Week 32

In week 32, you’re in the last week of the eighth month of your pregnancy – you’re approaching the final straight, and it won’t be long before you can hold your baby in your arms. However, your soon-to-be bundle of joy has a bit more work to do before that can happen.

By week 32, your baby is 42.7 cm in size and their weight is steadily increasing and has now reached 1775 grams. By the time they’re born, they’ll have grown longer and put on a lot more weight in the form of baby fat.

Do you find yourself getting breathless and fatigued?

This is quite normal, especially when you exert yourself. Carrying round a big bump is not only tiring, it can change your posture and make your back ache more. Try to sit and stand properly - tuck your bottom in and keep your back straight. Wear that bump with pride!

You may find that your fingers, ankles and feet are swollen, especially at the end of the day or if the weather is hot. It helps if you can put your feet up and make sure you're drinking plenty of water. If the swelling suddenly gets worse, or if you start to have headaches, talk to your doctor or midwife straight away - they’ll want to check your blood pressure and make sure you’re not suffering from pre-eclampsia.

What it’s like for the mum-to-be in week 32

Your pregnancy will become more and more onerous, depending on the size of your bump and your fitness. It’s now a good idea to stop doing things you find difficult, and your partner, friends and family need to step up and help you out by doing things that need to be done, e.g. assembling the baby furniture.

Maternity and paternity leave are also an issue now. You should have told your employer by now when you want to start your maternity and paternity leave and sorted out your application for maternity pay. You may also be entitled to parental allowance or child benefit, so you should start looking into that as well and applying for it if you’re eligible.

Noticing preliminary contractions

Although you’re often short of breath, this symptom actually eases a little when the preliminary contractions start. Around three to four weeks before you give birth, you’ll feel your belly harden or tighten with considerable intensity, which can cause stomach ache and make you feel a bit nauseous.

These contractions are also known as false labour, and your bump moves down a little as a result. It means your lungs are no longer being squeezed by the uterus, and you’ll find breathing easier again. On the other hand, you’ll need to go to the toilet even more often as the pressure on your bladder increases, and your stomach will now only be able to process even smaller portions. 

Your baby’s movements become more intense

You won’t just feel your baby moving at certain points of your belly, but all over it. They now have a larger body and are trying to move around in your womb to get into the right position for birth.

The symptoms from previous weeks continue

Your legs and feet may still be painful and swollen. This is more likely if you’re pregnant during the hot summer months – it’s less common and less intense in winter. The issue of having to go to the toilet a lot remains, and the signs of minor stress incontinence won’t have gone away just yet either.