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Pregnancy Week 32

What to expect when you’re 32 weeks pregnant

Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
pregnancy marker head of lettuce

Baby development at 32 weeks pregnant

Feeling the need to clean, organize and prep? That’s your nesting instinct kicking in. As your baby’s arrival nears, you are likely taking care of the outstanding items on your to-do list.

Your 32 week baby now measures more than 16 inches long and is the size of a head of lettuce.

At 32 weeks pregnant, your baby is most likely already head-down in your uterus. In about 97% of pregnancies, this happens between weeks 29 and 36. If your baby is still not in the right position, there is still time for them to get head-down.

This week, the baby’s organs are fully formed, and they’re practicing breathing, blinking and swallowing. Their once-transparent skin is now opaque.

Week 32 pregnant belly

At 32 weeks pregnant, not much has changed physically and most likely won’t during the remaining weeks of your third trimester. You may find that you get winded and tired easily, heartburn may be frequent, and those aches and pains are lingering.

Common pregnancy symptoms at 32 weeks

As you march closer to your delivery date, your body has been prepping. From leaking breasts to Braxton Hicks contractions, your body is working just as hard as your little baby’s.

  • Constipation: If you’re experiencing constipation, it’s a good time to up your fiber intake. Don’t forget to move around. Light exercise can help, too!
  • Varicose veins: These bumpy, purple veins are normal in pregnancy. They’re caused when your circulatory system experiences an increase in pressure.
  • Pain in pelvic region: Your body is preparing for labor, and part of that involves a loosening of the joints and ligaments around your pelvic bone that may make you more prone to discomfort.
  • Overall discomfort: You may experience more discomfort as you get further along in your pregnancy. After all, your belly has become quite crowded, and your baby is becoming more and more active. Light exercise, like yoga, may help relieve your discomfort.
  • Pregnancy brain: While research on the legitimacy of “pregnancy brain” remains mixed, a Mayo Clinic study showed that cognitive functions, including memory, were notably poorer in pregnant participants. So, the next time you walk into a room and forget why you walked in there to begin with, don’t fret. Blame your “pregnancy brain.”
  • Braxton Hicks: Also known as false labor, Braxton Hicks is a practice round for your body and does not indicate the start of real labor. You may feel slight discomfort with Braxton Hicks, but it should be tolerable.

pregnant woman laying down holding belly

Pregnancy checklist at 32 weeks pregnant

At this point, you’re heading to the doctor every two weeks for routine prenatal checkups. Your doctor may order additional testing if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

Reminders for
Week 32
  • Choose a breast pump. If you plan to use one, check to see what options your insurance plan covers. Determine which type and style you want to use and look into accompanying accessories, like hands-free pumping tools.
  • Pick out gear. If there are items you haven’t already purchased or received as a gift, go out and get them now. Important things to have on hand when your baby arrives are:
    • Infant seat
    • Stroller
    • Diaper bag
    • Bassinet
    • Diapers and wipes
    • Towels, swaddles and burp cloths
  • Make a practice trip to the hospital. Do you know the route you will take when it’s time to head to the hospital? It’s a good idea to make a practice run (or two) to ensure you and your baby arrive on time.

Explore pregnancy by week
Week 31 | Week 33


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Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.