Welcome to Week 28
Your Baby: Seeing Is Believing
By now, your baby is 15 to 16 inches long to (35 cm) and weighs about 2 pounds 4 ounces (1,100 g) - just over 1 kilo! You can see changes in your baby from head to toe. At this time, the baby's brain is developing more fully. Hair on your baby's head is growing more and more and your baby is truly looking like a baby now!
If you're carrying a boy, his testicles are on the move, making their way down from the abdominal cavity via the groin to the scrotum. In a girl, you can make out the clitoris, but the labia aren't yet big enough to cover it.
Your Body: Counting Down to the Due Date
Welcome to the third trimester, which goes from week 28 to 40 -- or until you give birth. By now, you may be feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension as you near the end of your pregnancy. Some women sail through the whole 9 months symptom-free. Others watch their bodies grow and change in ways they never thought possible. Some women may have some discomforts that may creep up during this trimester. These may include:
- Shortness of breath. Your lungs have less room to expand due to the growth of your uterus.
- Problems sleeping. It's hard to find a comfortable position with the size of your belly plus a baby may decide to be active while you are trying to sleep!
- Minor aches and pains in your hips, buttocks, and thighs. Usually due to pressure from your uterus on the sciatic nerves. A maternity girdle may help to relieve round ligament pain at this gestational age.
- Minor vaginal pain. This pain is thought to be from your cervix slowly starting to dilate or getting ready to dilate.
- Skin discomforts or changes. Itchy, dry skin on the abdomen, worsening stretch marks, varicose veins and spiders veins. These are a result of the growth of the baby and pressure from your uterus enlarging.
- Bouts with leaking urine. From the pressure of your uterus on the bladder.
- Hemorrhoids. Due to the pressure from your uterus. Try to keep your stools soft so you don't have to strain while going to the bathroom. Straining can worsen your hemorrhoids.
- Breast colostrum leaking. This is normal, and it signals that your breast are preparing for breastfeeding.
Both the ACOG and the CDC recommend all women consider receiving a dose of Tdap vaccines against the pertussis disease (whooping cough) during each pregnancy. By getting the vaccine between 27 weeks and 36 weeks of gestation, your body may develop the protective antibodies and pass them to your baby so that the baby will have some protection at birth. Your doctor will discuss and may even offer you the Tdap vaccine in the beginning of the third trimester.
To top it off, you may have a long to-do list that includes finding a pediatrician, buying baby gear, preparing a birth plan, registering at the hospital and packing your bag, among others. No matter how you feel, remember this is a special time for you and your partner. So try to enjoy as you begin the final countdown and wait for the day when you and your baby finally meet face-to-face!
On A Different Note: Prenatal Tests Revisited
Around the 35-week mark, your health care provider will test you for Group B streptococcus, a type of bacteria in the vagina that may be carried by pregnant women.
Depending on how much weight you're carrying and how flexible you are, you might be feeling like you just can't lean down anymore. Some moms we know recommend wearing strapless shoes - for example, mules, clogs or thongs - so you can slip your feet in and out without having to bend over your belly all the time. Whatever shoes you wear, make sure that they have good support.
Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.