Pregnancy Week 28
You have now entered the third trimester of your pregnancy and it won’t be long before you meet your baby.
You should have an appointment with your midwife this week to check how things are progressing. This will include a blood test, which will look at your iron levels to make sure they aren’t low. If they are, you will be prescribed iron tablets to take to get your levels back to normal.
Your iron levels are important as women often lose blood when they are giving birth so it is important to get the balance right before you go into labour. Anaemia can make you feel very tired and breathless and can cause fainting and sleep difficulties. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, let your midwife or GP know.
At this stage of pregnancy, your nasal passages are likely to be a little swollen. This can cause snoring, even if you’re not someone who usually snores.
You may also find you are more susceptible to nose bleeds – this is down to the extra blood in your body putting pressure on your blood vessels. If this happens, sit down and firmly pinch your nose just above your nostrils and hold it for at least 10 minutes.
Forget what you may remember from childhood about tipping your head back. The advice now is to lean forward and breathe through your mouth. If the bleeding doesn’t stop naturally after about 15 minutes, seek advice from your GP or midwife.
How should I be feeling at 28 weeks pregnant?
Unfortunately, many of the symptoms you will experience in the third trimester are quite uncomfortable and you are likely to start feeling very tired. The combination of your growing baby and pregnancy hormones will be putting a strain on your digestive system which may mean you suffer from heartburn and indigestion, especially when you are lying down at night.
Pregnancy loosens your joints and ligaments and you may experience hip pain and back ache. If this is a problem, speak to your midwife who can suggest some things to help.
Water retention can mean you end up with puffy ankles and feet and your face may seem more swollen than normal too. This is often more obvious when the weather is hot.
Although this is a common pregnancy symptom, it is always worth getting checked out if you experience swelling. This is because it can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, which can be dangerous for you and your baby if it isn’t spotted.
What is happening with my baby at 28 weeks?
At 28 weeks, your baby is the size of an aubergine – around 37.6cm long. Earlier in the pregnancy, your little one’s heart reaches about 170 beats per minute (bpm) but this will slow now to around 140bpm (still much higher than your own heart rate). By the time your baby is born, their heart rate will likely be around 130bpm.
The palm of your baby’s hands will now start to have creases similar to your own and their fingernails should be fully formed by this stage. You’ll also notice that your baby has fallen into a regular routine with their own typical cycles of sleep and waking.
If you are ever concerned about your baby’s movements and you feel they have changed significantly, slowed down or even stopped, contact your midwife or maternity unit immediately.