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First trimester weeks

Congrats! During the first trimester, you’re getting used to the idea of being pregnant.

Second trimester weeks

As you enter this second trimester, your body will settle down to pregnancy.

Third trimester weeks

You've reached the third and final trimester and will be heavily pregnant by now.

Week 33 of Pregnancy

It's hard to imagine how life will be with a new baby.
All prospective moms, and not just first-timers, find it difficult to envisage the future after the arrival of the baby. The imaginings, dreams, and hopes of the last few months are about to become realities-which may be very different from what you expect. You may find that it helps to concentrate on practical matters, such as the birth celebrations and future child care. You could make plans for recovering your pre-pregnancy figure. The belly won't be with you forever, even if it feels like it!

32 Weeks, 2 Days

54 days to go...

ultrasound of human fetus 32 weeks and 2 days

Your baby today

During this week your baby's fingernails have become fully developed and now approach the tips of the fingers. Bathed in amniotic fluid, the nails are kept very soft: it's only after birth that your baby might tend to scratch and need to wear mittens.

Every 40 minutes, your baby swallows enough amniotic fluid to fill his stomach, before emptying it back into the amniotic sac.

Your baby is swallowing and recycling almost half a liter of amniotic fluid each day. In addition to providing him with nutrients, especially proteins, this fluid is important for the healthy development of the gut. Your baby's sense of taste is thought to have developed to such an extent now that if you have eaten spiced food he can distinguish this in the fluid he drinks.

Amniotic fluid does not enter the lungs but travels down the esophagus into the stomach where it is stored for a short time. At this stage, the stomach fills every 40 minutes, but, from 35 weeks, as the stomach enlarges, this rate slows down to every 80 minutes. Muscle contractions move the fluid in waves into the small and then large bowel. As it travels along the bowel, water is reabsorbed so that only waste material or "meconium," enters the colon, the final section of the large bowel. This meconium accumulates in the large bowel, which is completely full by the time your baby is born. Babies don't usually pass meconium before the birth but do so soon after. Meconium consists mainly of skin cells, lanugo hairs, and vernix. It has a greenish color due to the presence of bilirubin, a breakdown product from red blood cells.

Itchy skin

Having itchy skin on your belly is common: as the skin there stretches and thins, it can become dry. You could try using a moisturizing lotion to soothe this.

If, however, you have severe itching on your abdomen, or on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet, see your doctor. This itching can be a sign of obstetric cholestasis, a rare pregnancy condition involving the liver, which causes bile salts to enter the bloodstream, making the skin (especially on the hands and feet) itchy, although there is no rash. The condition may also cause a vitamin K deficiency. Vitamin K helps the blood to clot, so a deficiency increases the risk of bleeding for both mother and baby. Medication to bind the bile salts and vitamin K supplements are effective treatments. Some studies suggest early induction of labor (at around 37 weeks) helps avoid complications. The condition resolves after delivery, usually without any long-term liver damage.

Focus On... The birth

False alarms

In the next few weeks, as you and your partner await your baby's arrival, you may experience one or two false alarms, especially if it's your first baby. A false alarm can come at any time of the day or night and it won't respect important meetings or deadlines.

It can help if you-as well as your partner-familiarize yourself with all the signs that indicate labor may be starting (see Approaching Labor). If, however, you're ever in doubt, do contact your doctor to ascertain that labor has not started, rather than assuming that this is the case. She will be very experienced in dealing with false alarms and won't mind you contacting her.

32 Weeks, 2 Days

54 days to go...

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