Pregnancy Calendar Week 28
YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 28
Welcome to your third trimester! Your baby is now around 3 pounds and 16 inches long. Nowadays, her sniffer is fully operational, so she’s taking in all the smells from her mom’s diet. And your little one’s lungs are almost done developing, making this a time when she could actually survive outside of your womb. As you begin the home stretch toward delivery, it’s certainly a happy time; however, pregnancy and pain continue to go hand in hand.
At 28 weeks pregnant, discomfort and distress from back pain, tingling in your legs and dizzy spells may be ruling the day.
During months 7 through 9, most expecting mothers find themselves coping with a very common, painful pregnancy symptom called sciatica.Sciatica is a set of symptoms that typically includes pain in the lower back and buttocks along with shooting pains, numbness and tingling that radiates down the back of the legs.The reason that sciatica may be plaguing you is because your growing uterus is putting more pressure on your sciatic nerve, one of the longest nerves in the body that connects the spinal cord to the pelvis and legs. If this nerve gets pinched— because of your expanding belly or as your baby begins shifting into her birth position—you’re likely to suffer from sciatica.To help ease your pain, try these tips:
- Take the pressure off when you sleep or lie down by propping your legs up with pillows.
- Apply a heating pad to places where you’re feeling the pain.
- Take a warm (not hot) bath to help relax your muscles and reduce discomfort.
- Get a prenatal massage.
- Take a pain medication like ibuprofen, which is safe during pregnancy.
Feeling dizzy these days? While the disorienting feeling of lightheadedness can sometimes come on strong now, the good news is that this completely normal pregnancy symptom is usually not a cause for concern.The main cause of any dizziness you’re experiencing is likely a lack of adequate blood flow to your brain.Generally, your cardiovascular system does a fine job of adjusting to the changes it experiences in pregnancy, including the increase in your blood supply and pumping more of that blood throughout your body. But, sometimes it isn’t able to keep up, which can leave you feeling like you’re going to faint.Other factors can contribute, too, including anemia, low blood sugar levels, intolerance for heat and standing up too quickly.Here’s what you can do to help keep dizzy spells from happening or deal with them when they do:
- Lie down right when you begin to feel faint. Elevate your legs to rush in more blood to your brain. If you can’t lie down, sit down and bend forward as far as possible.
- Get up slowly from sitting or lying down.
- Keep blood sugar levels stable by eating protein-rich foods at every meal.
- Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
- Start workouts slowly and don’t overdo it with excessive exercise.
- Avoid getting overheated by staying in on hot days, avoiding stuffy rooms and dressing in layers so you can shed them when you start feeling too warm.
If you’ve recently fallen, or if dizziness is becoming frequent and severe, contact your doctor to discuss it.If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms along with lightheadedness, call your doctor right away—you may be suffering from a serious condition or preeclampsia:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Heart palpitations
- Blurred vision
- Impaired speech
- Severe headaches
- Tingling in the limbs
- Vaginal bleeding
In the 28th week of pregnancy, your baby has a new sensation that’s keeping her stimulated and it’s exciting to know that she’s grown to a point where she could survive on her own.
Your baby can smell. Leading up to this point, your baby’s nasal cavities have been all plugged up by tissues. But, they’ve cleared up now, giving your baby her newfound sense of smell. As amniotic fluid flushes through her nasal cavities, your baby’s olfactory cells are connecting to molecules that bind with her olfactory nerve, which leads to her brain and gives her the ability to smell everything that you’re eating or inhaling. So, now’s a good time to be extra selective about the foods you’re eating and the scents you’re taking in. Whatever they are, chances are good that your baby will like them when she gets here!
Your baby could survive if she was born now. With your baby’s lungs and body systems more fully developed, your little one has a high likelihood of surviving if she were born today. And, she’s matured enough that chances are very good that she wouldn’t have any physical or neurological impairments. But, if you went into preterm labor now, your baby’s lungs would likely lack an adequate amount of surfactant, so respiratory distress could occur. Continue to take good care of yourself with a healthy diet, daily exercise and stress management to ensure you go full term with your baby.
Diet and Exercise Tips You Should Follow
To keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 28:
Spice up your food for baby’s health. With your baby being able to smell now, add spices to your food. After digestion they will diffuse into your amniotic fluid and your baby will grow to appreciate them. Almost all spices are great antioxidants, so they’re good food choices for life.
Make brisk walking a part of your daily routine. Keep up your walking regimen with a brisk walk every day. Here in your third trimester, it’s one of the best ways to continue getting the exercise you and your baby need. If you walk outside, avoid rugged terrain and hiking trails that could knock you off balance.
Things You Should Do
- Schedule your third trimester prenatal doctor visits.
- If you’re planning to breastfeed, buy or borrow some nursing tops and nightgowns.
Words You Should Know
Full Term Baby:
A baby born after the 36th week of pregnancy.
Kept in late pregnancy, this is a record of the number of times a baby moves during a certain period of time.
Dropping of the baby lower into the pelvis in the weeks prior to birth.
A baby born before the 37th week of pregnancy.