Week 28

Your baby this week

2.2

POUNDS IN WEIGHT

Billions of neurons are being developed in your baby's brain.

His eyesight is improving, and he is now blinking.

Your baby will start to test his reflexes.

How big is your baby?

Your baby is now 37.6cm (14.4 in) and weighs just over 1kg (2.2Ib) – that’s the weight of a bag of sugar.

How big is your baby?

Your baby is now 37.6cm (14.4 in) and weighs just over 1kg (2.2Ib) – that’s the weight of a bag of sugar.

What does your baby look like?

By pregnancy week 28, your baby may be starting to look like he’s just about ready to be born as he is perfectly formed with everything in proportion, but he still has a lot of weight to put on before it’s really safe for him to make an entrance.

His eyesight is improving, and he is now blinking, with his eyelashes fully grown.

Changes in your body this week

You’ve made it into your 3rd trimester. You’re baby has grown a lot, and you’re probably feeling it. His length is very close to what it will be at birth, and he’s taking up a lot of room. So, you’re extremely likely to be experiencing back pain, fatigue, and having trouble keeping balance. You may have more of a struggle getting to sleep now that your front is so much bigger.

If you feel your baby making a series of small jerking movements, that means he may have a case of the hiccups.

As you move further into this final stage you notice a tightening feeling in your abdomen, or you may feel a sensation similar to period pain. These harmless muscle movements are known as Braxton Hicks contractions and they are simply the muscles of your uterus gearing up for the main event. If you notice them after intimacy with your partner, don’t be alarmed – sexual arousal releases the hormone oxytocin and this can cause the uterus to contract slightly.

How your baby is developing

Your baby’s heart, which has been beating far more rapidly than the average adult’s, is starting to slow down. It is now working at roughly 140 beats per minute, which should still be much quicker than yours.  The heartbeat can be heard with the use of a stethoscope.

Billions of neurons are being developed in your baby’s brain – this will allow him to make sense of the outside world once he is born – and from now on the brain will roughly triple in weight from around 99 grams (3.5 oz) to 300 grams (10.6 oz) at birth.

How your baby is developing

Your baby’s heart, which has been beating far more rapidly than the average adult’s, is starting to slow down. It is now working at roughly 140 beats per minute, which should still be much quicker than yours.  The heartbeat can be heard with the use of a stethoscope.

Billions of neurons are being developed in your baby’s brain – this will allow him to make sense of the outside world once he is born – and from now on the brain will roughly triple in weight from around 99 grams (3.5 oz) to 300 grams (10.6 oz) at birth.

The brain is starting to look different as well, as grooves and indentations form on the once smooth surface.

Health concerns

Around week 28 is when you will be checked for pregnancy anaemia. It therefore makes sense to be wary of your iron levels. Pregnant women need higher iron intake because of the increased amount of blood they are carrying. Many can’t keep up with the demand through diet alone, which is why tablets are often prescribed.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to boost your levels as much as possible by watching what you eat. Foods to help boost your iron levels include red meat, fish, spinach, broccoli, and fortified cereals. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, so also add red peppers, strawberries, and citrus fruit to your shopping list. Try incorporating all of these into your diet, especially if you’re feeling tired all the time, as this is a tell-tale sign that you may be anaemic.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

You may find that you’re having to urinate more frequently now your baby has grown so much that he is pushing against your bladder.

At week 28, it’s not uncommon to feel an odd sensation in your legs. When relaxing, you may feel crawling, tingling, and burning sensations in your legs, giving you the urge to move them so that the feeling goes away. If this sounds familiar to you, then it’s likely you’ve got the aptly-named restless legs syndrome (RLS). Similar to other pregnancy symptoms, RLS does not pose any danger to your baby, but it can be very annoying for you. It’s very common, too, so you’re definitely not alone in your struggle to get comfortable.

RLS can be relieved by doing leg stretches, massaging your legs, and by avoiding caffeine (even small amounts can make RLS worse, so try cutting it out completely). Iron supplements are sometimes prescribed to help RLS, so ask a healthcare professional for their advice if the symptoms are causing you trouble.

Safety first

In your third trimester, you should be able to continue with your exercise routine as normal, but you need to be aware that your bump may mean you’ll have to dial back the intensity.

For instance, even if you’ve been a confident runner and have continued throughout your second trimester, now might be the time to give yourself a well-deserved break. The extra weight your carrying may be too much for your joints and ligaments, so try bringing down the pace to a brisk walk until after you give birth.

Important issues this week

Around this time, you’re likely to be tested for pregnancy anaemia – the most common medical disorder in pregnancy. At the appointment, your haemoglobin levels will be checked. Haemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells, allowing the cells to carry oxygen around the body.

Try not to worry about the test. Pregnancy anaemia is not usually serious, but if it is severe or left untreated, it could lead to your baby being born with a low birth weight.

If the test does reveal you are suffering from anaemia, your doctor will recommend some dietary changes (discussed above) and prescribe iron tablets. Of course, these tables come with their own unpleasant side effects including constipation, nausea, and heartburn. Be warned that they can also darken the colour of you poo, turning it almost to black. Don’t be alarmed if this happens. It’s completely normal. Just continue to take the tablets as prescribed and remember to drink plenty of water to also aid your digestion system.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

If your exercise routine doesn’t already incorporate something based in the water, such as swimming or an aqua-aerobics class, then the third trimester may be the perfect time to pick this up. Because of the low intensity and low risk factor, these exercises are recommended at any stage of pregnancy. And the feeling of weightlessness that the water gives you is bound to be a very welcome sensation.

Looking forward; planning ahead

You should think about making a birth plan if you’ve not done so already.

Your birth plan will map out what you would like to happen during labour and after the birth. Your birth plan will cover important aspects of the whole process, including who you want to be in the delivery room with you and your choice of pain relief.

Making a birth plan is not compulsory, but if you do want to make one, it will help to discuss your options with your midwife and those who will be around you at the birth.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
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