32 Weeks Pregnant

What’s happening this week

Your baby…

  • weighs about 1.7kg
  • lanugo (fine hair covering the body) is beginning to fall off
  • may seem to squirm rather than kick you now – he’s got less space to move around in
  • most of the wrinkles are disappearing from the face.

You…

  • may notice more Braxton Hicks contractions
  • may begin to feel tired and uncomfortable and your sleep may be disturbed because of your baby’s activity
  • haemorrhoids may develop.

It’s a good idea to prepare yourself for what may happen in labour and immediately after the birth. Your LMC may run through an antenatal feeding checklist and your birth plan with you about now to make sure you have a chance to talk about anything you want to.

Packing your bag for hospital: checklist

If you’re going to a maternity unit, it’s a good idea to pack two bags, one for labour and the other for afterwards. Here’s our suggestions for what to put in them:

Labour

  • baggy T shirt or large shirt (one of your partner’s?) to wear in labour
  • warm socks and a cardigan (some women suddenly feel chilly when they’re in strong labour)
  • hairbrush
  • hair bands to keep your hair off your face
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • face cloth
  • lip salve
  • unscented massage oil (baby needs to smell like mum whe he’s born!)
  • high-energy snacks for you and your labour partner (sandwiches, bananas, nuts)
  • fruit drinks for both of you
  • magazines, jigsaws, games (for early first stage)
  • camera and film and batteries, or ensure camera is charged
  • iPod and docking station if you have one.

Afterwards (second bag)

  • pyjamas and light dressing gown (postnatal wards are hot)
  • loose trousers and baggy top
  • wash bag with make-up, deodorant, brush
  • large-size maternity pads
  • nursing bra and breast pads
  • nappies and clothes for your baby
  • coins for phone/mobile phone
  • books/magazines

Having another ‘growth’ scan?

You may be asked to come for an extra scan if:

    • you are diabetic
    • have had a lot of sickness during your pregnancy
    • have a medical condition
    • are a heavy smoker
    • are expecting twins
    • the height of your uterus does not seem to correspond with the number of weeks you are pregnant.

It’s to check that all is fine and to make sure your baby’s still growing well.

Your labour partner

Some women don’t want their partner with them – they may feel he’s needed more at home looking after older children, or they may want to feel able to shout and scream as much as they like in labour with another woman who understands just how they feel!

Others want the baby’s father to be with them throughout the whole experience. It’s worth talking things through with your partner. Some fathers know they want to be there, others are not really sure. If your partner wants to opt out and pace the corridor, think about who else you would like to be with you.Perhaps your mother or your sister? How about a close friend?

Of course you will have a LMC with you during labour but it’s worthwhile having someone else with you who can hold your hands, rub your back and remind you why you are doing all this!

Apgar Score?  What’s that?

Your baby will be checked at birth, and then again after the first five minutes, and given a score called the Apgar score.  The test is named after the doctor who first developed this checklist to give a quick picture of a new baby’s condition and help medical staff decide whether special care or some other help was needed.  Your baby is checked on:

Appearance (colour) – 0 for pale, 1 for pink with blue hands and feet, 2 for pink all over.

Pulse (heartbeat) – 0 if none can be found, 1 for a heartbeat below 100, 2 for a heartbeat above 100 beats per minute.

Grimace (a response to stimulation) – 0 if no response, 1 if the baby grimaces, 2 if the baby responds with a strong cry.

Activity (muscle tone) – 0 if the baby is weak or shows no activity, 1 if the baby shows some limited movement, 2 for strong movements.

Respiration (breathing) – 0 for none, 1 for slow and irregular breaths, 2 for good (usually involving crying!).

When the numbers are added up, the highest score is 10.

  • Babies with an Apgar score of below 4 may need special care.
  • Babies with an Apgar score of between 4 and 6 may need resuscitation – medical staff will often clear out their airways and give oxygen to help them breathe.
  • Babies with an Apgar score of 7 or better should do fine.  Babies with scores below 7 may receive extra help.
  • Apgar scores do not accurately reflect long term outcomes.