28th Week Pregnancy - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips And Body Changes


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Did you know that babies begin to dream from 28 weeks of your pregnancy? The rapid eye movement during their sleeping hours indicates this. At 28 weeks there are many changes happening to your baby and in you too!

You should be aware of these changes as they guide you towards a better and healthy pregnancy. MomJunction talks about the progress in your progressing pregnancy and baby development in the 28th week of your journey.

How Big Is Your Baby Size At Week 28?

How Big Is Your Baby Size At Week 28

You baby is about the size of an eggplant, measuring 14.8 inches (37.6cm) and weighing 2.22 pounds (1,005gm) (1).

Baby Development In Week 28:

Baby Development In Week 28

All of the major body systems are in place and functioning. But there is a lot more development ahead.

Reflexes: Baby gains skills such as sucking, moving her limbs, walking, breathing, coughing, and hiccupping (2).

Lungs: The lungs are stronger and more developed now than before to support her life outside the womb (3).

Skin: Greasy vernix (cheesy, white substance that coats and protects the baby’s skin inside the uterus) and lanugo (fine, soft hair) start to disappear improving the appearance of the skin. The body fat deposits (nearly two to three percent) underneath the skin make it smooth and supple, ironing away the wrinkles (4).

Brain: The folds and grooves of the brain continue to develop and become more prominent (5).

Heart: Heart rate slows down to about 140 beats per minute, which is double the mother’s heart rate.

Endocrine system: The enzymes and endocrinological processes develop at a faster pace (6). The baby’s adrenal glands produce androgen and estrogen, which stimulate the mother’s hormones to produce milk.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: Your baby spends more time in REM sleep and dreams, resulting in high body movements (7).

Hair: The baby can be born bald, with invisible hair, or with thick hair. Researchers also found a link between heartburn and fetal hair growth (8).

Muscle growth: Muscles develop, becoms toned and their strength increases. This gives a plumpy look to the fetus (9).

Placenta: The placenta grows, and the blood flow in it increases to support the baby’s quicker growth in the final trimester.

Eyes: Eyes and eyelashes continue developing and can produce tears (10).

[ Read: 29th Week Pregnancy Baby Development ]

If you are carrying twins, their development will be the same as the above and will have these additional features: s

Fetal size: The twins measure about 10 inches from crown to heel, and weigh over 2.2 pounds each.

Twin fetal development:

  • The twins’ sleep cycle is regular, and they are active during the daytime.
  • Brains grow rapidly, and senses improve. Holding a bright light close to the bump makes the babies turn their heads towards the light.
  • Bones form and fat layers build.
  • Though the head to rump (foot) growth slows down, the babies continue gaining weight until birth.
  • In boys, the testicles descend from abdomen to the scrotum. In girls, the clitoris (female sex organ) sticks out as labia (folds of vulva) as it is not completely growe.
  • There are separate amniotic sacs with almost 800ml fluid in each. The fluid lessens as the fetuses grow bigger with lack of space in the womb.

Body Changes In Week 28 Of Pregnancy:

During the 28th week, changes in your body may results in some trouble for you:

  1. Trouble falling asleep: The closer you are to the due date, the more difficult it is to sleep. You may snore due to hormonal or nervous system changes (11).
  1. Shortness of breath: The growing fetus shields the lungs and diaphragm, which makes breathing difficult (12).
  1. Aches and pains: The hormonal fluctuations and changes make you uncomfortable, especially when you are carrying twins. Stretches, yoga, walking, swimming or prenatal massages could help. You can also wear maternity belt, which relieves pressure and reduces aches. However, do check with your doctor before taking up these exercises.
  1. Braxton Hicks contractions: They are the false contractions that help the body to get ready for labor contractions. They are occasional, but if they continue to be regular, they could be preterm contractions, and you must see your doctor at once (13).
  1. Leaky breasts: Breasts produce colostrum, an yellowish substance, which is the baby’s first food (14).
  1. Uterus reposition: As you progress towards the delivery, the uterus moves above the belly button by about three and a half inches. The uterus stretches, and the ligaments that support it are pulled in (15).
  1. Constipation: Constipation is an issue as your uterus exerts pressure on the colon. This may give rise to fissures and hemorrhoids. Include plenty of fiber in your diet and drink a lot of water.

[ Read: Constipation During Pregnancy ]

  1. Heartburn: As the uterus moves above the belly button, it exerts pressure on the stomach and interferes with digestion. It causes acidity and heartburn (16).
  1. Gas and bloating: Pressure exerted on the rectum and inefficient digestive system causes gas and bloating. Eat six short meals at equal intervals to avoid the problem.
  1. Restless leg syndrome (RLS): You may experience a temporary uneasiness in your legs along with a tingling sensation, making it difficult to move them. Massage and stretch your legs for relief. Also, cut down on caffeine. The doctor may suggest iron supplements to treat RLS (17).
  1. Stretch marks: The bulging belly stretches the skin, making it itchy. You may get red marks on your belly and stretch marks will become more prominent. These marks will remain for the rest of your life (18).
  1. Sciatic nerve pain: The baby settles into the correct position for delivery. Due to this, the head and the growing uterus will put extra pressure on the sciatic nerve causing excruciating pain and lower buttocks, back, and legs may become numb (19).
  1. Rhythmic movements in the womb: Movements could be felt when your baby is hiccupping inside the womb. Some mothers report them as tickling sensations or small jerks. These help you bond with your baby. Sometimes, they are hard to identify and you should not worry about them.

[ Read: Baby’s Development Week By Week ]

Besides the above, if there are any other symptoms that you experience during the 28th week, you should check with the doctor.

How Is Your Growing Belly?

Your belly is growing larger making you uncomfortable, especially when you are sleeping. You baby is now strong enough to kick your ribs.

Your doctor will measure your belly and the fundal height (from pubic bone to top of the uterus) should measure 26 to 30cm. This means the growth of the fetus is on track and it is lying in the correct position. Sideways or breech position can give incorrect measurements. If you are carrying twins, fundal height is not taken into account as it is difficult to measure (20).

You can begin to count the kicks to keep a tab on how the baby is moving (21). Choose a time of the day and set the timer to count ten kicks. It may take no more than two hours. Count for a few days to get an average and let the doctor know if the frequency changes considerably.

Prenatal Visit During 28th Week Of Pregnancy:

The third trimester begins this week. From now, you should be visiting your Obs/Gyn fortnightly and from 36 weeks, weekly.

  1. Lab tests: HIV and syphilis are checked through urine tests and Chlamydia and gonorrhea are checked through culture tests. If your glucose screening results show high glucose, then a three-hour glucose tolerance test would be done. The glucose level will be high if your body is unable to metabolize food efficiently, and can be controlled by modifying your diet.
  1. Rh follow-up: If the preliminary tests show you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive, you will be given a Rhogam (Rh immune globulin)injection. This will keep your body from developing antibodies that can attack the fetal blood. The next test for Rh in the baby will be scheduled only after birth. If the baby is Rh positive, you will get another shot to prevent complications in future pregnancies (22).
  1. Tdap vaccine: You will be given Tdap vaccine around the third trimester (23). Even if you had taken a shot of Tdap before pregnancy, you would have to repeat it. It is a vaccine against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis for the baby.
  1. Ultrasound: Your baby will be very active – moving her limbs, turning her face, and blinking her eyes in response to light. The baby’s weight and placental blood flow are checked at every visit.

[ Read: Bloating During Pregnancy ]

Tips For A Better 28th Week Pregnancy:

You are getting closer to your due date, and you should take care of yourself and the baby.

  1. Keep a check on baby’s movements: Your baby may frighten you with her kicks and punches as she is mostly active. If the movements slow down, check with your doctor.
  1. Skin care: Your abdomen may itcs due to the expanding skin.. If the itchiness is severe, it can be a sign of obstetric cholestasis (rare liver disorder), and you should contact your doctor immediately.
  1. Foot comfort: You may be susceptible to bumping into tables and tripping over your feet because of the shifting center of gravity due to loosened joints. You must avoid wearing high heels and footwear that can cause discomfort. Wear flat shoes and look where you walk.
  1. Sign up for classes: It’s time to sign up for instruction classes. Check with your delivery hospital or your doctor’s office for information on breastfeeding seminars, delivery classes, and other meetings that might interest you and your partner. Before going for any class, ensure the instructor is certified by a childbirth educator organization.
  1. Figure out the best pediatrician: It is the best time to find the best doctor for your baby as he would telg you about post-pregnancy diet, baby care, etc..
  1. Prepare for labor: Though the delivery is about three months away, you should start preparing. Talk to an expert on the exercises you can do to have an easy labor.
  1. Enjoy the moment: Enjoy the pregnancy time. Take regular walks, go on dinner dates, pen down your thoughts about your baby, and indulge in things that calm you down.
  1. Photo time: A prenatal photo shoot would be a good idea to cherish your pregnancy forever.
  1. Avoid being alone: Staying alone is a strict no-no. You should have your partner or family around as you could fall asleep suddenly, be tired, or go through pre-birth anxiety.
  1. Safe air travel: Drink a lot of water and get up to stretch your legs often. While sitting, rotate, and flex your ankles to avoid swelling and clots. Always carry medical records and doctors’ contacts.

[ Read: Air Travel During Pregnancy ]

  1. Avoid sitting for longer: Do not stick to one position for long as this will restrict the blood circulation. Also, do not sit with crossed legs. It may cut off circulation to your already cramped legs making it more painful.

Nutrition In The 28th Week Of Pregnancy:

A healthy diet is very important at any stage of pregnancy.

  1. Fluid requirement: You need to drink about five liters of fluids, mostly water. This keeps you hydrated, and eases the nutrient movement to the fetus. It also reduces chances of constipation, piles, and, urinary tract infections.
  1. Calcium and vitamin D: Calcium and vitamin D are essential for the healthy growth of baby’s bones, muscles, and teeth. You can get them from beans, spinach, kidney beans, soya, almonds, sesame seeds, and dairy products. Vitamin D is also available in fortified milk, eggs, and fish. Your doctor may prescribe supplements if your nutrient count is low.
  1. Iron: Your iron requirement will be higher during the third trimester as the baby absorbs majority of iron. Include more beans, spinach, tofu, beef, chicken, and enriched cereals in your diet.
  1. Power snacks: Eat nutrient and energy rich snacks such as fresh and dried fruits, steamed buns, salad, soybean, sandwiches, soupy noodles, and nuts.
  1. Maximum nutrition: Include more whole grain foods such as brown rice, wheat germ, wheat bran, multi-grain flour, and bread. However, excess of these foods can affect your ability to absorb iron, calcium, and zinc. Therefore you should take them in moderation. You could:
  • Steam food in a pressure cooker to retain vital nutrients.
  • Avoid overcooking as it can deplete nutrients.
  • Eat freshly prepared foods as reheating them can deplete their nutritional content.
  1. Avoid caffeine: Cut down caffeine intake as it increases the chances of acidity.

[ Read: Tips To Prevent Pains And Cramps During Pregnancy ]

Activities That You Can Take Up:

Choose a doctor for your little one: Make a list of all the pediatricians. Check whether their clinic is closer to you and check for the available facilities.

Have a pregnant friend: You could opt for pregnant forums or sessions where you can meet other pregnant women. You could share your ups and downs of pregnancy and discuss anxieties and troubles. This would help in calming you down.

Tips For Dads To Be:

  • Involve in decision-making as the due date approaches.
  • Love your wife and comfort her. She may be anxious and you should help her calm down.
  • Read books related to pregnancy, watch pregnancy videos, or talk to other parents who have experienced it earlier.
  • Practice relaxation techniques along with your partner.
  • Try to become a compassionate partner and an invaluable helper to your better-half.

Pregnancy Checklist at 28 Weeks:

A few quick reminders for the week:

  • Schedule for the 30th week prenatal appointment
  • Start making kick counts (fetal kicks)
  • Do not forget to take prenatal vitamins as prescribed
  • Try discovering pain relief options for the due time

[ Read: Baby’s Kicks During Pregnancy ]

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How many months is 28 weeks?

28 weeks is seven months of pregnancy or beginning of the third trimester.

2. What is baby breech position at 28 weeks in pregnancy?

Breech position is where the baby is with her buttocks or feet down, unlike head-down position (normal birth position). This deviation may be caused due to repeated pregnancies, uterus abnormalities, fetal malformations, Hydramnios (excess amniotic fluid), or low lying placenta. Doctors suggest corrective gymnastics to correct the breech position (24).

3. Is it safe to have sex when you are 28 weeks pregnant?

Most doctors say that it is quite safe to have sex even in the 28th week of pregnancy (25). It adds to the positive emotion in the expectant mother. But you should ensure that you do not press or put weight on the belly.

4. Is it safe to fly during the28th week of pregnancy?

It is completely safe to fly during 14 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. During the first trimester, there is a chance of miscarriage and you may have the symptoms of toxicosis. In the final trimester, there are chances of preterm labor and sitting may be uncomfortable.

But you must check with your gynecologist and get her approval before you take a flight.

5. How much should you weigh during the 28th week of pregnancy?

The pace of gaining weight increases rapidly in your seventh month. The expectant mother should try gaining 50 grams every day or 300 grams a week. Know what you are eating and control if you are consuming excess food. On an average you should gain about 11 to 16kg throughout your pregnancy (26).

You should discuss weight concerns with your practitioner in your next checkup.

6. Why does bleeding occur in the 28th week of pregnancy?

Sometimes, you may bleed in your third trimester. It could happen due to placenta previa in which the placenta comes out before the baby does and blocks the cervix (27). Placental abruption is another cause where the placenta separates from the uterus before labor. This can also lead to severe bleeding along with other symptoms (28).

[ Read: Tips To Choose Right Gynecologist ]

The 28th week of pregnancy can be as normal as any other week. Just take care and check for any unforeseen signs.

Share your 28th week experiences with us in the comments section below.

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Rebecca Malachi

"I believe words have power. They are a powerful tool for a creative soul. Being a 'word addict', I express my thoughts and contribute articles on health, wellness and beauty. Apart from writing, I love listening to gospel music and enjoy observing nature in silence."
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