32 Weeks Pregnant

Here's what's happening during Week 32 of your pregnancy.

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Your Growing Baby:

The fetus practices breathing motions in preparation for birth. All five senses are developed, and REM (dream-cycle) sleep is beginning. Lanugo begins to disappear. Length: about 17 inches; weight: about 4 pounds. Fetus fact: If your baby were born now, he would have an excellent chance of surviving without life-threatening complications.

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Your Growing Belly:

From now until delivery, you'll be gaining about a pound a week. About half of that gain is the baby's, the rest is fluid retention. Fight bloat by avoiding high-sodium foods and carbonated beverages. Call your care provider if you suddenly feel puffy in your face or hands; this is a symptom of preeclampsia.

If you're still working, you're probably already counting the minutes until your maternity leave starts. During the next six weeks, you may be trying to decide if you'll be one of the sixty percent of moms who will return to the workforce in the year after having a baby, or if you'll be among the forty percent who stay home.

Tips & To-Do's:

Getting Back To Business

Before your baby is even born, it is very likely that you will need to make a decision about when, or if, you will be returning to work. Lots of moms return to work full time, but others opt for a part-time schedule, some work from home, and some forgo work altogether and become stay-at-home moms. Going back to work after having a baby isn't an all-or-nothing decision.

Things to think about this week

Have your baby shower about two months before your due date so you'll have time to shop for items you didn't receive as gifts. Register for your shower if you haven't already done so.

NEW:  Listen to Our Week-by-Week Podcast All About Your Pregnancy 

Each episode of the new Pregnancy Confidential podcast, hosted by our editors, walks listeners through the physical, emotional and all-round quirks of each week of pregnancy. This is real-talk, girlfriend-to-girlfriend stuff—no hard-to-understand medical information here—taking you through the real feelings of pregnancy so you're never alone. And it'll have you chuckling all along the way. All episodes available now!