Pregnancy Week 28: The Final Trimester
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the third and final trimester of your pregnancy. At this point, your baby is growing rapidly and getting ready for life outside the womb. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the changes you can expect in your baby and in your own body during pregnancy week 28.
How Your Baby Is Growing
Your baby is now about the size of a large eggplant, weighing in at around 2 ¼ pounds and measuring over 14 inches in length. Her eyes have developed eyelashes and can turn towards any bright light in the room. If you’re Caucasian, her eyes will likely have turned a bluish color by now, while babies of African-American, Hispanic, or Asian descent may have darker brown or grey eyes.
The good news is that your baby’s lungs are now mature enough that if she were to be born today, there is a great chance of survival. However, it’s still best for baby to stay in the womb until as late as 40-42 weeks. Your baby is also gaining weight in preparation for life outside the womb, which means her wrinkly skin will start to smooth out.
Your baby is also practicing essential skills such as hiccuping, swallowing amniotic fluid, and coughing. She is also working out her sleep cycle, including the REM cycle, which is the cycle of sleep in which humans dream. Your baby is now settling into her birthing position, with her head snugly tucked downward into your pelvis. Soon, she will be ready to meet you.
How Your Body Is Changing
As your baby grows, your body is going through changes too. You may experience sciatic pain, which is a tingling sensation that radiates down your hips and legs from your lower back. This pain can range from annoying to extremely painful, so try using a heating pad or booking an appointment with a chiropractor.
Your baby’s increased movement may also be affecting your sleep quality, especially as she exercises in the middle of the night. It’s normal to worry about how much your baby is moving. As a general rule, you should feel about ten movements from your baby within an hour. If you notice a significant change in her movements, be sure to contact your practitioner. Some babies are naturally less active, so it’s important to know what to expect for your own little one.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common pregnancy ailment that causes a tingly or “creepy-crawly” feeling in your lower extremities. Women with RLS often describe feeling like they can’t stop moving their legs, and this sensation can be particularly intense in the evening hours. While it’s not clear what causes RLS, limiting your caffeine intake, stretching, and massaging your legs can be helpful. For most women, RLS goes away after delivery.
Your doctor will likely want to see you twice per month at this stage and will monitor your urine, measure your belly and weight. He may also begin blood tests for significant STDs and any other concerns that you or your baby may be at risk for.
Things To Do During Pregnancy Week 28
During pregnancy week, it’s important to start planning for after your baby is born. This includes choosing a pediatrician for your baby, whom you will likely see for the first few days after birth. Get recommendations from trusted friends and family members with children. You and your partner should also make a decision about circumcision if your baby is a boy. Opinions on circumcision vary, so do some research and make an informed decision that you feel is best for your baby.
Cord blood banking is another option to consider, and you should talk to your doctor about your options. Mothers who choose cord blood banking store blood from the baby’s umbilical cord after delivery. They then pay a facility to safely store the collected blood, which can be used in cases of blood and immune diseases.
It’s also a great time to schedule childbirth classes, which may fill up quickly and require advanced notice to be admitted. Your doctor may also be able to recommend a breastfeeding class. Check with your insurance to see if the cost of your classes could be covered. It’s completely normal to feel some anxiety about labor and delivery, especially if this is your first child. It can be helpful to research what to expect and read positive birth stories from other women to help calm any fears.
In conclusion, pregnancy week 28 marks the final trimester of your pregnancy. Your baby is growing rapidly and preparing for life outside the womb, while your body may be experiencing new changes and symptoms. Planning for life after your baby is born, including choosing a pediatrician and considering cord blood banking, is important at this stage. With careful planning and monitoring, you can look forward to the birth of your new bundle of joy with confidence.