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Weeks 30 to 32 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Fetal development at the 32nd week

Your Care Instructions

You have 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 the time to settle on a name, get your household in order, set up a safe nursery, and find quality child care if needed. Doing these things in advance will allow you to focus on caring for and enjoying your new baby. You may also want to have a tour of your hospital's labour and delivery unit to get a better idea of what to expect while you are in the hospital.

During these last months, it is very important to take good care of yourself and pay attention to what your body needs. If your doctor or midwife says it is okay for you to work, don't push yourself too hard. Use the tips provided in this care sheet to ease heartburn and care for varicose veins.

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?

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 or midwife 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 do not record 6 movements in two hours, 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.
  • Talk a short walk after you eat.
  • If heartburn is a problem at night, do not eat for 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Take antacids like Rolaids or 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.