Updated: 2019, Jun 12

32 Weeks Pregnant: What Happens to Your Baby?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
32nd Week Pregnancy

By the 32nd week of pregnancy, both mother and baby are preparing for labor and delivery. The baby is going through a number of changes that will help him or her during the birth process or afterward, to survive in the new atmosphere. Check below for more information about fetal changes and maternal changes at this stage in pregnancy. There are also helpful tips for the expecting mother as well as additional information that could be helpful to the mom-to-be.

Did you know that babies even as young as two days old can recognize their mother just from listening to one syllable of her voice?

Height of the baby: 16.7 inches
Weight of the baby: 3.75 pounds

What Happens to the Baby?

The baby is preparing for birth at this time and is gaining a lot of weight quickly. During these last seven weeks, the mother will gain about a pound a week, but nearly half of it will go straight to the baby. The baby will gain anywhere from a third to half of his or her birth weight during this time. The baby now has nails on her toes and fingers, and she or he has real hair.

What Happens to the Mother?

The expecting mother will likely have a shortness of breath and heartburn. This is because her uterus is now pushing up near her diaphragm, and the growing baby is crowding her stomach. Discomfort can be relieved by sleeping propped up on pillows and eating small meals more frequently during the day. Pregnant women commonly experience lower back pain and discomfort in other areas. If the pain intensifies in the back, it could be preterm labor so let a doctor know immediately.


Tips for Expectant Mothers at 32 Weeks of Pregnancy

  • Start making a list of family and friends to help out during the first few weeks of the baby’s life. These people will be the ones to call when you need help with grocery shopping, cleaning, or other activities.
  • Start reading a book about newborns and infants. A great one is Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler.
  • Keep eating a healthy diet. Just because you are nearing the end of your pregnancy does not mean you can start gorging on all the things you were avoiding.
  • Take a parenting class. This is a great time to start getting to know some other couples, and it is also a great time to learn some techniques. Parenting class is especially helpful if this is your first baby.
  • Visit local hospitals if you do not know what hospital you will be going to yet. Take a tour, and talk to staff, if possible. Pick a hospital from the ones you visit.

Additional info: Is it Safe to Get Facials During Pregnancy?

Most doctors agree that it is safe to get a facial during pregnancy. However, they discourage pregnant mothers taking full body wraps as overheating is unsafe for an expecting mother and the child she carries. Skin is also more sensitive during pregnancy, so avoid doing something too invasive. Some facialists or spas are nervous about taking pregnant women this late in their pregnancy, so find a place willing to book the appointment.

The body of the mother is preparing for labor and delivery in a number of different ways. Of course, many of these ways are uncomfortable and involve pressure in areas where no pressure was experienced before. Much of the discomfort and pressure that a woman feels during pregnancy is perfectly normal and should not be alarming.

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