Welcome to Scary Mommy’s pregnancy week by week guide! We’re here to give you all the info about what to expect when you’re expecting: be it week by week symptoms, your baby’s development, your changing body, or ultrasounds and appointments. Here’s everything you need to know about week 32.
Your Body at Week 32 Pregnant
Your Breasts Are a Hub of Activity
In addition to the possibility that your breasts have begun leaking colostrum, they may also be going through a few other key changes. Hormones that affect the pigmentation of skin could be causing your nipples and areolas to darken. Fun fact? Some theorize this is because babies can only really recognize light and dark when they are first born and need to find your nipple to breastfeed. Similarly, your nipples may stick out more. And, per the norm these days, you’re likely experiencing tenderness, hypersensitivity, and heaviness.
Leg Cramps Are No Joke
It’s common to suffer from leg cramps in the later stages of pregnancy, especially the third trimester. Per the American Pregnancy Association, nearly half of all pregnant women experience these muscle spasms in their legs. Pregnancy weight gain, changes in circulation, pressure from baby on your nerves — there are several possible reasons you could get leg cramps while pregnant. If your cramps are severe, give your doctor a call. Otherwise, there are interventions you can try, like elevating your legs and applying heat.
Your (Blood) Volume Is Increasing
You could be continuing to gain around a pound per week at 32 weeks pregnant but give your body a break — it’s holding 40 to 50 percent more blood than normal in order to accommodate both you and baby. This is also crucial to make up for the inevitable blood loss during delivery.
Your Baby at Week 32 Pregnant
Your sweet fetus is now the size of a box of cereal. They measure over 16 inches long and weigh between 3 ½ and 4 ½ pounds. If your baby was born at 32 weeks pregnant they would be considered moderately preterm. However, babies born after 32 weeks pregnant have a very high survival rate and typically don’t experience long-term complications.
So Long, See-Through Skin!
As more fat accumulates under your baby’s skin, your little embryo evolves further in its journey from see-through sea monkey to nearly-newborn-looking baby. Their skin is now opaque and smoothing out even more.
Baby’s Lungs Need a Little More Time to Bake
While it’s true your baby would likely be fine if born right now, their lungs won’t be fully developed for a few more weeks. As they continue to mature, baby is practicing breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid. Strange but true? Baby might develop a preference for the foods you eat, which they’re sampling when they swallow that amniotic fluid.
Your Symptoms and Health at Week 32 Pregnant
It’s Getting Harder to Breathe
Ah, shortness of breath… your old nemesis. By now, if baby hasn’t dropped, your uterus can be measured about five inches above your belly button. With that growing pressure being placed on your diaphragm, shortness of breath may feel more pronounced than ever. Unfortunately, that same growing pressure can also lead to more heartburn, too.
Dreaming Is Intense
Buckle up, because your dreams are about to take you on a wild ride (if they aren’t already). Per the American Pregnancy Association, changes in your mental, emotional, and physical states during pregnancy — coupled with disrupted sleep patterns and increased hormone production — can cause “pregnancy dreams.” These are typically very vivid and intense, often even venturing into nightmare territory. Spoiler alert: Thanks to all those hormones coursing through your body, these intense dreams might even be a little, ahem, naughty.
A dream journal could be a fun way to track and compare dreams between pregnancies, or to analyze the meaning of your pregnancy dreams.
Your Cravings May Wane
Depending on whether you’ve struggled with morning sickness during your pregnancy, your appetite may have been calling the shots up to this point. This makes sense, because your body is adjusting to providing your baby’s nourishment. But as you settle into your third trimester, your appetite could wane. Baby is so big now that your uterus is putting added pressure on your other internal organs. Basically, there just isn’t a whole lotta room left in your belly. Unfortunately, this might cause a late-pregnancy bout of nausea. To offset queasiness (and make sure baby is getting all the nourishment they need), try eating small snacks and meals throughout the day.
There Will Be Discharge
It’s an oft-unspoken truth that all women have some sort of vaginal discharge. It starts just before puberty and won’t end until after menopause. But you’ll see a marked increase in vaginal discharge during your third trimester — just another sign your body is preparing for childbirth. It’s usually clear or milky white and shouldn’t have any unpleasant smell. Let your doctor know if you suspect you’ve passed your mucus plug, though.
Your babies are around 4 pounds now…isn’t it crazy how fast they’re growing?! Then again, you have the physical evidence right in front of you, so maybe it’s not so crazy to you. At this point, the rapid growth of your twins means your skin is stretched to the max. Well, not really the max since your bump will stretch some more, but you know what we mean. Stretched skin might be dry or itchy so make sure you’re moisturizing that bump regularly and drinking plenty of water.
If the ‘pregnancy dreaming’ mentioned above is interrupting your sleep, it might be comforting to know that your twins could actually be dreaming, too. At 32 weeks old, babies in the womb spend most of their time alternating between rapid eye movement sleep and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is the period of sleep where most humans dream. Since most people dream about what they’re already familiar with, your babies could be dreaming about your voice, or even more adorably, each other! Pass the tissues, please.
The contents of this article have been medically reviewed by Ruth A. Tessler, M.D. in July, 2019.
Written by Julie Sprankles.
Follow Preggo Nancy’s pregnancy journey week-by-week and share in her joy, her symptoms, and even her pregnancy cravings.