You’ve made it to week 28 of your pregnancy — 26 weeks from conception! Chances are you’re feeling pretty good overall and finally looking obviously pregnant not only to your friends and family but even to strangers. You may notice extra smiles, people holding doors for you, and a bit of extra attention when you’re out and about. What else is going on besides that cute bump? Let’s talk about baby weight and another common pregnancy symptom you may experience at week 28.
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Week 28 Pregnancy: Baby Weight
The third trimester is the “growth” period of your pregnancy, and you can expect your baby and belly to drastically grow in size and shape over the next several weeks. At 28 weeks, your baby is about 14 to 15 inches long from crown to heel. She weighs up to 2 lbs, 12 ounces (1).
As moms, we continue to put on the baby weight, too! Your swollen belly is now the happy center of attention in every crowd. You’ve likely gained between 17 and 24 pounds. Plan to gain an average of .8 to 1 pound per week from now until the end of your pregnancy. Your uterus is about 3 3/4 inches above your belly button — about 11 inches from the pubic symphysis to the top of the uterus (2).
At week 28 your little one is making some exciting developmental leaps and bounds, such as:
- Eyes begin to open and close
- Surfactant (a substance that coats the inside of the alveoli — or air sacs — in the lungs so that they don’t stick together) needed for breathing at birth is formed
- Baby is two-thirds his final size
- Babies born at this point usually survive outside the womb (1)
Week 28 Pregnancy: Symptoms
Hemorrhoids are varicose veins that occur in the lower rectum and anus. They can occur during pregnancy as the weight of the baby interferes with your blood circulation. Another contributing factor is the straining that accompanies constipation — one of the more common hassles of pregnancy (1).
While most hemorrhoids disappear within a month of giving birth, they can be uncomfortable or even painful in the meantime. Symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching, swelling, stinging, and bleeding, especially during a bowel movement. Try the following tips to prevent or decrease the discomfort of hemorrhoids (4):
- Avoid constipation by drinking plenty of water and eating a high fiber diet (see below)
- Do Kegel exercises and focus on the muscles around the anus
- Use witch hazel pads on the hemorrhoids
- Try to avoid heavy lifting or straining
Focus on Fiber
You’ve no doubt focused hard on eating right to provide your body and your baby the nourishment needed to be strong and healthy. If you’re eating a diet that contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you may be getting plenty of fiber already. But if you find that constipation is an issue, it may help to take a look at how much fiber you’re getting and try to increase your intake. During pregnancy, you should aim for 28 grams of fiber a day (5).
Great sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. While any item from these categories will contain fiber, you can pay special attention to intentionally including higher-fiber options if you’ve been struggling with constipation or hemorrhoids. For example, a 1/2 cup serving of navy beans has 9 1/2 grams of fiber! A 1/2 cup serving of bran cereal has 8 grams. And make sure you’re eating whole-grain varieties of things like bread and pasta. You might notice a small difference in taste at first if you’re used to the kinds that use entirely white flour, but most people adjust quickly and don’t mind the difference. Cleveland Clinic has a great article about high-fiber foods and easy ways to work them into your diet.
That’s it for this week’s check-in. Check back in another week to learn all about week 29 of your pregnancy! And if you’re starting to think about labor and delivery as you move into these last few months, take a look at How to Have a Natural Birth in a Hospital: The Ultimate Guide.
Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for a natural hospital birth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class and start preparing for your natural birth!
- Ladewig, P.A., London, M.L., Davidson, M.R. (2006). Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care, 6th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.
- Glade, B.C., Schuler, J. (2011). Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition. First Da Capo Press.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2010). Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th edition.
- Simkin, P., Whalley, J., Keppler, A. (2010). Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn. 4th Edition. Meadowbrook Press. New York.
- Pretorius, Rachelle A, and Debra J Palmer. “High-Fiber Diet during Pregnancy Characterized by More Fruit and Vegetable Consumption.” Nutrients vol. 13,1 35. 24 Dec. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu13010035