32 Weeks Pregnant

32 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Your baby is getting closer and closer to looking like the baby you will meet when he is born. For example, his eyelashes, eyebrows, and even the hair on his head are now all in place. He's recently started shedding the lanugo—those fine hairs that covered your baby's body—and most of it will be gone by now, though some babies are born with a little lanugo still on show.

Your baby may be standing on his head now, or sometime soon; most babies move into the head-down position at least a few weeks before birth. Don't be surprised, though, if your little acrobat decides to change positions several times before he's born. You might feel him jostling into place as he flips.

More and more fat is forming under your baby's skin. This has slowly turned your baby's skin from see-through to its current, opaque state. That's not all: Your baby's toenails have been growing and are now visible. Get those clippers ready—you'll be cutting those teeny-tiny nails soon enough!


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The Size of the Fetus at 32 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you are 32 weeks pregnant, your baby weighs about 3 and 3/4 pounds and measures around 11 inches, crown to rump.

At 32 weeks, the average fetus is about the size of a napa cabbage! Cute!

The below visual is an illustration of what your little one might look like and how your baby may be positioned at 32 weeks.

 32 weeks pregnant

Mom's Body at 32 Weeks Pregnant

During pregnancy, you may experience changes in your mouth, teeth, and gums that might cause some discomfort. These might include:

  • Sensitive gums. If your gums feel more sensitive, or if they swell or bleed when you brush or floss, it might help to rinse with salt water and to use a softer brush.

  • Teeth feel looser. Hormonal changes can cause your ligaments to relax, and these same hormones may also affect the tiny ligaments that hold your teeth in place. As these ligaments relax, your teeth may feel looser. Rest assured: It's unlikely you'll actually lose a tooth for this reason, and this feeling usually goes away after you've given birth.

  • Mouth sores. You may get these sores because your immune system is working overtime to remove germs from your mouth. The good news is that the sores typically go away after pregnancy.

It's important to floss daily, brush twice a day, and keep up with your regular dental checkups every six months. Experts recommend arranging any elective dental procedures to happen in the first half of the third trimester (around about now), if they weren't taken care of in the second trimester. Your dentist may recommend postponing any major dental work until after you've given birth.

32 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At 32 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Leg cramps. Have you been experiencing sharp, painful cramps in your calves? You're not alone! Unfortunately, this is a common symptom of late pregnancy. It's not known why these leg cramps occur. Try to stretch your legs before going to sleep at night. If you experience a cramp, flex your foot upward and back and massage your calves in downward strokes. This should help.

  • Diarrhea. It's never pleasant, but you could come down with a bout of diarrhea at 32 weeks pregnant or at any time. If this happens, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Sometimes, diarrhea can also be a sign of preterm labour, so if you notice any symptoms like abdominal cramps, pelvic pressure, low backache, regular contractions, or your water breaking—with or without diarrhea—contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  • “Pregnancy brain.” You might have heard of this and be wondering whether symptoms like forgetfulness and difficult concentrating are actually caused by your pregnancy, or whether you're just imagining things. Experts aren't quite sure.

32 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • Be on the lookout for symptoms like sudden weight gain, persistent headaches, changes in vision, pains in the upper abdomen or shoulder, and swelling or puffiness. These could be signs of a pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorder called preeclampsia. If you notice any of these symptoms at 32 weeks pregnant, or at any time in the rest of your pregnancy, tell your healthcare provider right away.

  • At 32 weeks pregnant your healthcare provider may be asking you to keep an eye on your baby’s movement—your provider will be able to provide direction on this. One option could be to do “kick counts,” keeping track of how long it takes to count 10 movements. Pick a time of day when your baby is typically energetic —for example, after you’ve eaten a meal.

  • Read up on the signs of preterm labor. If you suspect you may be in preterm labor, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Your provider may be able to suggest ways that help you avoid a preterm delivery like bed rest, drinking lots of fluids, or medications that can help stop the contractions. In some cases, a hospital stay may be recommended.

  • At 32 weeks, you could be 7 or 8 months pregnant, depending on how you're grouping the weeks of pregnancy into months. Though you still have a ways to go until your pregnancy is full term, you'll have a lot on your plate in these final few weeks. To make life a little easier, we’ve gathered a list of essential baby gear that you may still need to organize, along with some advice on how to decide on an option.

32 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • What kind of vaginal discharge should you contact your healthcare provider about?

  • When will your baby be fully developed?

  • Is it OK to bend over at 32 weeks pregnant?

  • Will you need to see your healthcare provider more often from now on? If so, when?

  • Are any of your pregnancy complications likely to reappear this time around?

  • What labour pain relief options are available, and which is recommended for you?

32 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • If a friend or loved one is hosting a baby shower for you soon and you’re planning to have a gift registry, now is a good time to prepare.

  • Stock up on any baby gear and nursery essentials you’re still missing. If you haven’t already, start to plan the layout of the nursery, and think about how you'd like to decorate it.

  • Do a practice drive to the hospital or birthing centre so that you can time how long it takes to get there. You might want to plan some alternative routes, should there be a traffic jam or road construction on the day you go into labour.

  • Ask if you can do a tour of the hospital or birthing centre. This is a good chance to familiarize yourself with hospital policies and learn about the options that are available to you.

  • Use a contractions tracking chart so you’ll know how to time contractions when the time comes.

  • Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips:

How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.


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