This week everyone is well and truly in practice mode. Baby is honing their latest skills and settling into their final position while your body is making big strides towards getting ready for the big day too.
Your Baby in Week 32 of Pregnancy
In addition to continuing to grow Baby is also busily practicing some of their new skills that will be most helpful once they make into the outside world. Swallowing, breathing, blinking, sucking and lots and lots of stretching and kicking are keeping them occupied between naps, basically any of the things they will continue to do in their first weeks of life on the outside.
By this week Baby has probably settled into the head down, bottom up position they should ideally be in in preparation for birth. This is the better position for both Mum and Baby as their head fits far better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. In about five percent of pregnancies Baby is stubborn and by the time they are ready to leave their old home they are still facing feet down and some form of medical intervention will be called for. However, if Baby has not flipped yet do not panic, there is still plenty of time for them to do so, even in the ever tightening confines of your uterus.
Having brought up the subject though we should discuss what might happen if Baby does seem to be refusing to cooperate as your due date gets closer. On the low tech side of things your OB may have you try specific exercises like extra pelvic tilts or assuming the knee-chest position by kneeling on the floor and bending over to coax Baby into turning around.
Another option is for your practitioner to try a procedure that is known as external version. This is is a procedure usually attempted in week 37 or 38, before labor begins, or even in some case very early in labor. With the aid of ultrasound your OB would apply their hands to your abdomen and gently try to turn the baby around (the baby is monitored constantly during all of this though, to make sure all is OK)
The procedure usually works for about half of first time Mums and the rate of success is much higher in the case of those ladies who have given birth before – around 90%. If all else fails the doctor will discuss a c-section as a feet first birth is possible, but risky, and only some practitioners are willing to allow you to even attempt a vaginal birth.
Although some may have already experienced some from this week on you will probably have to deal with a new wrinkle – ‘practice’ contractions that are formally known as Braxton Hicks. These are being caused by pregnancy hormones that are very slowly sending ‘instruction’ signals to prepare your body for birth.
Basically a Braxton Hicks contraction is a definite tightening sensation that starts at the top of your uterus and then radiates downward. They usually last for about thirty seconds but some may linger for two minutes or more.
How do you tell these practice moves apart from the real thing? They will stop if you change position, so if you are sitting stand up and walk, or vice versa. You can however use Braxton Hicks to get in some practice of your own, when it comes to using the proper breathing techniques that you have been learning. If hubby is around have him join in as well.
How often a woman experiences Braxton Hicks in the weeks leading up to giving birth varies a great deal. However, if you experience more than four in an hour or they are accompanied by a rush of discharge you should probably make a check in call to your OB, so that they can help determine that these are just the signs of pre labour and not the real thing!
Tips for the 32nd Week of Pregnancy – Finding Your Next New Doctor
By 32 weeks pregnant you are probably thoroughly sick and tired of doctor’s offices, even if you have the best doctor in the world. However this week is a great time for you to start looking for a new one, but not for yourself, for your baby.
With all of the excitement that will be coming up very soon when Baby is born there will be very little time for anything other than taking care of Baby and sleeping, so making this very important decision well in advance will mean that you know exactly where to take Baby for their first check up and there will be one less thing to fit into your busy schedule. In the advent that you were to give birth earlier than expected, and Baby needed extra care having a pediatrician already selected for them to help coordinate care would be comfort as well.
When choosing a doctor for your baby there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Reputation is very important, so asking around for recommendations is always a good idea. Proximity to your home might be consideration as well, especially as Baby will be scheduled for more than a few checkups over the first few months of life at least.
You may want to consider the long term picture as well. Many kids, as they get older and head into their toddler year develop an aversion to strangers and often it really helps if a child can have a doctor – who in themselves can be a very scary person for a kid as they are the ones who wield nasty needles and cold stethoscopes – they are familiar with to take care for them throughout their adolescence. Therefore you may also want to consider things like whether the doctor’s office has practice hours outside of school hours and on Saturdays, which will also be a big help to you if you will be going back to work. Thinking that far ahead may seem a little crazy at first but you will be surprised how fast time flies!