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Weeks 30 to 32 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Fetus in uterus, with detail of development at 32 weeks pregnant


You've made it to the final months of your pregnancy! By now your baby is really starting to look like a baby, with hair and plump skin.

As you enter the final weeks of pregnancy, the reality of having a baby may start to set in. This is a good time to set up a safe nursery and find quality child care if needed. Doing this stuff ahead of time will allow you to focus on caring for and enjoying your new baby. You may also want to take a tour of your hospital's labour and delivery unit. This will help you get a better idea of what to expect while you're in the hospital.

During these last months, be sure to take good care of yourself. Pay attention to what your body needs. If your doctor or midwife says it's okay for you to work, don't push yourself too hard.

If you haven't already had the Tdap shot during this pregnancy, talk to your doctor or midwife about getting it. It will help protect your newborn against pertussis infection.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Pay attention to your baby's movements

  • You should feel your baby move several times every day.
  • Your baby now turns less, and kicks and jabs more.
  • Your baby sleeps 20 to 45 minutes at a time and is more active at certain times of day.
  • If your doctor wants you to count your baby's kicks:
    • Empty your bladder, and lie on your side or relax in a comfortable chair.
    • Write down your start time.
    • Pay attention only to your baby's movements, such as kicks, flutters, or rolls.
    • After you have counted 6 movements, write down your stop time.
    • Write down how many minutes it took for your baby to move 6 times.
    • If an hour goes by and you have not recorded 6 movements, have something to eat or drink and then count for another hour. If you don't record at least 6 movements in the 2-hour period, call your doctor, midwife, or nurse call line.

Ease heartburn

  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Do not eat chocolate, peppermint, or very spicy foods. Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and sodas.
  • Avoid bending over or lying down after meals.
  • Take a short walk after you eat.
  • If heartburn is a problem at night, do not eat for 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Take antacids like Tums. Do not take antacids that have sodium bicarbonate.

Care for varicose veins

  • Varicose veins are blood vessels that stretch out with the extra blood during pregnancy. Your legs may ache or throb. Most varicose veins will go away after the birth.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time. Sit with your legs crossed at the ankles, not the knees.
  • Sit with your feet propped up.
  • Avoid tight clothing or stockings. Wear support hose.
  • Exercise regularly. Try walking for at least 30 minutes a day.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.