Pregnancy - 28-32 weeks
What is happening to mother
You are now in the throes of your third trimester of pregnancy and you may find that you start to slow down a bit as your baby grows heavier.
Colostrum is present in the breasts from 28 weeks so that should your baby be born pre-term (which may be anytime after 24 weeks but is more likely to be after 28 weeks) even as early as this, you would be equipped to breast feed your baby.
Your antenatal check this month will include repeat blood tests for haemoglobin, antibodies and blood sugar if indicated, and your midwife will offer you Anti-D if you are Rhesus negative. She may also discuss some more about your choices for feeding and the hearing screening test that will be routinely offered to your newborn baby.
What is happening to baby
Your baby is laying down fat layers in preparation for birth, her body is becoming rounder and her skin less wrinkled. You will feel her moving plenty during this time while she still has room to manoeuvre around in your womb. If your baby is a boy, his testes will have descended into his scrotum by this stage of gestation. By the 32nd week of gestation, your baby will measure around 26.5cms and weigh around 1.7kg.
Things to think about
From 30-32 weeks of pregnancy you may choose to start adopting positions that encourage your baby into an optimum position for labour. Your midwife may be able to guide you on this, alternatively you can read more about optimal fetal positioning in articles or books by Jean Sutton, the Australian midwife who has written and lectured extensively on this subject. She claims that by keeping your hips higher than your knees (eg not sitting in bucket seats), you can help your baby to take up an anterior position, with her back to the front side of your belly, prior to labour. The idea is to avoid her settling into a posterior position (back to your back) as her head enters your pelvis, as a posterior labour is usually longer and more painful.
You may also be considering celebrating your forthcoming arrival in the form of a Blessingway ceremony or Baby Shower which involves inviting female members of your family and your female friends to come and celebrate the journey you are soon to make in giving birth to your baby. In each case it is a chance to gather all the positive thoughts and wishes of the women around you take with you into labour.
To find out more about a Blessingway ceremony Mother Rising: Blessingway Journey into Motherhood by Y Cortlund, B Lucke & DM Watelet (2004) is a useful resource.