Week 32 of Pregnancy | How Big is Your Baby at 32 Weeks?
- Bambino Mio
- 29 / 06 / 2023
Inside this Article:
- Your baby is the size of a bunch of celery!
- Your baby’s getting into position already!
- 32 weeks of pregnancy is a milestone
- How you’re feeling at 32 weeks of pregnancy
- Staying healthy at 32 weeks pregnant
- Things you need to think about at 32 weeks pregnant
- Citations and References
- Pregnancy by Week, What to Expect
Pregnancy is a time of huge change for you, your body and your life. Our guide will help you through this amazing time, letting you know what to expect at each stage and, most excitingly, what your baby is up to each week.
Your baby is the size of a bunch of celery!
In length, that is. By 32 weeks of pregnancy your baby is around 41.5cm (16.25in) from crown to heel, 29.3cm (11.5in) from crown to rump and is getting closer to the two-kilo mark at around 1,900g (4.2lbs).
Your baby’s getting into position already!
At 32 weeks of pregnancy, your baby has probably turned over so they’re head down in your womb (1), ready to be born in a few short weeks. Don’t worry too much if he or she hasn’t just yet, as they’ll probably do it soon.
Around 97% of babies are born head first (2) and by 32 weeks of pregnancy, 85% of babies are in the head-down position. Your midwife will check your baby’s presentation at each appointment from now on.
After laying down brown fat (3), which helps the body to generate heat, since around 20 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is now producing the enzyme and protein involved in generating heat. All of this activity means your baby can regulate their temperature more effectively after their birth.
By 32 weeks of pregnancy your baby is probably displaying the Moro - or startle - reflex (4). Any loud noise or sudden movement causes your baby to throw their arms and legs up and away from their body then fold them in again. This reflex tends to disappear a few months after birth.
When they’re not busy depositing brown fat and producing enzymes, your baby is cycling through periods of sleep and wakefulness. Their brain now shows active sleep (5) and while they’re awake they’re moving around, but you might find that movements reduce a little because your baby is running out of room! Kicks and punches turn into wriggles and stretches around now.
32 weeks of pregnancy is a milestone
Babies born at 32 weeks’ gestation move into the moderately premature category (6) and have an excellent chance of survival and long-term outcomes. Their lungs are still maturing, however, so your baby might need to spend a few weeks of special care while they complete their finishing touches.
How you’re feeling at 32 weeks of pregnancy
If someone asks you directly how you’re feeling at 32 weeks pregnant, your answer is likely to be “Very full, tired and uncomfortable.”
Your baby is taking up more and more space in your uterus and this amazing organ just keeps on expanding, but there is a limit and you’re not far off it now. Your baby bump is compressing your stomach, pushing against your ribs, making your belly button pop out and squashing your bladder.
Then there’s the heartburn (7). Almost three quarters of pregnant women are feeling the burn by now and it can make life very uncomfortable, so here’s some tips for dealing with this common symptom:
- Don’t bend over or lie down immediately after a meal - try to stay upright for an hour or so
- Don’t eat just before you go to bed
- Eat small but frequent meals so you’re not filling up your tiny stomach
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly
- Try an antacid - your midwife or local pharmacist can help you here
Staying healthy at 32 weeks pregnant
You should be used to your healthy pregnancy diet (8) by now and your water bottle is your best friend, but there’s still things you can do to keep yourself feeling as upbeat and energetic as possible in your final trimester of pregnancy.
If you haven’t seen your dentist already during your pregnancy, make time for a check up before you’re too busy. Those pregnancy hormones can affect your gums (9), so it's a good idea to keep an eye on them.
Carry on exercising (10) for at least 20 or 30 minutes a day - a swim, a walk, a yoga class or some stretches at home will help you to sleep better and can ease a lot of minor discomforts such as leg cramps and reduce stress.
Don’t neglect your pelvic floor exercises (11)! You might find them a bit harder to do while you’re standing up at 32 weeks pregnant, with the extra weight that’s pressing on them, so try to do them when you’re in the bath or lying in bed instead. Every little helps.
Things you need to think about at 32 weeks pregnant
Just eight weeks to go now! You should, if you haven’t signed up to one already, it’s time to find and join an antenatal class so you can find out more about labour and birth, as well as visit your local maternity unit. Check out some templates for birth plans, too (12), if you need some inspiration.
You might have your pushchair and crib already, but if you haven’t got some of these basic items and pieces of equipment yet, get cracking on them because there’s not long to go now. There may be talk of a baby shower around now, too!
Citations and References
(1) National Health Service (NHS) ‘28 to 40+ Weeks Pregnant. You and Your Baby at 32 Weeks Pregnant.’ 2021. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/week-by-week/28-to-40-plus/32-weeks
(2) National Institutes of Medicine (NIH) National Library of Medicine. ‘Your Baby in the Birth Canal.’ 2023. Web. medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002060.htm
(3) National Institutes of Medicine (NIH). National Library of Medicine. ‘Brown Adipose Tissue in Human Infants. 2018. Web. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29675580
(4) National Institutes of Medicine (NIH). National Library of Medicine. ‘Moro Reflex.’ 2022. Web. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542173
(5) New Scientist. ‘Bumpology: Why Can't My Baby Sleep When I Do?’ 2010. Web. www.newscientist.com/article/dn19069-bumpology-why-cant-my-baby-sleep-when-i-do
(6) National Health Service (NHS). ‘What to Expect in Your Baby’s Development. 30-32 Weeks’ Gestation.’ 2023. Web. mft.nhs.uk/saint-marys/services/newborn-intensive-care-unit-nicu/what-to-expect/30-32-weeks-gestation
(7) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Common Symptoms in Pregnancy. Indigesiton and Heartburn in Pregnancy.’ 2020. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/indigestion-and-heartburn
(8) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Keeping Well in Pregnancy. Eating Well in Pregnancy.’ 2023. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/have-a-healthy-diet
(9) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Common Symptoms in Pregnancy. Bleeding Gums in Pregnancy.’ 2022. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/bleeding-gums
(11) National Health Service (NHS). Keeping Well in Pregnancy: Exercise in Pregnancy.’ 2023. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/exercise
(12) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Women’s Health. What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises?’ 2020. Web. www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises
(13) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Preparing for the Birth. How to Make a Birth Plan. 2021. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/labour-and-birth/preparing-for-the-birth/how-to-make-a-birth-plan
(14) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding Advice. How to Breastfeed.’ Web. www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding
Pregnancy by Week, What to Expect