At 32 weeks pregnant, you’re well into the third and final trimester of your pregnancy. Your little one is starting to get a bit cramped in your uterus, and for good reason -- she’s been busy growing for the past eight months. Your baby’s weight at 32 weeks is just an estimate, as measuring the baby before he's born isn't an exact science and all babies grow differently.
Your baby probably weighs between 4 and 4 1/2 pounds at 32 weeks and is between 15 and 18 inches long from head to toe. This makes him about the size of a coconut. He’s also big enough to take up almost the entire area of your uterus, which is now measuring about 5 inches above your belly button. Your baby continues to gain about half a pound a week, and you might gain about a pound a week until he's born.
Your Weight Gain
Although your baby only weighs around 4 pounds, you’ve probably put on around 25 pounds. By the end of your pregnancy, your baby might weigh around 8 pounds, but the placenta adds 2 to 3 pounds, the amniotic fluid weighs 2 to 3 pounds, extra breast tissue adds 2 to 3 extra pounds, 4 pounds are from increased blood supply, your body stores 5 to 9 pounds of fat for delivery and breastfeeding, and your larger uterus adds another 2 to 5 pounds, according to WebMD.
Larger Fetus Concerns
Large parents, high weight gain by the mom and gestational diabetes can all lead to a fetus measuring larger than her gestational age, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center’s website. Your doctor can determine if your baby is larger than average by measuring the height of your uterus from your pubic bone or by conducting an ultrasound.
A larger baby can mean a prolonged vaginal delivery time, difficult birth, birth injury and increased risk of Cesarean delivery. Your doctor might watch the baby's size closely and decide induce your labor about a week early if your cervix if favorable.
Smaller Fetus Concerns
Some babies might measure smaller than average if both parents have small statures, but most are due to fetal growth problems, notes to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital website.
Intrauterine growth restriction is a common cause of smaller fetuses and results in your baby not receiving the necessary nutrients and oxygen for proper growth and development. If your baby has been small throughout your pregnancy, continuing to measure small might not be a concern. If he has fallen off his typical growth curve at this point, though, your doctor might induce or he might just track your progress with non-stress tests, a biophysical profile or an oxytocin challenge or contraction stress test. If these tests show potential issues, your doctor will discuss your options with you.
Your baby's weight gain combined with your weight gain can make life fairly uncomfortable until she's born. You might experience back and leg pain. Maintaining good posture helps avoid back and leg cramps, and using a heating pad or cold compress on any affected area helps reduce pain, recommends Dr. James Brann on the Women’s Healthcare Topics website .
Sleeping might be difficult by 32 weeks, especially as the baby gets bigger and it becomes harder to roll over or sit up. Sleep on your left side to improve circulation and to keep the weight of your uterus off your liver and the large vein that carries blood back to your heart from your feet and legs. Use a pregnancy pillow for support and keep your knees bent to try to ease back pain.
Keep swelling down by avoiding sitting or standing for long periods. Elevate your legs when possible or lie on your side with one or both knees bent.