You are 32 Weeks Exactly 56 days to go…

The best way to make sure you get enough sleep is to find ways to slow down mentally and relax.

Your baby today

The blood flow in the umbilical cord is highlighted in this image. The colors show the direction of flow. The smaller umbilical arteries that carry blood toward the placenta are seen in blue as they wrap around the more central umbilical vein (in red).

You may find that you’re having difficulty sleeping, partly because your belly makes it uncomfortable to lie down in certain positions, but also because you have lots to think about at the moment. Try to take some time out with your partner each evening relaxing and bonding together with your belly. Even spending 10 minutes doing nothing except focusing on yourself, your body, your partner, and your baby can be invigorating and rejuvenating.

Get yourself in a comfortable position, and try to focus inward on your body, turning your mind away from all your external worries. First focus on slowing down your breathing. Then turn your thoughts to a place and a time when you felt relaxed and happy—for example, when you were on vacation, walking on the beach. Next focus on clenching and then relaxing each set of muscles in turn, or imagine a ball of heat passing slowly through your limbs and body making them feel warm, heavy, and relaxed.

You might want to involve your partner, perhaps he could sit with you with his hands or head on your belly and try to adjust his breathing so it’s in sync with yours. Just lying next to your partner, even without talking, can relax you and bring you close together.

Dressing for exercise

In this last trimester, dressing appropriately for exercise can make all the difference to your activities and the way that you feel.

During pregnancy it is possible to look good in your workout clothes, while still supporting your belly and your breasts. Ensure you wear the correct size clothes—trying to squeeze into a size you outgrew three months ago will be uncomfortable and restricting.

There are some great pregnancy exercise clothes on the market, which are cut well and have ample room for your belly. If, however, you’d rather cover up while you’re exercising, just wear a large T-shirt and baggy athletic pants or loose-fitting shorts. Wear whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable.

There are some good support belts available, which may make your cardiovascular exercise that much more comfortable. If you’re carrying twins or more this will be even more of a welcome addition to your workout wardrobe. Most of the support belts are made from elasticized fabric with Velcro fastenings that can be adjusted to suit your belly size. These belts, available at many maternity stores, are inexpensive and can help ease back pain, too.

Your breasts will need additional support by this stage of pregnancy, but especially when you’re exercising. A well-fitting sports bra is vital for any activity as the delicate breast tissue can weaken due to the increased pressure of your larger and heavier breasts. If your breasts are very large, and you feel they’re unsupported by just wearing a sports bra, try wearing it on top of your usual bra.

Your 33rd Week

All prospective moms, and not just first-timers, find it difficult to envisage the future after the arrival of the baby. The imaginings, dreams, and hopes of the last few months are about to become realities—which may be very different from what you expect. You may find that it helps to concentrate on practical matters, such as the birth celebrations and future child care. You could make plans for recovering your pre-pregnancy figure. The belly won’t be with you forever, even if it feels like it!


It’s hard to imagine how life will be with a new baby

You are 32 Weeks and 1 Day 55 days to go…

If you feel you have little control over your own body, it’s natural to think your figure will never be normal again—but it will!

Your baby today

In this image the hands are folded over beneath the chin and there’s a foot up by the mouth and nose. It can look as if your baby is quite a contortionist but because he is still quite skinny, the joints allow for a great deal of flexibility.

At this stage of the third trimester, you’ll still be gaining 1–2 lb (0.5–1 kg) per week but weight gain tends to slow down in the last few weeks of pregnancy. By now, your belly will have stretched and your belly button may have popped out—this can be quite protruding and may be seen through your clothes (see Protruding navel). You may have developed a linea nigra in your second trimester, a dark line of pigmentation down the center of your abdomen .

Like most women you are probably happy and excited about having a baby but a little concerned about getting your figure back after the birth. Some women get quite upset at the thought that their abdomens may not return to their previous shape, and this is completely normal. Rest assured that with a bit of hard work and exercise and the continuation of your healthy pregnancy diet after the birth, your figure can return to its pre-pregnancy state and your belly button should pop back to its normal shape of its own accord. The key is to remember it will take a bit of time: it did, after all, take nine months to gain the weight.

… Doctor
Q: I want to work right up to the birth—is that allowed?
A: Yes. Many women do, so they don’t waste any maternity leave before baby. Check with your doctor to make sure it’s okay for you. Think carefully before making this decision. Late pregnancy can be extremely tiring and, if your job is mentally and/or physically taxing, it may be better to begin your leave before your due date. You will also need time to prepare for the arrival of your baby.
… Nutrition
Fabulous fiber

Fiber is very important in the third trimester, since it will help your digestive system work more efficiently. Dietary fiber—the indigestible part of plant foods—is the best natural way to keep the bowels regular. Most pregnant women who eat a diet based upon whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are likely to be getting enough fiber.

Pregnant women should aim for 1 oz (25 g) of fiber daily. To give a sense of what it takes to achieve this, there are around 3 g in a medium avocado or banana, or a serving of broccoli, blueberries, brown rice, or beans. Eating three or four servings of fruit a day, vegetables with your meals, and eating whole-grain breads and brown rice will provide plenty.

Fiber makes you feel fuller sooner and longer, and can help to prevent overeating and excess weight gain. It also contributes to the management of diabetes, lowers cholesterol, and decreases the risk of heart disease.

A diet rich in foods containing fiber is good for health at any time of life but especially during these three months to relieve common symptoms such as constipation. Snack on whole-grain breads and cereals.

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