Week 32 of pregnancy is a big week for mom and her baby. Up until now, things have probably gone pretty smoothly. A little bit of morning sickness may have been experienced in the beginning, only to be replaced with that morning glow by the second trimester. However, that usually dips by week 32 when the 8th month of pregnancy starts. Once a woman hits her third trimester, a lot of things start to suddenly change with her body.
The baby begins to prepare for the future delivery, and a woman’s body has to adjust to that.
Oftentimes, pregnancy becomes more uncomfortable by week 32 and many women are nearing the point of not enjoying it anymore. Daily activities become harder to do and their body simply becomes uncomfortable.
Week 32 is when the final stretch of pregnancy begins and your baby really starts to fatten up, which means a lot of maneuvering inside mom's belly. To accommodate this growing little human, a woman’s body has to change, which can cause a lot of new and unwanted side effects of a pregnancy. Most of these 32-week changes are totally normal and expected. Just to give moms-to-be a little taste of what they can look forward to, here are 15 things that suddenly change during week 32 of pregnancy.
15 It Gets Difficult Just Doing Everyday Things
For a lot of women, the amount of energy that they lose when they become pregnant is actually really surprising. A lot of times women assume that if they are healthy and live a balanced lifestyle before they get pregnant that it won’t be so bad. By the time a woman hits the 32-week mark, it doesn’t matter how healthy she was. Her body will start to get tired much faster than it used to. This can be frustrating when normal day-to-day activities become super hard to do.
Doing laundry becomes a serious project. Cleaning the kitchen or just cooking dinner requires multiple breaks and rest times.
It can be hard feeling like you can’t get anything done physically, but it’s important to remember that it’s all for the good of your baby.
According to HealthDay, the feelings of exhaustion can be stronger at certain times. For example, if the mom-to-be is still working long hours, or has a lot going on in her life, it can make sustaining activities even harder than it would have normally been. Women who are pregnant but already have kids at home know this feeling all too well.
14 Good Luck Digesting That
According to Healthline, a pregnant woman will experience many new symptoms once she hits week 32. And, one of those symptoms just happens to be heartburn. While some unfortunate women experience heartburn or acid reflux for their entire pregnancy, it is much more common to show up around the end.
As the baby grows bigger and bigger, a woman’s body and internal organs become more cramped in order to accommodate and make room for her growing baby.
A squished digestive system can cause extreme discomfort around week 32 of pregnancy.
While a woman’s growing uterus might be painful and even give her heartburn, it is extremely beneficial for her baby. Every day in the womb leading up to your due date will help your baby grow and develop fully. Many women find eating at this stage to be a chore and really uncomfortable.
But, it’s important to think about what you are eating. A lot of acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus might cause a pregnant woman’s heartburn to get worse. So, if you are nearing your 32-week mark and the heartburn you feel is getting worse, try eating non-acidic foods that won’t burn as much.
13 Nerve Endings Pick Up More Movement
As your baby grows more and more around 32 weeks, a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes. Her belly gets bigger, her breasts get bigger, it can be hard to see her feet, shave her legs, or bend over at all for that matter. However, these are not the only uncomfortable aspects of being 32 weeks pregnant. As your body grows, your baby is growing as well. Since your baby is getting bigger, they are taking up all of the extra room in your uterus.
According to Huggies, this is the time where your baby really uses that extra room to its advantage. They grow to touch every side of your and because of this, your nerve endings become very aware that you are never alone.
You are constantly feeling every little move your baby is making and while this can be sweet and comforting, it can also be painful as well.
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done at this stage in pregnancy because your baby simply needs that extra room to reach optimal health. And, this is the time where it usually becomes really difficult for women to sleep because their babies are moving so much.
12 Heat Rashes Grow In Unexpected Places
According to What To Expect, a heat rash under a pregnant woman’s breast is very common and occurs for a variety of reasons. First of all, the pregnant woman is already overheated in her body.
Her body is damp at this stage of pregnancy from excessive perspiration, and the larger the pregnant belly, the more the skin rubs against the underside of her breasts. This is why heat rashes underneath the breasts are more common in week 32 of pregnancy because that is when the belly is becoming its biggest.
Even certain types of clothing can cause these rashes as well, and while they are not pleasant at all, they are a normal part of pregnancy at this stage.
In order to try and cope with these rashes in your 8th month of pregnancy, it is advised to keep cool and wear light clothing. Taking short but warm showers or baths can help to sooth this rash and reduce irritation. It can also be helpful to stay away from possible irritants like perfumes and lotions. Instead, find creams or treatments that may reduce the rash. And, the last piece of advice given was to get naked whenever possible and air out that prickly heat.
11 There Will Be Some Unexpected Milk Leakage
By week 32 of pregnancy, a woman’s body is already preparing for the delivery of her baby. This means that a woman’s breasts are starting to lactate and getting ready for nursing. Some women actually choose to start pumping breast milk early in order to stack up on a supply for their newborn.
Since some women are slow to produce milk or had trouble breastfeeding or pumping in the past, early pumping before even giving birth is a way to guarantee enough nutritious milk for their baby.
It is not advised to pump early if it’s not necessary because nipple stimulation can actually cause a woman to go into early labor.
That doesn’t mean that her body won’t naturally leak milk around week 32 of pregnancy. According to NHS.uk, leaking milk from your nipples is normal during pregnancy and especially in the weeks and months leading up to your due date. This is simply your body preparing for that baby to come, but it can be a bit uncomfortable when you hear a baby cry in the grocery store and start leaking through your shirt. It’s recommended to put tissues or breast pads in your shirt if this leaking becomes a problem for you.
10 Those Numbers Start To Multiply
According to Women’s Health Care Topics, it is normal for pregnant women to gain about one pound a week. Once a woman hits that 32-week mark, her weight gain should be around 25 or 26 pounds.
While gaining another 5 to 10 pounds before the baby is born is completely normal, it can feel like you are gaining weight rapidly at this stage in the game.
There is actually a trend that many women experience where they have had totally normal weight gain throughout their entire pregnancy, and then once they hit that 32-week mark they are shocked when they step on the scale. Oftentimes, they have gained more weight than expected in a very short amount of time.
However, there is not much to be concerned about when it comes to weight gain in your third trimester. As long as you are in the healthy weight zone and your doctor doesn’t see any red flags, your weight gain is probably signifying a healthy and growing baby. During this time period, your baby is making its final developmental stretch and growing rapidly in preparation for delivery. Growth spurts are totally normal around 32 weeks so as long as your diet is relatively healthy, you shouldn’t be worried.
9 Extreme Fatigue Is No Joke
Extreme fatigue is that dreaded pregnancy symptom that most women know is coming but desperately wants to avoid. Nobody wants to feel sluggish all of the time or like they can’t do anything productive with their days. According to Just Is A Four Letter Word, reaching the 32-week mark in pregnancy feels like hitting a brick wall. The feelings of exhaustion can be overwhelming and most moms-to-be don’t want to spend the next seven weeks complaining about how miserable, tired, and exhausted they feel all of the time.
Life doesn’t always so down just because it’s harder for you to keep up. This presents a lot of pregnant women with challenges.
For some women, fatigue is just a phase that comes in and out of pregnancy. Many women feel tired and extremely fatigued in the early stages of pregnancy and it might even creep back in around week 29. It can go away and come back again when it pleases. Unfortunately, the further along you get in your pregnancy, the more likely the fatigue is there to stay. After all, your baby is requiring a lot of your energy at this time. 32 weeks is known to be the stage where feeling tired and uncomfortable just becomes normal life.
8 Crawling Out Of Bed Becomes Unbearable
For all those expecting mothers out there, the day will come when a normal activity like getting out of bed in the morning becomes a dreaded struggle. Some women feel dizziness, nausea, or even fatigue first thing in the morning which can make getting out of bed not only unpleasant but also scary.
This can sometimes be attributed to the dehydration that occurs overnight so it can be helpful to keep some water by your bed and drink a little before trying to roll out of bed. However, those are not the only things that make getting out of bed in the morning a challenge.
As a woman reaches the 32-week mark in pregnancy, her body becomes extremely large and uncomfortable to deal with. She can’t just spring out of bed like she may have been able to just a couple months earlier.
According to Babycenter, one helpful method may be to lay on your side and put your feet on the ground. Then, use your hands and arms to push yourself up to a sitting position on your bed. Then once you are here you can stretch, catch your breath, and then slowly get up when you are ready.
7 No More Big Meals
Some pregnant women may think that as their baby gets bigger, they need to eat larger meals in order to properly fuel themselves and their baby.
This misconception is completely wrong.
Since the baby is getting so much bigger and taking up more room inside of the mother, her body can’t tolerate digesting those big meals. Around week 32, a woman will start to notice that her body does not handle larger meals. She may feel sick, get heartburn, or just be uncomfortably full for far too long.
Instead of wasting those extra calories on junk food, it is important to prioritize nutrient dense foods.
According to Livestrong, nutrition should be your top priority during this time in your pregnancy. Despite the fact that you are gaining more weight, a woman only needs to be eating an additional 300 calories per day.
Rather than eating three larger meals a day, which can be difficult for a pregnant woman to digest, it is recommended that she eats 6 smaller meals throughout the day. This way, the mom-to-be and her baby are never hungry but never super full either. It’s the best way to prioritize health and digestion with the little room left inside the mother.
6 Stretching The What?!
At this point in your pregnancy journey, most women know that there are a few risks during childbirth. One of those risks is commonly referred to as “ripping” or “tearing.” It is basically talking about the skin that is located between your vaginal hole and your anus. When a woman does not have enough room for a baby’s head to come out, she ends up ripping in order to accommodate. Sometimes, if doctors are convinced that a woman is going to tear, he or she will simply cut her skin instead.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this sounds absolutely terrifying and traumatizing. No woman wants this to happen to her body.
Around week 32 of pregnancy, women begin to start thinking about labor and delivery more and more. This usually causes them to stress about what could go wrong and leads them to start looking into preventative measures.
According to Mama Natural, there are actually ways to prevent this tearing that seems inevitable. Known as perineum stretching or massaging, it basically means the woman or her partner passage that delicate skin and relax the muscle in order to prevent it from tearing. This can be practiced leading up to labor and delivery, as well as during.
5 Already Earning Those Stripes
I think it’s safe to say that no mom wants to wake up to giant stretch marks on her once flawless stomach. Unfortunately, week 32 is around the time that this inevitable surprise can come knocking. Around the start of your 8th month of pregnancy, your body starts growing at a very fast pace in order to accommodate for that growing baby of yours.
However, this doesn’t mean that your body won’t be left with a few battle wounds. When a woman’s skin stretches and grows super fast, it can cause some big stretch marks to show up fast.
A close friend of mine recently gave birth and was traumatized by the stretch marks she got around week 32. She was constantly posting pictures of her baby bump throughout her whole pregnancy and she was wearing bikinis, looking like she had the perfect little stomach.
It was really scary and shocking for her to wake up one morning and see a stomach that looked like it had been attacked. But she reminded herself that her stomach was the home to her beautiful son for nine months and that would always be worth every stretch mark and scar on her body.
4 No More Lying On Your Back
Lying on your back becomes a pretty big no-no for pregnant women once they hit the 32-week mark. This is largely because of the extra weight that their baby puts on them while they are laying down. We as humans have an artery that carries blood to the brain and lying on your back while pregnant tends to squish it, causing the woman to feel nauseous, dizzy, and lightheaded. According to Knocked-upFitness, a normal and healthy pregnant woman probably will be fine if she wants to lie on her back for 5 to 10 minutes.
She does warn that your body will tell you when it’s time to get up. Since most pregnant women would rather avoid feeling unnecessary flashes of dizziness, nausea, and lightheadedness, they usually decide to avoid lying on their back all together around 32 weeks. Although, some women make exceptions for certain exercises that they can do on their back while they are pregnant.
Since this time in a woman’s pregnancy journey can be getting very uncomfortable and exhausting, it can be nice to find a few exercises that actually make your back feel better. And, since these only require a little time on your back, it’s probably fine to do. However, women should always be cautious and aware of how they are feeling while on their back.
3 Skin Becomes Dry And Itchy
When skin stretches, it also becomes really dry. And, when skin becomes dry it also becomes really itchy. As a woman reaches her 32-week mark, her skin is stretching a lot. She is trying to accommodate a rapidly growing baby which is why a lot of women end up getting stretch marks on their stomachs because their skin stretched too fast. According to The Bump, this dry skin can also be due to a lack of bodily fluids and hormonal changes that are occurring.
Dry skin can also be a sign of dehydration which has been known to cause preterm labor.
It is important to know what is normal and what kind of dry, itchy skin requires a doctor’s visit. Dryness on your abdomen is common, but if it spreads to your arms, legs, or is accompanied by red, itchy patches, it could be something more serious. However, it will probably just be annoying more than anything and it will go away after labor.
It’s simply one of the many joys of reaching week 32 or pregnancy. Some helpful tips during this stage would be to stay hydrated, moisturized, and even consider using a humidifier at night to avoid dry air.
2 The Swelling And Leg Cramps Are Real
According to Babycenter nobody really knows why pregnant women get more leg cramps. Some claim that it could be due to your legs getting tired from carrying around all that extra weight. Or, the cramps could have something to do with extra fluid building up in your legs, which is a condition known as edema.
On the other hand, it is said that legs swell during pregnancy because the extra weight on your uterus causes the blood from your legs to your heart to slow down. Luckily for most women, these leg cramps don’t get bad until they are nearing the end of their pregnancy.
Leg cramps only get worse as a woman’s pregnant body gets bigger, so by week 32, the cramps are probably there.
Unfortunately, they probably won’t go anywhere until the baby is born too. For women who have it bad and are looking for some release, there are a few methods that may help with the pain.
You can try stretching out your leg muscles, massaging them with a warm water bottle, or even going on a small walk just to get your muscles working. Trying to stay in motion and avoiding long periods of sitting has also been said to be helpful.
1 Can It End Already?!
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting your pregnancy to be over. While pregnancy is a beautiful and magical part of life that brings us the amazing gift of a child, it can also have a lot of negative side effects. It is totally normal for women to start wanting their old body back after almost 9 months of having to share it.
While most moms will say that their pregnancy journey was totally worth every ounce of pain because it brought them their child, it’s always okay, to be honest, and admit the bad moments as well.
My friend who just gave birth was very vocal about how her body did not handle pregnancy well. She had so many food aversions that she could barely eat anything. Her body had a hard time holding such a big baby since she was a tiny girl, and she was forced to stop working and go on bed rest around 32 weeks simply because she was high-risk.
Pregnancy is not always easy and it’s not always sunshine and roses. And, moms should never be afraid to admit that they are ready for it to be over with. After all, the sooner the pregnancy is over with, the sooner they get to meet their precious baby.
References: NHS.uk, Healthline.com, Whattoexpect.com, Consumer.healthday.com, Womenshealthcaretopics.com, Justisafourletterword.com, Huggies.com, Babycenter.com, Livestrong.com, Mamanatural.com, Knocked-upFitness.com, TheBump.com, and Babycenter.com