28-32 Weeks

Welcome to seventh month of pregnancy!

Your Body

In weeks 28-32 of your pregnancy, you may:

Find the movement of your baby to be comforting and enjoyable. The sensation of fetal movement is different for every woman and the movement of each baby is different. If your baby seems unusually quiet, lie on your side, drink cold fluids and focus on the activity of your baby. If your baby continues to be inactive, call your health care provider.

Have back-aches – This is often due to the increased weight of the growing uterus.  There are a few steps you can take to help: try wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes; make sure you are lifting with your legs and try to maintain good posture. Your family can help too: if you have small children, encourage them to climb onto your lap instead of lifting them. Your spouse / partner can also help by giving you a massage.

Experience leg cramps – There are a few things you can do to reduce these. Try loosening heavy covers at end of bed and point your toes toward head when cramping occurs. You can also elevate your legs and rest on your left side. Regular exercise may also help – especially walking or swimming.

Have swelling in feet and ankles – drink at least six to eight glasses of fluids per day and avoid clothes that bind legs.  Call your health care provider if you have swelling in face or hands.

Notice changes in desire for sexual activity – It is normal to experience changes in your libido. Explore alternative ways of expressing affection.

Your Baby

I am about 15 inches long and I weigh two to two-and-one-half pounds. I can move my arms and legs freely. My eyes are becoming sensitive to light and I can hear, taste, and respond to your touch.

Your Checklist

1. Keep planning your baby’s arrival.

If you haven’t already, you will need to make lots of decisions about some key topics.

Your method of feeding – If you are considering breastfeeding: talk to other women you know who have successfully breastfed their infants; talk to your partner about your desire to breastfeed; try to attend a breastfeeding class or a Le Leche League meeting.

Your Baby’s Health Care Provider – Learn more about finding the right health care provider for your child or search for someone near you.

Gathering Supplies – You are also ready to gather all the supplies you will need: a crib, car seat, gowns, and sleep sacks. Educate yourself on safe baby equipment and items to avoid. Some baby equipment sold in stores can be harmful or not be helpful for your baby’s growth and development. For more information, visit greatstartkids.com and click on “Docs and Links” tab.

Child Care – For information on quality providers in your area, visit greatstarttoquality.org or call 1-877-614-7328.

Prepare a Safe Sleep Environment – Babies need to sleep on their backs, alone, and in a crib with a tight-fitting sheet and no blankets, quilts or stuffed toys. Ask your Healthy Futures nurse for more information or, visit www.michigan.gov/safesleep for more information.

Prepare a Smoke-Free Environment – A smoke-free environment – in the home and car – is something parents can do to help keep babies healthy. Quitting is seriously difficult – but you don’t have to do it alone. Find support near you.

2.  Keep up the good work on nutrition but keep in mind that nutrient requirements change in the third trimester.

Although organ development is largely complete, your baby is expected to triple in size during this time. Important nutrients during the third trimester include:

Iron: Sources of iron include lean meats, fish, dried beans, dark molasses, and enriched grains, like Malt-O-Meal and other cereals. Look for cereal that is at least 50% iron fortified. Eating a piece of fruit or other food with vitamin C can help your body absorb the iron better.

Calcium: Sources include milk, milk products, tofu, and calcium-added orange juice.

Magnesium: Sources include seeds, nuts, legumes, unmilled grains, dark green vegetables, tofu, and chili beans.

Omega-3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): sources include tuna, seafood, canola oil, flaxseed oil, and English walnuts

**A note about seafood: some products such as shark, salmon, and swordfish can be of concern during pregnancy due to their high mercury content. Talk with your health care provider about safe seafood and freshwater fish consumption during pregnancy. 

3. Talk to your health care provider about vaccinations.

The CDC recommends that women receive the Tdap vaccine (Tetanus – Diphtheria – Pertussis) between the 27th and36th week of every pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period. After you get the shot, your body creates protective antibodies and passes some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies give your baby some short-term protection against whooping cough in early life. This early protection is important because babies can’t get their own vaccine until they are two months old. Learn more.