Week 32: Signs of False Labor

It’s week 32, only one more month to go, mama! All of baby’s major organs are fully developed now except for lungs. This means if baby is born early, he has a great chance for survival. Speaking of early labor, did you know there are three signs of false labor that tell you whether it’s the real deal or not? Here’s what you can expect of pregnancy and your baby during week 32.


Pregnancy Week 32: Baby’s Getting Ready for the Big Day

By week 32, your baby is the size of a cantaloupe, tipping the scales at not quite 4 lbs. Your baby is spending these last few weeks practicing the skills needed outside the womb, including swallowing, breathing, kicking and sucking. The digestive system is all set and ready to go and the baby is looking more and more like a real newborn. Swoon!

The baby is back to a curled-up position, so you may feel some tapping and squirming. Between 32 and 38 weeks, the baby will start to settle head-down into the pelvis region to get ready for birth. Less than 5 percent of babies will be born bottom-down or breech so if yours hasn’t moved to the head-down position yet, don’t worry. Chances are the baby will still flip before birth. Another thing your baby is doing? Resting up for the big day! Your baby is now sleeping like a baby with regular sleep and wake cycles. If you haven’t felt a ton of movement lately this may be why.


Body Changes to Expect for Week 32

There’s a good chance that you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions by week 32, which are irregular practice contractions. You may feel your uterus tightening or hardening periodically as it preps for delivery. These “rehearsals” are a warm-up for actual labor with the tightening sensation lasting anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds. Did you know there are three ways to tell whether it’s real or false labor? With false labor you won’t have the bloody show, or the mucous plug dislodging. You also won’t have your water break if it’s false labor. And the third way to tell whether it’s real or false labor is by paying attention to the contractions. If they are irregular, stay at the same intensity, felt more in your lower abdomen rather than your back or go away if you change positions, these are likely Braxton Hicks contractions and not real labor. Here are 10 other signs labor is approaching.  

 

Pregnancy Symptoms to Watch For

You’re getting close to delivery day, which means the pregnancy symptoms have not let up any and have probably increased by this point in your journey. Expect constipation and leg cramps, which can be eased by drinking lots of water and getting more calcium and magnesium in your diet (or through prenatal vitamins). You may also experience hemorrhoids, which are lovely varicose veins in the rectum and a literal pain in the butt.

As your breasts get bigger, you may experience some leaking of a fluid called colostrum, which is an antibody-packed precursor to breast milk. It’s the first milk your baby will get and is full of good nutrients. Your belly skin is likely feeling very itchy by now too, as the skin stretches and dries out. If it’s too bothersome, try creams, moisturizers, calamine lotion or add oatmeal to your bath and soak in warm water.


Week 32 To-Do List

At this point in your pregnancy, your dreams are getting super wild thanks to pregnancy hormones. Keep a dream journal and write down what you’re seeing; chances are it will be easier to remember your dreams as the third trimester brings more sleep disruptions. If you’re experiencing stretch marks, you’re in good company as the American Academy of Dermatology says up to 90 percent of women get them. Think of it this way: your baby is growing just right! As your uterus grows in size, you may find yourself eating less and your appetite decreasing. If a big meal feels like too much, opt for regular, small snacks. Keep drinking the heck out of water as you have more waste to flush as you’re eating and drinking for two. Maintaining a regular intake of water means your urine is nice and diluted which keeps things flowing and prevents UTI’s. This also helps move solid waste through your digestive system, avoiding the dreaded constipation a lot of pregnant women experience. Finally, keep up with your pelvic tilts as they strengthen your abs, soothe back aches and prep your body for labor and an easy delivery.  

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