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Weeks 32 to 34 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Fetal development at the 32nd week

Your Care Instructions

During the last few weeks of your pregnancy, you may have more aches and pains. It's important to rest when you can.

Your growing baby is putting more pressure on your bladder. So you may need to urinate more often. Hemorrhoids are also common. These are painful, itchy veins in the rectal area.

In the 36th week, most women have a test for group B streptococcus (GBS). GBS is a common bacteria that can live in the vagina and rectum. It can make your baby sick after birth. If you test positive, you will get antibiotics during labour. These will keep your baby from getting the bacteria.

You may want to talk with your doctor or midwife about banking your baby's umbilical cord blood. This is the blood left in the cord after birth. If you want to save this blood, you must arrange it ahead of time. You can't decide at the last minute.

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 call line 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?

Ease hemorrhoids

  • Get more liquids, fruits, vegetables, and fibre in your diet. This will help keep your stools soft.
  • Avoid sitting for too long. Lie on your left side several times a day.
  • Clean yourself with soft, moist toilet paper. Or you can use witch hazel pads or personal hygiene pads.
  • If you are uncomfortable, try ice packs. Or you can sit in a warm sitz bath. Do these for 20 minutes at a time, as needed.
  • Use hydrocortisone cream for pain and itching. Two examples are Anusol and Preparation H.
  • Ask your doctor or midwife about taking an over-the-counter stool softener.

Consider breastfeeding

  • Breast milk is the perfect food for babies. Experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. After that, you will gradually breastfeed less often as your baby starts to eat other foods. Doctors advise breastfeeding for up to 2 years and beyond.
  • Breast milk is easier for babies to digest than formula. And it is always available, just the right temperature, and free.
  • Breast milk may help protect your child from some health problems. Breastfed babies are less likely than formula-fed babies to:
    • Get ear infections, colds, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
    • Be obese or get diabetes later in life.
  • Women who breastfeed have less bleeding after the birth. Their uteruses also shrink back faster.
  • Some women who breastfeed lose weight faster. Making milk burns calories.
  • Breastfeeding can lower your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.

Decide about circumcision for boys

  • As you make this decision, it may help to think about your personal, religious, and family traditions. You get to decide if you will keep your son's penis natural or if he will be circumcised.
  • If you decide that you would like to have your baby circumcised, talk with your doctor. You can share your concerns about pain. And you can discuss your preferences for anesthesia.

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.