At 28 weeks pregnant you're finally in the home stretch! The third and final trimester starts this week.
Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, with his head facing downward. You may feel pretty tired and uncomfortable by now, but you should feel content in the knowledge that you are nearly there.
28 weeks pregnant: Your Baby
Your baby is now about 2.5 pounds and almost 16 inches long head to toe – about the size of an aubergine! He's busy blinking as well as coughing and more intense sucking and hiccuping. At about this time, he can open his eyes and turn his head in your uterus (womb) if he notices a bright light shining from the outside. By 28 weeks pregnant, layers of fat are also beginning to form on your baby's body and he's practising strong breathing so he take his first few gulp of air when he begins life outside the womb.
28 weeks pregnant: You
You may begin experiencing sciatica at 28 weeks pregnant, a sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in your buttocks and radiates down the back of your legs. The pain can be really strong but will then pass if your baby moves out of the position he's in. Some women experience a weaker version of sciatica which is a tingling leg pain. Sometimes the tingling feeling will be relieved when you move, if you are currently experiencing this it is probably Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).
If you're finding yourself experiencing bouts of RLS at 28 weeks pregnant, try running or massaging your legs when it occurs. Some people believe cutting down on coffee and tea may also help, as caffeine is thought to sometimes make the symptoms of RLS worse. A heated towel or pad, a warm bath, some stretches, or just rest can also help with the discomfort.
28 weeks pregnant: Other symptoms
You may also be experiencing:
- Tender lumps in your breasts; this is common during the third trimester. Ask your health care provider for a breast exam at your next check-up.
- Weight gain; you are probably gaining about a pound per week this trimester, if you’re like the average woman.
- Back pain; Your baby is probably getting settled into position for birth in your pregnancy; week 28.
Your baby absorbs most of his iron stores during the third trimester, so eat lots of iron-rich foods: chicken, beans, spinach, tofu, beef and enriched cereals.
Pregnancy week 28: visits and tests
At 28 weeks pregnant it is normal to be visiting the midwife every two weeks. By 36 weeks pregnant this will change to weekly visits.
Your practitioner may recommend repeating blood tests for HIV and syphilis now, depending on your risk level. They may also test you for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. About this time you'll also be given a glucose tolerance test if your glucose screening test result was high.
And if your blood tests at your prenatal visit showed you are Rh negative, you'll get an injection of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent your body from developing antibodies that could attack your baby's blood. (If your baby is Rh positive, you'll receive another shot of Rh immunoglobulin after you give birth.)
Pregnancy week 28: antenatal preparations
Antenatal classes take place at your local hospital or at your doctor's surgery. Sign up early so you can finish a few weeks before your due date. Classes should also include infant care, CPR and breastfeeding. If you have already had a baby, there are also classes to help with your technique; if you have had a caesarean (VBAC) in the past and would like to try to have a vaginal birth there are classes to prepare for this, as well as classes for parents having twins or triplets.
At 28 weeks pregnant the birth of your little one is not far off and you may be feeling restless and perhaps more nervous. Checking off things on your to-do list can help. Start choosing possible baby names and making plans for life after the birth. You can also continue with reading about caring for your newborn and if you're planning to breastfeed then begin by looking at guides on the best methods to do this.