC CataList

Night Cars

Written by Teddy Jam and illustrated by Eric Beddows, Groundwood Books

$12, indigo.ca

Cover art for Night Cars Photo: BNC CataList

On The Night You Were Born

Written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman, Feiwel&Friends

$22, indigo.ca

Cover art for On The Night You Were Born Photo: BNC CataList

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Pat the Bunny

Written and illustrated by Dorothy Kunhardt, Golden Books

$14, indigo.ca

Cover art for Pat the Bunny Photo: Indigo

Where’s Spot?

Written and illustrated by Eric Hill, G.P. Putnam’s Sons

$11, indigo.ca

Cover art for Where’s Spot? Photo: BNC CataList

The Very Cranky Bear

Written and illustrated by Nick Bland, Scholastic

$10, indigo.ca

Cover art for The Very Cranky Bear Photo: BNC CataList

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The Little Engine That Could

Written by Watty Piper, illustrated by Loren Long, Philomel

$12, indigo.ca

Cover art for The Little Engine That Could Photo: BNC CataList

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, Viking USA

$19, indigo.ca

Cover art for Llama Llama Red Pajama Photo: BNC CataList

PressHere

Written and illustrated by Herve Tullet, Chronicle Books

$22, indigo.ca

Cover art for Press Here Photo: BNC CataList

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

Your pregnancy: 32 weeks

This article was originally published on Aug 06, 2017

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