You’ve arrived at week 32 of your pregnancy! You’re now 30 weeks from conception, and your little one will be born in just two more months! Let’s discuss your baby’s development, feeling tired, and some of the aches and pains of pregnancy you may be experiencing in week 32.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Updated September 6, 2021
Table of contents
Week 32 Pregnancy: Baby Bump
By week 32, your baby weighs almost 3 3/4 pounds. Her crown-to-heel length is nearly 16 3/4 inches.
The top of your uterus (the fundal height) now measures about 12 3/4 inches from the pubic symphysis — about 5 inches above your belly button (2).
At week 32, your little one has achieved some exciting developmental milestones, including:
- Baby has fingernails and toenails
- Subcutaneous fat is being laid down
- Baby appears less red and wrinkled
- Bones are fully developed but are soft and flexible
- Baby begins storing iron, calcium, and phosphorus (1)
Basically, your baby has everything he needs and is fully formed, down to having eyelashes and eyebrows. The rest of your pregnancy is spent on growing, gaining weight, and refining the systems that need to be fully ready to take over when baby is born.
In addition to looking like a fully-developed, tiny baby, it’s interesting to know that he acts like a newborn in some ways. By 32 weeks of pregnancy, your baby has developed the startle reflex, also known as the Moro reflex. You may feel your belly “jump” at a sudden, loud sound.
Week 32 Pregnancy: Feeling Tired
Feeling tired is a very normal symptom during the third trimester of pregnancy. Your body is working hard to support your growing baby. Also, your large belly, kicking baby, and the frequent need to get up and pee can make sleeping difficult and increase exhaustion.
Most moms report more fatigue in the evening than in the morning, with increases in the seventh to ninth month of pregnancy (5). With this in mind, consider scheduling errands in the morning when your energy levels are higher. Also, plan big projects such as painting the nursery for the earlier months of your pregnancy. (To those who are reading this and are already in the seventh to ninth months of their pregnancy, try to delegate the work to friends and family. Chances are they’re looking for ways to serve you, and big projects are a great opportunity!)
Week 32 Pregnancy: Symptoms
Round Ligament Pain
The round ligament works alongside other ligaments to help keep the uterus in place. To give you an idea of where it’s at, the round ligament arises from the sides of the uterus. It then passes through the inguinal ring (near the groin), and eventually joins the connective tissue of the labia majora.
As the uterus grows and rises up in the abdomen during pregnancy, the round ligaments stretch. This stretching can cause round ligament pain. The pain is often intense during moving and causes a “grabbing” sensation in the lower abdomen and groin (1). You may have pain on one side only or on both sides. It can be worse on one side than another. Round ligament pain is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t harm you or your baby. You may find relief by lying down and putting a heating pad over the painful area (2).
Changes in Your Mouth
Of all the places that your pregnancy affects your body, you may expect that your mouth is one place that’s relatively “safe” from feeling the side effects. But believe it or not, you may see several changes in your mouth. Your gums may feel sensitive, swollen, or they may bleed when you brush. This is due to the increase in blood volume during pregnancy.
It may even feel like your teeth are looser than normal which may seem worrisome. But it’s just due to the fact that hormones make the ligaments throughout your body relax. Your pregnancy hormones aren’t able to choose which areas of the body should relax, and they affect ligaments everywhere, even the small ones that hold your teeth in place. Don’t worry, though. Actually losing a tooth for this reason is very uncommon.
Just keep brushing and taking care of your mouth the way you always do, even if your teeth feel a bit weird and even if you see a bit of blood when you brush. It may seem like you should back off because of these things, but it’s important to keep up with your dental hygiene, and you don’t want to create problems that will be harder to fix later.
Heartburn, or acid reflux, is caused when stomach acid is regurgitated into the esophagus. It creates a burning sensation in the chest and throat and sometimes leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Heartburn is more common during pregnancy. Hormones cause the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach, which typically blocks stomach acid from entering the throat, to relax. Additionally, the growing uterus displaces the stomach and can force fluid upwards.
Try these tips to decrease your pain from heartburn:
- Avoid eating fatty, spicy, and gas-causing foods
- Eat several small meals rather than 3 large meals each day
- Drink only small amounts of fluid with your meals
- Semi-sit in bed rather than lying flat on your back (4)
- Consult with your doctor or midwife about the use of liquid, low-sodium antacids, such as Maalox (1)
- In severe cases, your doctor or midwife may recommend antisecretory medications such as Zantac or Tagamet (1)
Read more: Banish the Burn! GERD During Pregnancy
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- 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.
- S. M. Elek, D. B. Hudson, and M. O. Fleck, “Expectant parents’ experience with fatigue and sleep during pregnancy,” Birth, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 49–54, 1997.