Your baby is busy cultivating real-life tricks like sucking, breathing and swallowing.

And you may be doing some rehearsals of your own in the form of Braxton Hicks (or practice) contractions ahead of the big day.

Your Baby at Week 32

At a Glance

Baby organs are fully formed
Baby organs are fully formed
All your baby’s major organs are fully developed now, except for the lungs. So even if you gave birth this week, your little one would probably do just fine.
Breathing practice
Breathing practice
Your baby inhales amniotic fluid to practice using those lungs.
Skin changes
Skin changes
Bye-bye, see-through baby! This week, your little bean's skin is now opaque instead of transparent.

32 weeks pregnant is how many months?

If you're 32 weeks pregnant, you're in month 8 of your pregnancy. Only 1 month 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 32 weeks? 

What's up with your baby? She's starting to get ready for her big debut, tipping the scales at 3½ to 4 pounds and topping out at 15 to 17 inches.

Baby's prepping for birth

In these past few weeks, it's all about practice, practice, practice as she hones the skills she'll need to thrive outside the womb — from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking. In anticipation of that momentous transition to mouth feeding, your baby's digestive system is all set and ready to go.

And though you're weeks away from your due date, your baby's looking more and more like a newborn: As fat accumulates under her skin, it's no longer transparent and is now opaque.

Fetal position: head down or breech?

At 32 weeks pregnant, you're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now — she’s actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!).

Between 32 and 38 weeks, your baby will also probably settle into the head-down, bottoms-up presentation in your pelvis in preparation for birth. That's because the fetus' head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus, plus it’s easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first.

Fewer than 5 percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term — so don't worry if your little bean hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance she'll flip before birth, even in the tight confines of your uterus.

Baby's sleep cycles

And speaking of the big day, hope you're resting up for it because your bambino certainly is. In preparation for that first date with you, your baby is sleeping like a baby with regular sleep and wake cycles.

Your Body at Week 32

baby size at 32 weeks pregnant

Braxton Hicks contractions

This week, your body may start prepping for delivery day by flexing its muscles...literally. If you feel your uterus tightening or hardening periodically, those are Braxton Hicks contractions — irregular practice contractions that are first felt around mid-pregnancy and increase in frequency and strength as things progress.

These prelabor rehearsals are a warm-up for the real thing and are typically experienced earlier and with more intensity in women who've been pregnant before. In fact, many novice moms-to-be don't notice them as much.

They feel like a tightening sensation that begins at the top of your uterus and then spreads downward, lasting from 15 to 30 seconds, though they can sometimes last as long as two minutes.

How do you know they aren’t real labor? They’ll stop if you change position, so try getting up if you’re lying down or walking if you’ve been sitting. If they are real labor contractions, they'll become progressively stronger and more regular — so in that case, put in a call to your practitioner. In the meantime, when they're just the practice kind, try taking a warm bath to help with the discomfort.

Ultrasound photos

Ultrasound is a tried-and-true prenatal tool — and a window into the wonderful world of your womb — but this procedure has taken a giant leap from the confines of a doctor's office to a storefront at the mall, with 3D- or 4D-ultrasounds. Is it safe to take a peek inside your tummy on the way to the mall?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against having ultrasounds for fun as opposed to getting them for medical reasons. That's because the three-dimensional imaging machines and procedures can expose your baby to more heat and for a longer time than the ultrasound machines at your doctor's office.

Plus, many medical professionals say that only qualified technicians should perform the ultrasound and fear that nervous moms-to-be will come away mistakenly convinced there's something wrong with their baby. If you're still interested in an elective sonogram, make sure to check with your practitioner for the go-ahead.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 32

Leg cramps
Leg cramps
Faintness or dizziness
Faintness or dizziness
Colostrum (leaky breasts)
Colostrum (leaky breasts)
Itchy tummy and skin
Itchy tummy and skin

Tips for You This Week

Write down your dreams

Keep a dream journal! Your night visions may be extra trippy these days, thanks to pregnancy hormones.

Pregnancy dreams and daydreams tend to peak during the third trimester as sleep is more disrupted and you may increasingly find yourself imagining what life with a new baby will be like.

Don't stress over stretch marks

Try not to obsess about stretch marks. It's estimated that up to 90 percent of women get them, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), so you’re in fantastic company!

Over time, stretch marks gradually fade away on their own. And look on the bright side: They’re a sign your baby is growing beautifully.

Learn early labor signs

Unless you’ve gone into labor before, you're probably wondering how you'll know your labor symptoms are the real thing.

Learn the signs of labor in case it’s not obvious: contractions coming regularly and at closer intervals, period-like cramps, vaginal bleeding or spotting, a constant dull backache, diarrhea and a tightening feeling in your uterus. Your water might even break before you get to the hospital, though don’t count on that!

Snack away

With your big uterus crowding your insides, you may find your appetite waning now — shocking! Try to eat regular, small snacks, like a bite of a banana with almond butter, or hummus and whole wheat crackers, instead of big meals.

Help plan your baby shower

Want to help throw yourself a virtual or traditional baby shower? These events have looked very different due to COVID-19 protocols (though things are getting back to normal in a lot of places), but you can get the party started by talking to a close friend or relative about acting as a host.

Before you send out invitations, create a baby registry — this way, your guests will know what to give you. Skip some of the big-ticket items, such as cribs and strollers, and instead ask for things like onesies, bibs, blankets and other baby-care essentials.

Moisturize often

Feeling kind of crocodilian? Another side effect of your expanding body — and that belly that just keeps on going and going — is dry, itchy skin.

Here’s one good soothing strategy: Moisturize early and often. Because your skin is still extra sensitive these days, look for moisturizers that have no dyes or perfumes and apply them when your skin is still damp to trap moisture in.

Other tips? Wear lightweight cotton clothes that will allow your skin to breathe, switch to a dye-and-perfume-free detergent and soak in an oatmeal bath.

Do pelvic tilts

Your pelvis is crucial to a smooth pregnancy and delivery, so treat it well. One way to strengthen your pelvis is to do pelvic tilts regularly. These easy exercises, which you can do anywhere, can help strengthen your abs, soothe backaches during pregnancy and labor, and make delivery go more smoothly.

Now that you're in your third trimester, tilts should be done in a standing position — so find the nearest wall. To do a standing pelvic tilt, stand up straight and relax your spine. Breathing in deeply, press the small of your back against the wall. Exhale, and then repeat for about five minutes.

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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