YOUR CHANGING LIFE
Pay attention to those phantom flutters
Welcome to week 32 of your pregnancy. Right around now, you may start to notice that your body is experiencing more than just aches and pains. As your due date draws nearer, each feeling of discomfort is actually a sign that your body is preparing in a big way for what’s to come.
If you didn’t notice Braxton Hicks contractions last week, chances are you’ll start picking up on them now. When women are affected by Braxton Hicks, they often feel a tightening sensation at the top of their uterus that seems to spread downward. The lengths of these contractions can vary, with some women experiencing them for up to 30 seconds. While you should try to take these contractions in stride, remember – they are a preview of what labor will be like!
In addition to Braxton Hicks, during week 32, other conditions may become magnified. Flatulence, bloating and constipation are all common as you live through the final weeks of your pregnancy. To minimize digestive problems, consider eating several smaller meals each day, drinking plenty of water and exercising moderately. Even a quick walk around the neighborhood can be a great way to boost your body’s health and wellness in time for the delivery.
By week 32, your uterus is about 5 inches above your belly button and you may notice that you’re having trouble breathing regularly. This occurs because your uterus is placing greater pressure on your diaphragm. If you’re affected by heartburn consistently over the next few weeks, this is also the reason why.
Chances are, just getting out of bed or moving around is painful for you during week 32. As your due date draws closer, you’ll likely feel more tension around your bones and joints, making rest and relaxation important. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and take what steps you can to reduce anxiety in your life throughout this time.
YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
From four oranges to jicama
Watch out world, your little guy or gal is just about ready to stage an arrival! Last week, your baby tipped the scales at a little over 3 pounds. During week 32, your munchkin has grown a bit heftier, and is now 3 ¾ pounds – or about the size of a jicama – and is nearly 17 inches from head to heel.
At this rate, you’ll be gaining about a pound a week as your baby continues to develop, with roughly half of that going toward your wee one. It may seem surprising, but over the next seven weeks your baby will do a great deal of weight gain as he or she heads toward delivery time.
By week 32, your baby has full-fledged fingernails and toenails. While your baby is fully developed in terms of bone structure, his or her frame is still very soft and gentle – something that you’re sure to notice once you cradle your guy or gal in your arms!
Your baby may even be sucking his or her thumb right about now as he or she attempts to develop essential skills, like swallowing, kicking and breathing. This can enhance your baby’s ability to survive outside the womb and are excellent developments. You may notice, however, that your baby is less active than in previous weeks. This is because your little one is rapidly outgrowing the womb!
Plan your nursery
With your baby due to arrive in just a few weeks, you’re likely heavy into nesting mode and have devoted what energy you have left to preparing your home for your little one. While this can be time-consuming and stressful, it can also be plenty of fun!
If you and your partner have set aside a room in your home for the baby, you should plan to put the finishing touches on your nursery around week 32.
The nursery will be an important part of your baby’s life and provide the backdrop for a range of exciting milestones, from your little one’s first smile to his or her first steps. As a result, setting the right environment and tone can be crucial for building lasting memories.
If you know the gender of your baby, you may be decorating the room in a set of colors that relate to his or her sex. While this can be lovely, you may also want to consider embracing a neutral palette in the nursery or exploring other muted shades in an effort to create an aesthetic that is dynamic and can grow with your baby over time.
Investing in comfortable, classic pieces of decor can help make your baby’s nursery more versatile and ensure that you can keep using furniture for future pregnancies. You may also want to be mindful of the flooring you choose – carpeting may be difficult to maintain in a high-traffic area, especially one where you plan to spend lots of time with a baby. Instead, hardwood flooring may be a durable and long-lasting alternative.