It's the official start of the third trimester — congratulations!

You may not always feel like celebrating if you're dealing with common week 28 symptoms like back pain and sciatica. Hopefully, though, you're still fairly comfortable now that you're in month 7 of pregnancy.

Baby is getting more skilled by the day and can now blink and even dream. And that's only the beginning ...

Your Baby at Week 28

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It’s week 28 and from here on out there will start to be small differences in the rate of growth depending on your whether your baby-to-be is a boy or girl — a bouncing blue bruiser is likely to grow bigger and heavier than a princess playing on team pink. Genetics and other factors also weigh on how fast a baby grows and how big she will ultimately be on arrival.

So while on average, a 28-weeker is around two and a half pounds and almost 16 inches tall, your little one may currently be longer, shorter, heavier, or less tubby. As long she continues to get good reports at those prenatal checkups, you can rest assured your baby’s on the right track and in the right range for growth.

Your minute miracle has added another trick to her repertoire…hiccupping. If you haven’t yet, you’ll not only be able to feel hiccups on the inside, as little rhythmic twitches — you’ll be seeing them on the outside, too, making your belly shake like a bowl of jelly. These tiny spasms are thought to be caused by the sudden, irregular contraction of the immature diaphragm, which is still trying to gear up for life outside the womb by practicing the ins and outs of breathing.

Some babies hiccup several times a day every day, others not so much — but you’re bound to feel those adorable twitches every so often — and an ultrasound might pick that little chest heaving from the hiccups, too. Entertaining for you, and happily, not uncomfortable for baby.

Another activity that can be picked up: REM or rapid eye movement. Those tiny flutters of baby’s eyes suggests that she’s is dreaming away, since REM is considered the “dream” phase of sleep — but there’s no way of knowing what’s on your little one’s mind — or what, if anything, she might be dreaming of. What we do know is that sleep cycles are coming at more regular times… meaning that your sweet sleepyhead is developing a more regular pattern of sleeping and wakefulness.

Problem is, your on-the-go movements lull her to sleep during the day, keeping her awake and raring to go just when you’re settling down for the night. Still, there’s nothing more satisfying than feeling your amazing miracle summersault and stretch inside of you. Plus, as they say, baby’s keeping you up with those antics now is good preparation for after she’s born…and when every night’s a night to howl.

Want more satisfaction? Though the bun in your oven is far from being fully baked, her chances of survival outside the womb are at least 90 percent at this point.

At a Glance

Your little dreamer
Your baby begins to experience REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which means it’s very likely your little one is dreaming!
Baby can blink
So far, your baby’s eyes have been shut tight. Now, your little sweetie can open and close those beautiful eyes, complete with brand new fluttering eyelashes.
Making faces
Fetuses often stick out their tongues at this age. No one is sure exactly why, but it’s possible that your baby is tasting your amniotic fluid.

28 weeks pregnant is how many months?

If you're 28 weeks pregnant, you're in month 7 of your pregnancy. Only 2 months left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.

How big is my baby at 28 weeks? 

Your little work-in-progress now weighs about 2¼ pounds and is almost 15 inches long when measured head to toe.

Baby's getting into position

Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, which will be head-down toward your body's nearest exit! 

Baby is busy these days blinking — outside in the real world, blinking is necessary to help keep foreign objects out of the eyes. That skill is just one of an already impressive repertoire of tricks she's working on, like coughing, more intense sucking, hiccupping and, perhaps most important, better breathing.

Baby might be dreaming

Dreaming about your baby at 28 weeks pregnant? Your baby may be dreaming about you too. Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase — the stage when dreaming occurs.

Your Body at Week 28

baby size at 28 weeks pregnant

Sciatica (tingling leg pain)

This is it — at 28 weeks pregnant, you're two-thirds of the way to the finish line as you enter the third trimester. And what a difference a trimester makes!

Gone, most likely, are the days when you could call pregnancy "comfortable" — that is, if you ever did. Now, your baby's kicking (or lack of) is keeping you up at night and worried during the day, your feet may be swollen, you're getting tired all over again and your backache is a pain that just won't quit.

And even though she hasn't started crying yet, it may seem like your baby's getting on your nerves already — literally. As she gets settled into position for birth, your little one's head and your growing uterus may rest on the sciatic nerve in the lower part of your spine.

If that happens, you may feel sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in your buttocks and radiates down the back of your legs — otherwise known as sciatica. The pain of sciatica can be quite intense at times, and though it may pass if your baby shifts positions, it can also linger until you've delivered.

A heating pad, a warm tub, stretches or just some self-imposed bed rest can help with the discomfort. So can some complementary and alternative therapies.

Feeling sensitive (skin)?

Sensitive skin can surface during pregnancy — even in someone who’s never had sensitive skin before. Some parts of the body may react because they’re dry and flaky, others because of heat rash or an external irritant, like the lotion you’ve been using for the past 10 years, which is suddenly driving you crazy.

Typically the most sensitive spot is the belly, as it stretches. Other potential trouble spots include your hips and thighs.

Your raging hormones make you more sensitive to contact with substances that might not normally affect you, such as sunlight, heat, detergents, chlorine and even certain foods. And if you’ve got eczema, you can expect some major flare-ups — or if you’re very lucky, a nine-month respite.

For itchy spots, a dab of calamine lotion should do the trick. If any rash or irritation lasts longer than a couple of days, ask your practitioner about next steps. Avoid products that are laden with tons of additives, dyes or fragrance, any of which can exacerbate the problem.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 28

Bloating and gas
Faintness or dizziness
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)
Stuffy nose
Bleeding gums
Mask of pregnancy (melasma)

Tips for You This Week

Have the circumcision talk

Before you got pregnant, you may not have thought too much about whether or not to circumcise a baby boy if you had one. But if you've got a son on the way, it's a decision you'll have to make — and it may be a tricky one if you don’t have religious or cultural traditions guiding you.

If you're having a boy, you may want to think about this now. Get your pediatrician’s POV too!

Find out your Rh status

Do you know if you're Rh positive or Rh negative? If not, it’s important to find out.

The Rh factor is a protein found in most people's red blood cells. If you have it, you're Rh positive; if you don't have it, you're Rh negative.

Unless you're pregnant, your status usually doesn't matter much, but problems can occur if, for example, you're Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive.

In the case of Rh incompatibility, your immune system may view your baby's blood cells as "foreign" substances and mobilize an army of antibodies to attack them.

If you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive, you’ll need a vaccine-like injection of Rh-immune globulin, known as RhoGAM, this week to prevent the development of antibodies.

Ask about breast changes

Though finding a breast lump during pregnancy can be scary, rest assured it’s more than likely nothing to worry about. Having breast cancer during pregnancy is very rare, especially if you’re under 35, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) — plus the many changes that are happening to your breasts while you’re expecting can cause them to feel much more lumpy, heavy and firm than you’re used to.

Tender lumps are common during the third trimester, but still, they shouldn’t be ignored. Ask your provider for a breast exam at your next checkup.

Up your iron

Babies absorb the majority of their iron stores during the third trimester, so nosh on iron-rich foods like chicken, beans, spinach, tofu, beef and enriched cereals.

Apart from Popeye, vitamin C is iron's best bud since it can improve iron absorption. So take a glass of OJ with that iron supplement during pregnancy, a side of red pepper with those shrimp or some fresh strawberries in your oat bran cereal.

Skip fish-oil supplements

Heard that fish oil supplements are the easiest way to pop your DHA — especially if you're not a fatty-fish fan? While they may be a cinch to swallow, when you're pregnant, they're not always easy to keep down.

If you don't want to be burping up fish oil all day — because let's face it, you're burping enough as it is — stick to a prenatal vitamin that already has DHA in it, or if that has the same effect, you may want to try a vegetarian DHA flaxseed supplement, which usually is easier on the aftertaste. Ask your doctor first before adding any supplement to your daily regimen.

Choosing a childbirth class

Now is a good time to research childbirth classes. You can choose a class at the hospital or with a local instructor, but sign up early so you can finish several weeks before your due date. Ask whether your course includes lessons on infant care, CPR and breastfeeding (it should).

Have special requirements? There are classes for second-timers who need to brush up on their techniques, classes for moms who are attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and classes designed for those expecting multiples. Many places also now offer virtual classes.

Whichever class you choose, make sure your instructor is certified by a national childbirth education organization. And here's a bonus: Your insurance company may cover your tuition, so be sure to submit your bill.

Schedule a hospital tour

The start of the third trimester (month 7) is a good time to schedule a tour of the hospital or birthing center where you'll be having your baby. If you've signed up for childbirth classes and they're at the same place where you'll welcome your new arrival, check whether a tour will be included (it usually is).

You can also ask your practitioner about how and when to set one up. It's a good way to get the lay of the land, and it helps to visualize where the magic will happen!

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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