28 Weeks Pregnant
Congratulation! You have made it through two-thirds of your pregnancy. It might be hard to believe, but you are officially in your third trimester. Some women sail through their third trimester without issues, while others become somewhat uncomfortable with their growing tummy. On the bring side, you are probably getting excited about meeting your baby soon.
What’s happening with your body?
As you enter your last trimester of pregnancy, you might start to feel an increase in some symptoms and a few new ones may develop. Your body is preparing to give birth, so hormones may play a role in symptoms. But your growing belly is also to blame for a few aches and pains.
You might start to feel increased leg cramps and back pain. Back pain can lead to irritation of the sciatica nerve. Your sciatica is a large nerve that runs from your back down your legs. The nerve can become compressed from fluid retention and weight gain due to pregnancy. If the nerve becomes compressed, it can lead to pain or tingling running from your back down to your leg. Changing positions and using a warm compress may decrease discomfort. If the pain is severe, talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options.
This week your doctor or midwife may also order a glucose test. The test is considered a routine screening to monitor blood sugar levels and make sure your body is producing enough insulin during pregnancy.
The screening involves drinking a glucose mixture. About an hour after you drink the mixture, your blood will be drawn to determine how your body processed the glucose. If your blood sugar levels are high, your doctor may recommend you come back for a second test. The second time, you’ll also drink a glucose mixture, but this time, your blood will be drawn three times at different intervals. If the results indicate you have gestational diabetes, your doctor will give you special dietary instructions and other information you may need.
What’s happening with your baby?
Your baby is 28 weeks, which is an important milestone. Although your baby still needs more time to develop, many of his organ systems are functioning well. Although he would need specialized care, if your baby were born at this point, he would have an excellent chance of survival.
Although she is still a few months away from being born, your little one looks close to how she will at birth, just smaller. Speaking of small, things are getting a little tighter for your baby in there. As your baby gets bigger, she’ll have less room to move around. But you will still feel kicks and jabs regularly.
It might be surprising to find out that researchers think that at 28 weeks, developing babies may dream. When brain wave activity was measured in the womb, it indicated that babies moved through different sleep cycles. Researchers found babies went through the rapid eye movement stage where dreaming occurs. It’s impossible to say what your little one could be dreaming about. But maybe she is having dreams about meeting you!
Things to keep in mind
With all the typical aches and pains of pregnancy, it may be hard to know when something is wrong. How do you know if what you feel is just an uncomfortable pregnancy side effect or something more serious?
There are certain signs that should not be ignored. For example, if you start having regular contractions that occur about every fifteen minutes, you should give your doctor a call. Although it may be nothing, it could be the start of labor. Pelvic pressure, which has become more intense or persistent is also a symptom that should not be ignored since it can also indicate the start of labor.
Anytime you experience bloody discharge or severe abdominal pain, you should also seek immediate medical attention. Although some fluid retention is normal, excessive swelling and puffiness may be a sign of pregnancy complications and requires a call to your doctor. Other symptoms that should be checked out include a severe or persistent headache, sudden shortness of breath and visual disturbances.
It’s important also to trust your instincts. If something feels off, seek medical assistance. It’s better to err on the side of caution then ignore a potential problem. Fortunately, many pregnancy complications can be successfully treated without lasting effects for you or your baby. But the sooner complications are treated the better for both of you.