The 28th week is a big week of pregnancy– the beginning of the third trimester and a time of rapid weight gain and your belly moving down.

You’re gaining weight quickly now and the fetus is also growing rapidly, gaining up to 0.06lb (28gm) per day. Your belly will change its shape, dropping down as the baby turns in a downward position for birth. You’re likely going to gain an average of 10lb during the final trimester.

28-weekYour baby’s growth

  • Body size: In the 28th week, your baby measures about 14.5 inches (370mm) and weighs about 2.8 pounds (1.3kg). Your baby is still surrounded by amniotic fluid, which will decrease as it gains weight.
  • Head characteristics: Your baby may be able to open its eyes and blink. Once your baby is born, its eyes will be closed most of the time and its vision will be quite blurry as it learns how to focus on objects. It will take about a year for the vision to develop fully.
  • Body appearance: Your baby continues to gain weight and additional layers of fat are added constantly. From the 28th to the 35th week of your pregnancy, your baby will gain about 0.42lb (196gm) per week.
  • Internal organs: This week your baby learns to expand and contract its diaphragm, which can give it hiccups that feel like sudden tickles in your uterus. Your baby starts to nap regularly for 20 to 30 minutes and finds its own routine.

What Happens Inside Your Body?
The mood swings, which you experienced in the early weeks of pregnancy, are back. This is because your progesterone levels are higher than ever and they will continue to rise until birth.

Your increased weight–about 19 pounds (9kg) by now–may be giving you a variety of problems such as back pain, leg and foot cramps, and edema. Finding a good sleeping position would be a difficult task and you’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with cramps. Go for a warm bath or get a prenatal massage to soothe the pain.

Urinary Incontinence
Find yourself losing bladder control? Your uterus is pressing on the bladder, stretching its muscles, and causing incontinence that will likely get worse as the pregnancy progresses. Practicing your Kegels as often as possible (at least twice a day) will get rid of incontinence

How Different Will You Look?

  • You’re gaining weight quickly now, and your belly is becoming rounder.
  • Your uterus is starting to move down, and is around three inches above your navel. As the progesterone and other pregnancy hormones kick in, relaxing your ligaments and muscles, your belly will start to feel looser and you may be able to move your belly up and down.
  • Your rapid weight gain is constantly shifting your center of balance, and it may make you feel clumsy and more likely to fall.
  • Try not to wear high heels from now until the baby is born; they won’t help your swollen ankles and feet.

Tips To Help You Sail Through The Trimester
Easing foot pain:
Due to the rapid weight gain, edema and increased blood flow, your feet will feel sore. As the little one uses up your calcium reserves, you may find the cramps worsen. Muscle cramps can also be caused by too much phosphorus, a mineral found in soft drinks, fast foods and processed meat. To reduce them:

  • Avoid sodas and junk food
  • Take calcium or magnesium supplements
  • Continue to take your pregnancy vitamins (which should contain extra calcium)
  • Eat foods high in calcium, such as dairy products, canned salmon, sardines or mackerel, greens, spinach, kale and broccoli
  • If the cramps are keeping you up at night or are too intense to handle, talk to your doctor

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Pregnancy & Babycare here.

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