At week 32 the baby is now about 3 ½ pounds and about 18 inches long. The baby is almost half its birth weight so there is still a lot of growing to do in the final 8 weeks.
Week 32 is a big milestone. Babies born at 32 weeks, if they are in a hospital with a good neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), have excellent long term outcomes. This means if you had your baby now in a hospital with a good NICU, you can expect to raise a normal child. It is certainly not a good thing to have the baby at week 32. If the baby was born now it would likely spend a month or more in the NICU and that can be tough. But babies born in these conditions have about the same chance of being normal kindergartners as full term babies. So you can take a deep breath and relax a bit, you have made it to week 32.
I have a name for week 32. I call it the 32 week wall. It seems for many women 32 weeks is when pregnancy isn’t fun any more. The baby is getting bigger it is pushing into the pelvis and kicking up into the rib cage. It hurts to stand, it hurts to walk, it is hard to sleep, the feet are swelling, and life is just harder with this 3 ½ pound baby inside of you. This is normal and is not a sign of a problem. There is no specific treatment for the 32 week wall. Whatever you can do to get more comfortable do that. Listen to your body and try not to over do your activities. Look towards the goal. All this discomfort means the baby is getting bigger and will be here shortly, you are in the home stretch.
Many babies will be head down, what we call vertex, by week 32. If the baby is not head down there is no problem so don’t worry. About 95% of babies that are not head down will be head down by term. Do not fall prey to scam artists that will do some intervention at 32 weeks and guarantee that the baby will turn by the due date or your money back, almost all babies will turn on their own. The pelvis is built in a way that the baby fits best in the head down, vertex, position. Because of this, once a baby finds its way to vertex it usually stays there. Why would the baby want to move to a less comfortable position? There are some things that can make this not true. Large uterine fibroids or an abnormally shaped pelvis can change the shape of the intrauterine environment to favor a non-vertex position.