Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Week 28 of Pregnancy

Welcome to the third trimester! You are now two-thirds of the way there. It may seem like a very long wait before you see your baby’s face but time will fly very quickly from now on. So you better get started with all that you need to do before your baby arrives! Our newborn essential checklist will help you prepare!

From this week your antenatal appointments could be every two weeks. Your blood will probably be tested again this week to see your iron levels. If low, your doctor will give you iron supplements. If you are Rh-negative, your blood will be tested to see if you have developed any rhesus antibodies. If your blood test antibody results indicate Rh incompatibility, you will be given injections of Rhesus immunoglobulin (anti-D) at the 28th and 34th weeks of your pregnancy to prevent your body from developing antibodies against your baby’s blood cells. You will also be screened for gestational diabetes. If it comes to be positive then you will have to be monitored closely for the rest of your pregnancy.



Your body

By now you may have gained a healthy 6.5-9 kg (15-20 pounds). Your uterus will be about 8 cm above your belly button. You may notice swollen ankles. Try putting your feet up when you can! As your abdomen stretches, your skin may start to itch. Always check itchiness with your doctor; it could be a sign of something more serious. You could find yourself getting short of breath as your uterus pushes up towards the rib cage. This is also the time when you need to start tracking your baby’s kicks.

You will probably notice more back pain and cramping than ever before. The added weight of your growing baby will put more pressure on your circulatory system which will make you exhausted even when doing ordinary tasks. If you experience cramps, stretching and walking around can help to alleviate the pain. Massaging your calf muscles will also help.



Your baby


Your baby measures about 37 cm from the top of his head to his toes (a crown-rump length of about 25 cm). He is beginning to fill out as weight gain speeds up. He probably weighs around 1.1kg. Your baby is now sleeping and waking at normal intervals. The skin is red and covered with vernix caseosa. Your baby movements will vary from day-to-day and be more obvious at some times than others. But, if you feel that your baby is moving much less than usual, or you are worried, contact your doctor as soon as possible. His eyes are blinking and his lashes are developed. Your baby’s senses are developing; their eyes are capable of seeing and registering the world around them. They can taste, touch and recognise your voice. Importantly, his lungs are now capable of breathing air hence, if birth occurs now your baby has a good chance of surviving with little medical intervention. Babies at this stage often lie in the foetal position- where the legs and arms are pulled towards the chest- as it’s more comfortable when the space is limited.



FAQs

1) How should I monitor my baby’s kicks?

Once your baby’s movements are well established, your doctor may advise you to keep a track of his or her movements (punches, kicks, or jabs). It is better to keep a chart of your baby’s movements so that you can keep a track of your baby’s normal pattern of movements.  Pick a time of the day when your baby is most active (usually after eating a meal). Get into a comfortable position either sitting down or lying on your side.

You should record the time it takes for your baby to make 10 movements. You should feel at least 10 movements within a two hour period. If you don’t feel your baby move 10 times by the end of 2 hours, try again later. If you still can’t feel 10 movements in 2 hours, see your doctor. Your doctor may do a non stress test to check your baby’s heart rate and movements.



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