Pregnancy at 32 Weeks

Your Body at 32 Weeks Pregnant
If you’re carrying a high-risk pregnancy, non-stress tests (NST) and ultrasounds may begin now.

Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions can be common now. These are random uterine contractions that can last up to 30 seconds at a time, which some women mistake as delivery contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions should be irregular and painless.

Preterm Labor
If your contractions occur in a regular fashion, last longer than 30 seconds and are uncomfortable, these can be real contractions and could be a sign of preterm labor. If you feel these, contact your health care provider immediately.

Others signs of preterm labor include lower pelvic pressure, lower back pain and an increase in vaginal discharge. If you notice a small amount of pink or red discharge, this can also signify a change in your cervix, so you should call your provider immediately.

Your Baby at 32 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 17 inches (43 cm) in size and weighs about four pounds (1.8 kg.)  He’s about the size of a coconut. He has less of the white coating (vernix) and hair (lanugo) on his skin, and more and more hair growing on his head.

Baby’s Position
Starting this visit, your health care provider will check the position of your baby to determine whether she is head-down (vertex) or buttocks/feet first (breech). Let your provider know if your baby seems to make multiple flips during the day.
 
Checklist at 32 Weeks Pregnant

Hospital Registration: It’s also time to register at the hospital or birth center where you will be delivering. Take a tour; you’ll feel more comfortable when you arrive on the big day.

Birth Plan: Finish your birth plan and remember that no birth goes exactly according to plan. The most important plan you can have is to be kind to yourself however your birth experience turns out. Remember: you are one amazing woman: you’ve created a baby.

Pack Your Hospital Bag: Here are ideas from other moms. Don’t forget the champagne, bubbly cider or sparkling water!

Choose a Pediatrician: Your baby should have a pediatrician prior to delivery, so ask for recommendations and make sure that the pediatrician you choose is accepting new patients. Your pediatrician should not only be someone with great credentials, but someone you’ll feel comfortable talking to about your child in the years to come. For five things moms say to look for in a pediatrician, read our article, here.

More Shopping: Finish buying things for the baby (and for you): Check out our list of mom-recommended new baby essentials and what you may need in your nursery’s first-aid kit.

Install your infant car seat: Contact your local police station, fire station, or hospital to see if any of these locations can provide someone to check the installation of your infant car seat. The installation is harder than it seems and it’s worth a double check. Remember, the hospital won’t let you leave without an infant car seat for your baby.  

WIC: Sign up for the U.S. Government Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program if you’re planning to use it.  

Maternity Leave: If you’re working, it’s time to think about your maternity leave, if you haven’t already. Make sure to check in with your human resources department. Your health care provider will need to fill out some of the forms, so be sure to give her office plenty of time. Here’s advice from other moms about how to prepare for maternity leave gracefully as well as what to expect and plan for when you decide to go back to work.

Umbilical Cord Blood Storage: Now would be a good time to talk with your partner and your doctor about the option of umbilical cord blood storage.

Circumcision: If you’re having a boy, decide if you are going to have him circumcised and let your health care provider know. 

Tubal Ligation and Birth Control: If you’re planning to have a tubal ligation, let your health care provider know and sign the necessary forms. Otherwise, think about which type of birth control might be right for you after delivering. Here’s a list of safe birth control for nursing moms.

The preceding information was adapted from The Pregnancy Companion.
Source: iStockPhoto

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