Your baby continues to grow and more fat is forming beneath the skin. This layer of fat is important as it allows the baby to maintain an adequate body temperature after birth. The lanugo hair is disappearing. The baby can hear outside noises through the wall of the uterus.
By 32 weeks of gestation, your baby weighs about 4 pounds, 10 ounces, and is about 16 ½ inched in length. He/she can now hear outside noises through the wall of the uterus. Fingernails now reach the end of the fingers, and toenails are growing. The fine "lanugo" hair that covers the body is disappearing, and more fat is forming beneath the skin. This fat deposit not only gives the skin a smoother appearance, it is an important "insulator" to help the baby maintain a normal body temperature after birth.
This is also the time of pregnancy that your baby begins to prepare for the journey of birth. After months of turning and moving freely in the amniotic fluid, most babies now move into a vertex (or head down) position.
You're now 29 weeks into your pregnancy, and that "eight month" mark is growing closer. This month marks some noticeable discomfort. You may have some difficulty sleeping. Aching pains in the hips, lower abdomen and vagina may occur due to hormonal changes, pressure on blood vessels and stretching band of tissue holding the uterus in place (round ligaments). As your uterus continues to enlarge, it presses on the muscles that separate your chest and abdomen (diaphragm), possibly causing some shortness of breath. Try the following:
- Maintain correct body mechanics and proper posture. This allows your lungs to expand fully.
- Several times a day, stand up, stretch your arms above your head and take a deep breath. This allows you to get extra oxygen into your lungs and also helps relieve tension. You may feel the need to sigh more often as a result of the need to take in extra oxygen during pregnancy.
It may be more difficult to sleep during this phase of your pregnancy. You may find it helpful to:
- Continue to avoid beverages containing caffeine.
- Lie on your side with one pillow between your legs and another supporting your stomach.
- Breathe deeply, visualizing yourself in a quiet, peaceful environment.
- Relax by having your partner give you a backrub.
- Listen to restful music or relaxing sounds.
- Avoid disturbing conversations or exciting entertainment before bedtime.
- Practice your prepared childbirth relaxation breathing.
While the thought of using sleeping pills or alcohol to help you sleep may cross your mind, it is safest to avoid these substances during pregnancy. The chemicals in these drugs can cross the placenta and affect your developing baby. Unfortunately, certain discomforts, such as round ligament pain, hemorrhoids, constipation, and sleeplessness, are a common part of late pregnancy.
Read these tips to reduce discomfort: