Welcome to the third trimester! The uterus has grown and measures 3 inches from the naval. If you prefer using the fundal length, it is about 28 centimeters. Though your pregnancy is very blissful at this point because you can feel the baby, the symptoms of the first trimester are stealing the show with bad moods and fatigue.
Baby’s growth and development in week twenty eight
At the 28th week, the baby has grown and is about 14.9 inches long and 2 lbs in weight. If you are carrying twins, growth in weeks 28 and 29 slows down because of space limitation in the uterus.
Amniotic fluid changes: Starting from week 28 through to week 32, the amniotic fluid reaches the maximum. After week 32, it will stay constant until birth.
Baby’s hairs: During the 28th week, the baby’s skin is packing with additional layers of cells and fat. Besides, hairs continue growing on the head while eyelashes and eye blows extend and take a very beautiful outlook.
Baby’s position: In the 28th week, the baby takes a head-down position which is the ideal position for delivery. However, many babies will keep changing the position and summersaulting in the next two weeks. Between 31 and 32 weeks, the baby will settle on the head-down position until delivery.
Sleep-wake patterns: When you feel the baby’s movements (sleep and wake cycles) that have been random over the last weeks, there is a clear shift. The heart is beating slower and breathing movements well-coordinated. The kicks have also changed and now only occur when the baby is awake. Take time to talk to the baby without background noises so that he/she can recognize you even after birth.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 28
The baby bump is getting bigger and bigger. Soon, you will start finding it difficult to concentrate on tasks as fatigue catches up with you very fast. Here are other changes to anticipate.
Regular fetal kicks: Imagine the lovely soft kicks on your uterus when you sing for the baby at midnight. Though you do not have to keep track of the baby kicks, it is a great way of knowing that he/she is healthy. At times, the doctor may require you to keep track of the movements.
Some indicators showing that your baby is doing fine:
- The baby should make about 10 movements in a normal maternity activity.
- The baby should make about 10 movements in a two hours session when resting and focusing on counting.
More prenatal clinics: Unlike the normal clinic on a four weeks basis, the doctor will change the routine so that you are checked every two weeks until the 37th week. This is important for closer observation in case of preterm delivery.
Weight gain: By the close of the week, you will be about 21 lbs more compared to the time of conception. This weight will keep increasing and reach 35 lbs by the end of the 40th week. Therefore, hold on because you still have an additional 15 lbs to add on the current weight before the baby can be delivered.
Rhesus Sensitization and its prevention
Rhesus factor is a blood protein that is tested in the second trimester preferably when taking a glucose-screening test to check for gestational diabetes. If your blood is Rhesus negative (lacks the Rhesus factor) and your partner was Rhesus negative, you do not have any problem. However, if any of you was Rhesus positive, the baby will most likely be Rhesus positive.
What really is Rhesus sensitization? Rhesus sensitization is a problem that occurs when a Rhesus negative mother’s blood gets into contact with Rhesus positive blood of the baby. The mother’s body senses the baby as a foreign material and releases antibodies that attack the baby’s blood resulting to anemia, brain damage, or serious illness that can cause death.
How to prevent Rhesus Sensitization: To prevent this problem, your doctor will inject you with RH-immune globulin that prevents the body from releasing harmful antibodies. If the baby is born negative, you will be injected with another RH-immune globulin to prevent the antibodies from forming.
Intrauterine Growth Restriction (FGR)
FGR is the term used to refer to babies with weight below the 10th percentile for the gestational age. The doctor will determine healthy of the baby to establish whether it is simply small or is at risk of FGR. What are the causes of FGR?
- Chromosomal abnormalities
- Placental abnormalities
- Infections such as rubella, herpes, and malaria before conception
- Multiple pregnancy
- Autoimmune disorders
- Pregnancy via IVF
To identify FGR, the doctor will carry out a symphysis-fundal height measurement. If this indicates the baby is at risk, a further ultrasound Diagnostics will be done on the 28th week and then repeated in the 32nd and 34th weeks. Your doctor will recommend appropriate measures including careful determination of the delivery date, monitoring the umbilical cord and preparation for an emergency during delivery.
Things to do during the 28th week
- Keep a good record of the baby’s movements. Though this is not necessary, it is important to check the health of your baby. There is nothing as satisfying as knowing that your baby is progressing well.
- The 28th week is an ideal time to learn about the prenatal visits during the third trimester. You should also orient yourself with the tests required.
- Consider taking additional pregnancy classes. Though you are likely to have learnt most of the things about pregnancy, you might want to take extra classes so that you can ask more specific questions.
- Start preparing for breastfeeding. You can do this by talking to your doctor, moms, sisters, and other people who have passed through pregnancy before.
- If you have not selected a specific doctor for the baby, this is an ideal time to select the best. Check with friends, colleagues, and expert practitioners about top rated doctors.
- Continue assembling the baby gear. Though you might have started buying clothes, it is not early to continue looking for other products such as swings, monitors, and mobiles.
- Keep talking to the baby and bonding together so that he/she can know you by the time of delivery.
- Make sure to continue taking the right exercises for better health of the baby and easier delivery.