Week 32 of Pregnancy: What's Going On Inside

Week 32 of Pregnancy: What's Going On Inside

Topic Overview

Around this time, some women start to notice times when their belly tightens and becomes firm to the touch and then relaxes. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions. Think of them like "warm-up" exercises for your uterus.

At this point, your baby is getting ready to do a very important thing it will need to do in the outside world: breathe.

Wondering what your baby looks like now? As you enter your ninth month of pregnancy, your baby is about the size of an acorn squash. Average baby length is 280 mm (11 in.). And average baby weight is 1700 g (3.7 lb).

How your baby is changing

Here are some of the important facts and developments around 32 weeks.

  • The fetus is putting on a lot of weight this month.
  • At this size, a fetus is still small enough to change position a lot—from head-down to feet-down, or even sideways. You will notice more movement or less movement at certain times of the day and night.
  • By 32 weeks of pregnancy, light can dilate the pupils in the eyes.
  • The lungs and central nervous system are working well enough that a baby born this month can breathe and keep fairly warm with medical support. With every additional week, the chances of healthy survival get better.

Credits

Current as of: June 16, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
William Gilbert MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine

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